First is an update on that
Zaffuto burnisher - it needed some additional care, as
the piece of plum branch I used to turn a handle turned
out to be not quite fully seasoned. A few days after I
finished it, a leettle crack started forming at a tiny
knot in the handle. I went on vacation for a week, and
when I returned, that crack had propagated about 4
inches, including through the end of the handle to the
former center of the branch, and was headed in the other
direction for the ferrule.
So, I used a back saw to kerf
out the crack, found a scrap strip of cherry about the
right size to fit, cleaned out the cut with a 3/32"
chisel, fit the cherry, glued it up, shaped the repair
to match the handle profile, scraped and sanded
everything smooth, waxed out, and it is usable again
without pinching my palm.
Ahhh, well, better a save than just sorry.
This morning I broke down and bought a
new 20oz. finishing hammer I've been eyeing for a while. Not
an old tool, but a surprisingly well balanced modern Stanley product
with a forged head and vibration damping handle. Works very
That got me thinking about the rest of
my hammers again, and the rock hammer I had brought back from my
uncles'/grandfather's farm three years ago stared back at me from
the hammer drawer. The one with the half-broken through handle
just below the head. So, I went out in the garage/small wood
stock seasoning center and retrieved a two year resident elm branch
the right size. Shaped the new handle, removed the old handle,
and cleaned up the head a bit before mounting it on the new handle.
A curve in the branch produced a very
comfortable shape in the handle, and another slight curve in the
horizontal plane provided a small amount of offset that seems more
comfortable in swinging this hammer.
I like it so far, and now that old tool
is useful again.
Charlie DriggsJuly 2007