I’ve always wanted a nice little brass hammer for adjusting plane irons. But, I couldn’t justify the cost of the very nice Lie-Nielsen, so I made do with a small claw hammer. Recently I came across a neat little hammer on sale at woodcraft, the head is brass and weighs 4oz. But I didn’t like the handle, it looked too big.
So, I set out to rehandle the hammer with a cherry handle. First I ripped a 12″ long x 1 1/4″x 7/8″ piece of Cherry. Then I flattened a face and squared an edge.
Then I gauged a line off the reference face and planed to it and finally shot the ends on a shooting board. Tada! 6 squared faces.
I don’t own a lathe so a round or oval handle was out of the question and I’ve always liked octagonal handles. First I found center on the ends and marked out the tapers. On one end I set a compass to the radius of the opening in the head.
Then, using a #4 plane set up for a heavy shaving I planed the tapers on all four faces. Then I used a compass to lay out the octagon on the ends. And, using the same no. 4 I cut the octagonal faces. I finished each face with a finely set no. 4 1/2 plane. Finally I used a chisel to pare off the vertices of the octagonal handle until the head just fit. Lastly, I drilled a 3/32″ hole and cut a short kerf to accept an ebony wedge to lock the head to the handle.