Ultimate Spiculum Hammer – by Longhi, Eid, and Fretz

by Cynthia Eid on July 7, 2009

Ultimate Spiculum Hammer

Ultimate Spiculum Hammer

I am working on a book with Betty Helen Longhi, Shellforming Techniques for Jewelers and Metalsmiths.  The term shellforming describes a collection of techniques -mostly based on synclasting and anticlasting— through which sheets of metal are given complex, often sinuous form, to make objects of beauty and strength.  The book will be edited by jeweler/author/educator Tim McCreight, and published by Brynmorgen Press, known for high quality publications. Publication date is yet to be determined.

As Betty and I work on the book, we have become aware that many of our favorite tools are one-of-a-kinds that we have made or found.  We want our future readers to be able to have the necessary tools for the techniques in the book, so we have been designing tools, and working with manufacturers to bring them into production. I am really excited about our first tool!  We have teamed up with Bill Fretz to design and produce the Ultimate Spiculum Hammer. The Ultimate Spiculum Hammer has the elegant lines and exquisitely comfortable handle that are trademarks of Fretz hammers.  The hammers are have the Longhi and Eid logos on the handle, and the traditional Fretz logo on the hammer-head.  Around 1980, Betty designed and made a hammer that was based on one that she had watched Heikki Seppa use to make spiculums. Lee Marshall of Bonny Doon Engineering produced a commercial version for Allcraft for many years.  Since Lee’s retirement, Betty has been searching for a new maker, so I approached Bill Fretz about making the spiculum hammer.  The new proportions and weight of the Ultimate Spiculum Hammer afford exquisite control and exceptional accuracy.  Thrilled with this hammer, Betty and I have designed additional hammers to be made by Bill Fretz, to make a set of shell forming hammers. The set is currently in development.  The Ultimate Spiculum Hammer is now available from Allcraft Tools, in New York.

Phone: 800-645-7124        Email: allcrafttools@yahoo.com

A Flared Spiculum---from an exercise in the book in progress

A Flared Spiculum---from an exercise in the book in progress

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Stevie Gray March 19, 2012 at 8:58 pm

I have just started using the Eid Longhi Delrin Stakes, in the UK.
They are great to use but metal hammers are limiting, so I will be pleased when we get the hammers shown here in the UK.

Syndy Hall March 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Greetings from Australia,

Yes, I bought the Fretz Spiculum Hammer from Allcraft.
It is exquisite.
Also received the medium Eid-Longhi Delrin stake.
Excellent design !

Q1: Do you have a release date for your Book yet ?
No listing on Brynmorgen website as of 10 March 12.

Q2: I’ve been retired for some time & money is an issue.
I also need metal stake (s) for Delrin hammers, etc.

I exspect to be working through the Projects in your book.
As a retired univ. teacher, that’s my “hobby”.

Should I buy the Fretz Specialized Forming Stake Set ?

Q3: If not, what metal stakes are suitable for the scale of work
You & Betty will hve in the book ??

Thanks for your time,

Syndy Hall, Ph. D.

Cynthia Eid August 13, 2010 at 9:22 pm

This is an exclusive through Allcraft, who helped us commission the hammer from Bill Fretz. Contact Tevel at Allcraft.
best wishes,

Jennifer Polson August 13, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Hi, after seeing this ultimate spiculum hammer, all I can say, is I want it!!! How can we get one? I sent an email to Otto Frei and was told that this hammer is only for Bill Fretz’ private use and that Allcraft didn’t sell it. Too bad, because I have several fellow metalsmith friends who would just love to pick one up!


Cynthia Eid July 19, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Hi Andrea,
That’s interesting that you helped with that. And now, Lee Marshall is working on our plastic sinusoidal stakes! I’ll send you one to try as soon as we get our first samples.

Andrea July 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm

The new hammer is very nice and works well. I am looking forward to Betty and you getting the book completed – it will be a wonderful asset for the metals community to have. This text has been needed for so long now!

Fyi, I had actually helped Betty design the version Lee made in the 90’s. I had basically shaped the hammer head blank in delrin and designed the ferrell that went on it. This is what Betty sent off to Lee when he machined the spiculum hammers for her to sell at workshops. I still have one of the delrin blanks we made and use it today! That seems so long ago! Your new hammer is beautiful and so much more refined than earlier efforts!

Cheers, Andrea

Cynthia Eid July 15, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Hi Fred,
We are considering a video, but the book needs to be finished first. Michael Good has seen a preliminary draft, and was very positive in his reaction. When I mentioned the possibility of a video to him, he said that the photos are almost like “stop-action”, and that he does not think a video is necessary.
Have fun at this weekend—I hope we get to see each other in Tucson next Feb!

Fred Zweig July 15, 2009 at 6:54 am

Hi Cindy, This weekend I am teaching a workshop to a small group to show them how to use their Fretz hammers and stakes. A pity the book is not yet out. I look forward to reading it soon. How about a video as well.
Keep up the great work and hopefully see you here in Tucson next year.


Susan Thornton July 8, 2009 at 8:02 pm

I am so glad that this is coming into reality. I appreciate the work you have done to make the book. I can’t wait to see it. These techniques are the ones I use every day in the studio.
Thanks again !!!

Cynthia Eid July 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Hi, I am pleased with your reactions! The book is still in process—we’ve been working on it for over three years, and I think it will be about two years before it is published. The hammer is available NOW.

Jamie King July 8, 2009 at 2:03 pm

I’m am Sooooo looking forward to your book. When will it be available?

Kay Taylor July 8, 2009 at 11:14 am

Cynthia, this looks like a terrific hammer! Can’t wait for your shell-forming book to be published. Be sure to forwarn us.

Kathleen Krucoff July 8, 2009 at 10:54 am

Very cool Cynthia! Thanks for the information.

francesca July 8, 2009 at 9:34 am

I’ve been waiting for your book ever since I met Michael Good last April at Revere, he was speaking about it so enthusiastically, and at SNAG I found a very nice spiculum hammer at Allcraft tools (a tiny tini one marvelous!) and I thought that was the one you have designed..now I think I was wrong, which basically means a need an other hammer!
Thank you for this preview!

Theresa July 8, 2009 at 12:32 am

Can’t wait to get my hands on that book and these hammers.

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