Today I’m restoring an old hammer that belonged to my dad. When I moved away from home I didn’t have many tools, but my dad was kind enough to give me a lot of his.
This is the old hammer. It has been pretty beat up over the years. The head was also really loose and felt like it was going to fall off.
You can see the locking wedge from the top.
It was actually somewhat difficult to get the wedge out.
You can see why it was so difficult to get out because of these little ridges that lock it into place.
Using the vice and a scrap piece of wood that fit through the opening, I hammered the handle out of the head.
This is the head. You can see all the years of wear and tear on it.
I used the wire wheel on the bench grinder to really clean the head up. I used a pair of long-nose vice grips to safely rotate the head around to get the entire surface.
This shows the first finished side. Nice and shiny. It’s cool to still be able to see the character of the hammer even without the grime on top.
I couldn’t reach the metal under the claw with the bench grinder so I pulled out a little rotary tool which was small enough to fit.
Now that the head was clean, I moved my focus onto the handle. I used several different grits of sand paper, starting with 80, then 120, and finally 220.
It was easier to get the bottom flat by moving the handle over the stationary paper.
The handle had a hole already but it was filled with junk. I just used a drill bit on the drill press to hollow out the hole again.
I used a countersink bit to round the top edge of the hole.
I still wanted to sand the hole, so I cut down some old sand paper to make it small enough.
I folded it up and could now reach down into the hole.
I used some mineral spirits to clean off any oils, dust, and fine particles before applying the finish.
I used some Danish Oil to give the handle a little protection and re-hydrate the wood.
This is a little closeup of the handle after the finish had dried. It’s super cool to be able to see all the scratches and scars the handle has. You can’t get this kind of detail from a brand new chunk of wood.
The wood had been worn away quite a bit where the wedge had been and the opening was too large. I grabbed a small chunk of red oak and traced out what I needed.
Using the band saw, I was able to make this cut. I used some pencils to keep my fingers away from the blade.
The piece of oak was still a little too thick so I sanded it down a little with some 80 grit paper.
I added some glue as deep as I could in the crack.
I pushed the little chunk into the glue and then let it sit and dry.
Once everything was dry, I tapped the handle down into the head with another hammer.
Once it was started correctly, I flipped the hammer and tapped it from the bottom of the handle. This pushes the head firmly onto the handle.
Once the head was fully seated, I grabbed the wedge and pounded it into place.
I grabbed some Ballistol to protect the metal head. Raw metal will begin to rust over time if not protected. Ballistol is an incredible product that has many purposes. I was turned onto it by the firearm community, which many use it to clean and protect their guns.
I sprayed just little on the head and then rubbed it all around using a paper towel.
And this was the finished product.
My Project Tools