Is there a best/correct way to put a new shaft on a hammer head?
I carve the end to roughly fit into the head then carefully "fine tune" a very tight fit with sanding disc on angle grinder before driving in the securing wedge
Probably a question for @The_Yellow_Ardvark ?
I had a vague idea you could soak them so they will swell.. might have dreamt it.
That's what you don't do, as when the shaft dries out it shrinks and the head falls off!
I never carve, shave or sand new hammer shafts to fit, but soak them in linseed oil for a few days before pressing the shafts on to the hammer head.
Have done this for 30 odd years now without a single issue or a hammer head coming loose: even after 30 years of dailyish use from my 2lb Stanley and 1½lb Gilpen Ballpein hammers.
I've even managed without carving, shaving or sanding to press a hickory 7lb sledge hammer handle onto a 4lb lump hammer head but that was using a 100 ton press and it was one of those 5p, 50p, 5p, 50p, 5p, 50p moments!
Take the new shaft and remove varnish/ finish from head end.
Clean up the head, including the shaft socket.
Trim, shape the shaft and test fit.
You want it to be a tight fit, but not making or forcing burrs as the head is test fitted.
The final fit, you need 1/4 or 6mm of shaft sticking above the head.
Cut a wedge as long as the head is deep, plus 3/8 or 10mm longer.
The saw cut to take the wedge. In line with head.
Warm the head up, until spit bubbles on it.
Drive the new shaft from hand end into base of head until firm. EG, if done right the shaft should be 1/4 or 6mm plus a wiggle room clear.
When still warm drive wedge in. You will feel when it is as deep as it needs to go.
When cool, sand the excess off.
You can fit a metal wedge at 90Deg to the wooden wedge.
Then I like to remove the rest of the finish and inish with linseed oil and wax.
TYA has explained it well but something to be aware of is that some hammer heads have a top & a bottom & it's very easy to fit the head upside down eg ball peen hammers.
As above, but, to drive shaft in head as tight a way as any is to have the head on handle part of the way, now hold hammer vertical, head down, with nothing below it in one hand and hit the top end of handle with another hammer, sharp sounding clicks when hit indicates the head going on the handle, dull sounds mean it's gone it's limit.
I fit hammer handles as part of my job, both hickory and fibreglass. Its not often I have to shape the handle most of ours are a good fit. I cut a slit in the handle half the depth of the hammer head any longer and your just weakening the shaft. Hit the handle into the head (I don't heat the heads I really don't understand what that's supposed to do, except possibly alter the hardness of the head) leave at least 5mm, cut the rest off, hammer in the wood wedge then the metal wedge, then with a ball end of a pein hammer work over the excess wood sand it up and finish. The company I work for produces hammers to BS876 it's how they've always fitted handles.
where does one get the wedges from?
I make mine, normally from beech or oak.
I warm my heads, not hot enough to alter the metal. but with a hot air gun, until spit bubbles.
Then I drive the handle into the head, and wedge.
I find I get a tighter fit.
Every shaft I get seams a bit of finishing to make fit.
On my small hammers i made the shaft from hickory left over from a broke sledge hammer shaft, The top has a cut in it and after getting a snug fit i used epoxy and knocked in a thin wedge of dark wood to open it up, They looked nice sanded off and oiled.
Do you make the wedges?
Yes i just plane a piece of hard wood that is thin till it fits near.
Sorry didn't see the above post
No problems, Most of my small hammers are old cobblers tools or for upholstery, they have been in the family a long time.
i need to find some sutiable wood to make a wedge
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