Hammer Down


Charles Hammond manufactured tools in Philadelphia from 1869-1914. Sometime in that period, before his operation moved to Ogontz, PA in 1914, this hammer head was produced. I haven’t weighed it, but “hefty” is a good technical description. The neck of the hammer puts the face nearly 2-1/4” from the handle, giving plenty of clearance for the hand. I really like this tool.

The old handle snapped just below the head while prying up a stubborn nail with the claws last year. Never a good feeling, but it happens. I drove the remaining handle stub out of the head and put it up on a shelf above my bench until I found or made a suitable replacement handle. I wanted to do something special for it.

Last week, I pulled out an old sawn-off axe handle that I’d found at the Liberty Tool Company. Shaping it to fit the eye, I drove it home and wedged it with ash. It doesn’t take long to learn the new “feel” of an old tool that has had some major repair like this – it’s like getting reacquainted with a long-absent friend. The strong oval cross-section of the handle gives a good feel for the orientation of the head, and a tremendous amount of power can be generated by creeping the hand down onto the fawn’s foot for a swing.

I think this hammer is ready to go back to work.

-Mike