When purchasing a hammer, it's important to choose the right hammer for the job considering these features:
Weight - Lighter-weight hammers are for light duty and finer (or thinner) metals; heavier hammers are good for thicker metals and heavy-duty tasks.
Balance - Good weighted balance will help deliver each blow successfully as well as cause less stress on your wrist.
Handle - The handle should pair well in scale with the head of the hammer as well as fit comfortably in your hand. Wooden handles can be modified with sand paper for a better fit. Hold the hammer further back on the handle as this yields a much better blow and causes less stress on your wrist.
Maintenance - Any imperfections on the face of your hammer will transfer to the surface of the metal you are working with. Polish out imperfections on the face of a steelhead hammer with sand- and polishing-papers.
Head: Made from either treated rawhide, hard nylon, rubber or wood.
Handle: Often made from hardwood.
Assembly: The head usually has a hole in the center and the handle inserted and glued in place.
Modification: Mallets are good right out of the packaging and will last a long time.
The surface of these hammers should be well maintained, kept smooth and free of any nicks, scratches or deep scars. Any marks on the face of the hammer will be imparted to the surface of the metal you will be hammering. The time you put in to keeping your tools in good working order will save you the time it would take to remove unwanted marks in your design--take my word for it!
|Ball peen hammer
Used for striking, punching, riveting, shaping and straightening unhardened metal. Can be used to deliver a good strike on the end of a metal tool like a chisel or engraver. The ball end can be used to add decorative patterns and textures to the surface of most metals.
Manufactured to be lightweight, comfortable and to have good snap when striking. They are designed for chasing metal--that is, hitting the end of a chasing tool with the face of the chasing hammer. They are also used by silversmiths/goldsmiths for flattening, shaping and forming objects. The small round end can be used for adding decorative patterns and textures to the surface of most metals.
|We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article "Hammers," as featured in an email newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.|
"This article about the different types of hammers is very good. Thank you."
"I enjoyed the article on hammers, very much. It gave a lot of basic information, that is useful to all jewelry designers. What are her most favorite hammers, and where do we purchase specialty hammers?"
"Very timely and informative as I want to do more metal work."
"I found the article interesting and full of helpful ideas. I did not know, for instance, that there were hammers with patterns for decorating plain metals...thanks."
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