Saturday, June 23, 2018

fixing an old hammer...

Having taken a blacksmithing class at ESSA a couple weeks ago interested me in re-handling a blacksmith's hammer that had belonged (If I have my story right) to my great-grandfather. It was given me by my dad with a split in the handle. I used it most recently as a bucking iron in making Bevins Skiffs, but having seen similar hammers in use at ESSA I decided it deserves a bit of fresh hickory to restore it to proper use.

My great Grandfather had been a contractor in Ft. Dodge, Iowa and would have had use for a hammer like this. My grandfather, being an attorney did not. So, it was passed from grandfather to grandson to son. I hope to use it in the ESSA metals shop, and perhaps to make more tools like it.

I went shopping for a new handle today. My local hardware store did not have one to fit. I checked Amazon and all their handles were expensive and the descriptions gave me no confidence in choosing one to fit.

House Handle Company in Cassville, Missouri (just 30 miles from here) is the place to shop online. For $3.35 plus postage, the proper handle for this hammer has been purchased and is on its way. The most important thing in fitting a new handle to a hammer head is shaping the end of the handle to fit the hole in the head.

A reader reminded me that liability is often given as an excuse for ending manual arts training in schools. Hand-tool wood working is far less dangerous than basketball.  Power-tool wood working can also be safely done in schools. Part of the problem, however, is that administrators will load 25-30 kids in a class full of powertools and expect miracles... that all kids will be attentive and well managed. Woodworking demands greater one-on-one personalized instruction, and thus demands smaller class sizes.

My weeklong box making class at ESSA starts on Monday.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning likewise

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