Sunday, September 23, 2018

hammer time

I never really had much interest in hammers, just simple lumps of metal pierced by a rod of stout wood. A direct result of our unique ability to hold a shaft in line with our arm, coupled with our need to whack things.

 But then two hammers came to live with me. The first; a sixteen ounce hand made bench hammer by metalsmith Seth Gould. It looks ancient right out of the box, the black on black pallet perfectly exhibits its grace of form and subtle textures.

Finely balanced it allows precise yet forceful taps for my finest chiseling needs. And frankly it's just the coolest object I've ever seen.

The second hammer represents the first run of the long awaited Lump Hammer from Crucible Tool.

Two and a half pounds of precision engineering, it arrived flawless and starkly new in contrast to Seth's offering. I'm grateful to the folks at Crucible for their decision to not perform sho sugi ban on the handle, the juxtaposition is remarkable.

A small project to give the two a test drive was in order; a single knock-down saw horse to accompany my saw bench. I've got a bed to build in the near future and for the most part everything will be eight feet long or so. Trying to manipulate timbers of such scale without a second stand just seemed preposterous.

The huge tenons demanded a riving technique as opposed to sawing, much quicker and less strenuous. Lumpy performed flawlessly, delivering tons of mass in a very easy to control fashion.

Chopping shoulders, same deal.

A quick touch with a well tuned block plane and we're ready to mortice.

This is where Lumpy shines, morticing with a two and a half pound hammer is akin to cutting a deal with Thor himself.

The ability of these two hammers to perform their intended duty with grace and beauty is all the justification I needed.

Guess I'm a hammer guy now.