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Thread: Leatherworking hammer

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Dimitris Polychronis's Avatar
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    Leatherworking hammer

    Hello everyone,

    A while back my friend Nick asked me if I would make him a specialized leatherworking hammer: a square headed hammer to flatten the stitching on knife sheaths. He gave me some rough dimensions and weight of what he had in mind.

    The head should be between 70 and 80mm, one end a square measuring 25mm x 25mm and the other end rounded. He also asked for a weight of between 160g and 170g. Based on these parameters I made a simple drawing of what it might look like.

    Leatherworking hammer-p1160852.jpg

    I used a 35mm round bar of Arne® steel (a manganese-chromium-tungsten alloy, similar to 01 tool steel).

    When I had finished the lathe work the hammer head came to 192g which made me confident that the finished product would be in the 160g+ range.

    The next two jobs to do where on the milling machine where I had to mill the eye of the hammer and the square edges of the head. This is where I made a rookie error. I milled out the eye then clamped it in my collet block to start cutting the square. I had forgotten to mill a flat reference to make sure the eye and square head would be perpendicular. Sure enough they weren’t!

    It was careless, but thankfully not a total loss as I re-machined the square into a round head and made Nick a small ball-peen hammer (145g in weight).

    Leatherworking hammer-p1160852a.jpeg Leatherworking hammer-p1160852b.jpg
    Nick made his own handle.

    Learning from my mistake I started again. I used the same type of steel only bigger in diameter (40mm) and made some changes to the overall dimensions of the hammer.

    Leatherworking hammer-p1160853.jpg Leatherworking hammer-p1160855.jpg Leatherworking hammer-p1160857.jpg
    Making the half round grooves I used a grooving tool and a round file.

    Leatherworking hammer-p1160861.jpg Leatherworking hammer-p1160863.jpg Leatherworking hammer-p1160865.jpg
    The arc head shaped with a file and finished with 2000G sandpaper.

    Leatherworking hammer-p1160867.jpg Leatherworking hammer-p1160868.jpg
    The thickness of the bigger head reduced from 11mm to 7mm, was finished with 600G sandpaper.

    Leatherworking hammer-p1160869.jpg Leatherworking hammer-p1160870.jpg
    Careful enough this time I didn't forgot to mill the flat on the hammer's head for reference. The flat surface aligned with the DTI on the square collet block and the rest was easy.

    Leatherworking hammer-p1160941.jpg
    For the handle I used Padauk

    Leatherworking hammer-p1160943.jpg Leatherworking hammer-p1160944.jpg Leatherworking hammer-p1160946.jpg
    The hammer was hardened to 54Rc; the faces got a mirror finish using 3000G sandpaper and a good polish on the buffing wheel.

    Leatherworking hammer-p1160947.jpg

    The overall dimensions of the hammer are:
    Length 70mm
    Body and front head diameter 20mm
    Square head 32.5x32.5mm, 7mm thick
    Hammer eye 18x8mm
    Total weight 169gr
    Handle total length 170mm

    Regards from sunny Greece
    Dimitris

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  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Dimitris Polychronis For This Useful Post:

    DIYer (May 17, 2022), Inner (May 18, 2022), Jon (May 16, 2022), rlm98253 (May 17, 2022), techcollect (May 18, 2022)

  3. #2
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    Thanks Dimitris Polychronis! We've added your Leatherworking Hammer to our Hammers category,
    as well as to your builder page: Dimitris Polychronis's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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  4. The Following User Says Thank You to DIYer For This Useful Post:

    Dimitris Polychronis (May 17, 2022)

  5. #3
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    wizard69's Tools
    That is one nice looking hammer. By the way nice save on the "mistake" too.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to wizard69 For This Useful Post:

    Dimitris Polychronis (May 22, 2022)

  7. #4
    Supporting Member Dimitris Polychronis's Avatar
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    Thank you very much wizard69. I appreciate that you like the hammers.

    All the best
    Dimitris

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    wizard69's Tools
    I've actually have been thinking about a few DIY hammers myself. I' was actually thinking along the lines of a blacksmiths flatter so this kinda fits that mold. I have some prehard of some allow but man that stuff is hard to work on any of my tools. Whatever that alloy is it works hardens real fast on you if you are not real careful.

    I simply have too many projects in the fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitris Polychronis View Post
    Thank you very much wizard69. I appreciate that you like the hammers.

    All the best
    Dimitris



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