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Thread: Lead inserts for hammer, replacing cowhide insert

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Philip Davies's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
    Reading, Berks, UK
    Thanked 684 Times in 219 Posts

    Philip Davies's Tools

    Lead inserts for hammer, replacing cowhide insert

    Lead inserts for hammer, replacing cowhide insert-9c9b5287-659c-49ad-8314-a48a29525e1e.jpg
    Dissatisfied with the damage to the rawhide insert, I pulled it out.
    Lead inserts for hammer, replacing cowhide insert-58544e9f-5114-4a4c-8334-93f2354a498c.jpg

    I wrapped a length of steel shim around the hammerhead, securing it with a hoselock
    Lead inserts for hammer, replacing cowhide insert-2aed1dae-b320-4e5e-b2f3-7a1d9b92e6e9.jpg
    I melted some lead scraps in a ladle.

    Lead inserts for hammer, replacing cowhide insert-94e7abf4-4dcc-4a3b-ab52-ecda9997c815.jpg
    The molten lead was carefully poured into the cup formed by the shim, and levelled before it set. Observing safety precautions, I did this outside.

    Lead inserts for hammer, replacing cowhide insert-5ff23c39-2035-45b0-8c70-bcfb38c28979.jpg
    This shows why PPE is necessary.

    Lead inserts for hammer, replacing cowhide insert-6c6f40b7-23e7-4169-b783-2eaa8f8dcf53.jpg
    I now have 3 such hammers, of different weights.

    It is an advantage to have a lead hammer to make delicate adjustments to forged products. Although it soon mushrooms, it is easily shaped, much more so than the copper insert. It does not leave marks and is more forceful than a wooden mallet.
    Lead inserts for hammer, replacing cowhide insert-df4560de-4fad-4acf-a847-0ad1d30160c0.jpg

    Yesterday I forged a large woodcarving gouge. You can see here how I have prepared my anvil with an oak swage, which is very easy to profile.

    Lead inserts for hammer, replacing cowhide insert-373bf920-e68c-4ff0-840a-cbdcc6774317.jpg

    This was literally a 5 minute forge, from lighting the fire, just 25 blows with the lead hammer, to it resting on my benchtop swage block.
    ( It had another heat, but I did not use the steel swage, so as not to gall the sides.) I then formed the tang and set it to anneal.

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  2. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Philip Davies For This Useful Post:

    baja (Aug 12, 2020), freddo4 (Aug 11, 2020), Jon (Aug 13, 2020), natie123 (Aug 16, 2020), Paul Jones (Aug 14, 2020), rlm98253 (Aug 11, 2020), Scotty12 (Aug 11, 2020), Toolmaker51 (Aug 12, 2020)

  3. #2
    Content Editor
    Supporting Member
    DIYer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Thanked 1,554 Times in 1,393 Posts

    Thanks Philip Davies! We've added your Hammer Head Inserts to our Hammers category,
    as well as to your builder page: Philip Davies's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    very interesting, thanks Phil

  5. #4
    Supporting Member Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    Feb 2016
    Midwest USA
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    Toolmaker51's Tools
    Our best known rawhide hammers are Garland-Saco. But across the pond, their hammers have inspiring names..."Thor"!. How perfect is that?

    Like all hammers, each has a best use. My spouse [a Swiss angel] found the large drawer of hammers very amusing 'Why so many?'.
    Well dear, they differ in materials and weight for different work...I have them in near every form possible. Peening variety commune separately, 2oz and up.

    So guess what, upon next gift opportunity, she said "Bet you haven't got one of these' and gleam in the eye. I'm envisioning kinds I don't; chasing, tinners, horse-shoeing, fullers, wood mauls, tire thumper...turned out none of those.
    It's pink, not day glow fluorescent; panty.

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    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Toolmaker51 For This Useful Post:

    Philip Davies (Aug 13, 2020)

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