Plane Hammer

In this post we will briefly return to a state of “Mallet Mania”. As you might remember I wrote one of my first posts on the first four mallets I made and called it “Mallet Mania”. This past weekend I made the fifth in the form of a specialised plane hammer. It was necessitated by the fact that my first wooden plane was getting close to being finished.

I therefore squeezed in some time dedicated to the hammer necessary to set the blade of my Petite Smoothing Plane (post to follow in the near future). As per usual, even the bits and pieces that are available to use for such tools is quite limited in Namibia. In the pictures below you can see what I started with. It is one of those copper rings that plumbers use to join copper water pipes.

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I chamfered the inside edge of the one side with a medium sized file.

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Then I took a piece of Kershout and Witpeer I laminated for the handle of my legvise, that was left over and turned the head of the hammer (far right) together with three file handles while I was at it. It was turned in such a way that one side was similar in diameter to the outside of the copper ring and the opposite side slightly smaller than the inside diameter tapering up to sightly bigger than that. The idea being that one could tap the ring over to fit tightly.

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Here you can see how far the ring slid over the wood without any force. I applied epoxy to act as a lubricant and adhesive before tapping it into place.

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To ensure that the ring had nowhere to go I cut a thin curve to accept a very slight wedge, which was taped in after applying Gorilla PVA wood glue.

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The sides of this wedge were trimmed flush …

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… and cut to length as shown below.

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The next step was to mark out were to drill the hole for the handle. I used a compass to scribe a circle 2 mm bigger than the hole drilled for the pin of the handle in order to have a reference of how much I should enlarge the hole on this side to accept another wedge.

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In order to drill the hole accurately I made this quick jig out of scrap plywood. The hammer’s head sits steady in the groove and held in place by the drill press vise.

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I used Kershout for the handle. Below you can see how I shaped the pin.

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Then I used a spoke shave, a rasp and a card scraper to shape the handle. It makes easy work of such a job.

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I then glued a small piece of sealskin to the one striking surface to give the option of a softer blow, when striking the wooden parts of the plane (as opposed to the plane iron).

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The final product prior to the usual Ballistol treatment.

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