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Thread: New (to me) Japanese hammer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    405

    New (to me) Japanese hammer

    I saw a cool Japanese hammer on ebay and was lucky enough to have the winning bid. After the hammer arrive, I noticed the hammer head was kinda loose on the handle.

    Someone had put a small screw into the top portion of the handle that exits through the top of the head. This did what most of would expect, it split the handle. I thought about it for a while and knew I wouldn't be happy with the hammer as it was. I dug around in my cut-off bin and found a piece of birds-eye maple that was longer than needed and correct width and height.

    I laid the original hammer handle onto the blank and just penciled along both sides, from the top and then from the side view so I'd have something similar, as the old one was ok in the hand. I trimmed along the lines on my bandsaw to get the rough shape going. The original had sort of facets running the length of the handle, so I drew in the guide lines freehand so I'd know when I was getting close. I used the verticle belt sander to bring it down to the lines. The upper middle portion of the handle was more rounded on the original so I used some rasps to again get to the shape I was after. I sanded, working my way through the grits until I finished with 600 grit. I applied some wax and buffed to a nice shine. The top portion of the handle was kinda fun fitting to the head. I again used the original as a guide, since it was almost right on for the cheek to cheek dimensions. I trimmed the cheeks on the bandsaw and worked them to the exact dimension using my rasp and sand paper. Once it was showing signs of fitting, from cheek to cheek, I again used the rasp to remove extremely small amounts of wood on the other two faces until it fit like a glove. I left the extra material that protruded through the head as it isn't really getting in the way. I may cut the excess off, in the future, if the head gets a little loose so I can insert a wedge. As of now, there is no sign of shrinkage and the wood had been in my shop for over a year so I'm hopeful there won't be any changes anytime soon.

    Thanks for checking out the post.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Old vs New handle.jpg   new vs old neck area.jpg   Handle end closeup.jpg   Smoother comparison.jpg   Smooth handle end.jpg  

    handle shaping up.jpg   smooth neck birds eye.jpg   all but installed vs old.jpg   Finished J hammer.jpg  
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

  2. #2
    Very nice Lee, looks great!
    Go ahead and run clown, with those big floppy shoes, you won't get far.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    405
    Thanks Mike.

    Now I'm starting to look around at other old hammers to see if they need an upgrade, too. Funny how the same techniques are used when fitting the handle to the head as when fitting a tenon to a mortise.

    Now I've rehabbed a useful tool and got some extra practice for future furniture projects.

    Regards,
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,831
    Way to go, girl. Well done.
    But, personally, I would trim the protruding wood on top, slit it and install a wedge. I'd probably use Osage Orange or some other really hard wood.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    405
    Frank,

    Thanks for the comments.

    As for the "Way to go, girl" remark, perhaps you have me confused with the other Laird on our site, but I am of the Male gender.

    I thought about doing the wedge thing, but wanted to see how well the head would stay put with a really close fitting joint. So far so good. If I see much movement, I can always go back and adjust my decision.
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,807
    Nice hammer Lee, I have one just like it, with a plain white oak handle, in my hammer drawer.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,831
    ".....but I am of the Male gender."

    Oops.

    sorry guy. Uh...how big are you?

  8. #8
    How you supposed to pull a nail with only one claw?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    405
    Barry,
    How'd you know I have a claw??? Definitely a special use hammer, but it sure is cool. I haven't used it as such, but was thinking I could tap out the blades on my Japanese plane irons. Guess time will tell.

    Regards,
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    405
    Frank,

    No worries. I figured you saw the last name and thought of Nancy.
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

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