Friday, March 3, 2017

Getting a handle

Handling and testing the fluting hammer 

Today I had a couple of hours in the workshop, so I decided to put a handle on the fluting starter hammer I made last week at Tharwa forge, and then tested it by putting in a flute. The rest of my time was spent remembering how to get fluting right, and cleaning up my hammer work.

Steps to handling/ rehandling.

Parts: hammer head, wedge, handle
Other tools: Sharpies, sandpaper, draw knife, vice, soft hammer (wood/ rubber/ plastic)

Draw the inner circle of the handle head on the top of the wood
Draw the length of the head  on the shaft of the handle
Put the handle in a vice very firmly
Use your drawknife to cut the extra wood away so the handle will not quite fit in the head
Rotate several times to get the cuts even
Set the handle upright and make a straight cut across the top of the handle for the wedge
Check the size now the cut is made
Carefully cut and sand as necessary to make the handle just fit
Set the handle upright and place the head onto the handle
Tap the wedge into the cut on the top of the handle very gently with the soft hammer.

Draw knife in my hands, "handle to be" tight in the vice

I handled up my fluting hammer and my plannishing hammer in this manner. In the picture you can tell I used commercial handles by the stickers - this is expensive, and next time I want to buy hardwood dowel and carve my own handle. Cheap and more customised. You will also seem that I have cross hatched markings on my hammers - this is made by simply pressing my vice into the handle hard - the vice has a steel cross hatch gripp pattern that presses into the wood and works quite nicely as a very simple grip.


My fluting starter is done by using a triangular trench cut into some railway track with an angle grinder. The work is place above the trench, and the back of the work is hit with my custom fluting starter hammer. This is a very coarse way to start fluting, however it is fast and can be done with one person rapidly. Essentially it is something like the use of a cold chisel, with the idea being to start the flute rather than cut the metal, this the end is rounded rather than chisel sharp. Also I know I will be missing by a few mm each time, so all edges are rounded. 

With two people I would use it much more like a cold chisel, but do not have sufficient hands to hold the work, the fluting hammer, and the striking hammer.
Four fluted knees at top,
The fluting starter hammer on top of the trenched railway track in the middle
The plannishing hammer also with fresh handle at the bottom

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