Japanese Saws

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Making and Using Tools - Percussion Tool


Making a Small Brass Hammer

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Some tasks in a shop call for a small brass hammer - such as adjusting a wooden plane, tapping on a chisel, or just for making adjustments to joinery. While these hammers can be purchased, I decided to make my own.

For the head, I purchased some 7/8Ē brass round stock from Online Metals. A foot of the round stock is about $21 (editorís note: the price of brass fluctuates so the current price may be higher or lower) and you can make a number of hammers from that one foot. You wonít need that many hammers yourself so see if some of your friends will take some of the brass stock, or make some extra hammers as gifts for your woodworking friends.

A good size for a small hammer head is about 2.5Ē. If the head is all brass, it will weigh about 7.25 oz. I also made a hammer with 2Ē of brass and 1/2Ē of wood on one end. That head would weigh a bit over 6 oz., depending upon the wood used. If you would like a heavier or lighter hammer, you can purchase larger or smaller brass stock. For example, for a heavier hammer, you could use 1" or 1 1/8" round stock. For a lighter hammer, choose 3/4" round stock.

You can cut the bar stock with your miter saw. Just cut slowly and clamp the rod well when making the cut. A carbide blade cuts brass very well and it doesnít damage the saw blade.

The picture on the right shows a hammer I made earlier, with one face of wood and the other of brass. Also shown in the picture are the components of the hammer Iím going to make in this tutorial. Iím using a 2.5Ē piece of brass stock and Iím going to dome one end while leaving the other end flat.

Iíll begin by creating the dome on the brass stock.  To do that, I mount the brass rod in my lathe using a chuck.

Then, using a double cut file, and with the lathe running, I begin to work the brass into a dome.

Eventually, I get the end of the rod to the shape I want.

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