New Life for an Old Hammer

by shelbyvision on June 11, 2011

I have wanted a new raising hammer for quite a while. My old one, which I got as a student about 40 years ago, is not quite as heavy as I would like, and it is made of cast iron. The surface gets pitted (see first picture) after a little use, so I’m constantly having to resurface it.


The new raising hammers I’ve seen for sale are very expensive, and I have no idea how well they would hold up under the use I would give them, so I decided to make my own. I found a very old blacksmith hammer on Ebay for a very good price. It occurred to me that an old hammer like this would most likely be made of very good steel.


I took the head off the handle, and with a chop saw cut long bevels on the top and bottom to get the shape. This blacksmith hammer was two pounds, and my old raising hammer a little under a pound, So I figured removing this much metal would leave just about the weight I wanted.


The next two steps were rough grinding with a right-angle disc grinder, and then finer grinding with a belt sander.

04 05

After achieving an acceptable shape and smoothness, I put a burned-oil finish on it, then polished the ends. I was able to reuse the old handle, which is of excellent quality, very hard hickory.


Compared to the old hammer, not as fancy a shape, but much better quality. It weighs one pound five ounces, pretty much what I was shooting for.


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