The Shed Hammer - A 173 Quick Post

I'm just an average guy - normal (?) and typical.  As such, because I have sacrificial tools, I assume others do too!  If not - call me crazy, abnormal, atypical.  Of course, by now you're probably wondering what the heck I'm talking about. Well, after building a shed lo these many years ago, I populated it with some basic tools (aside from garden and outdoor tools) that were occasionally needed, and certainly weren't of the quality of my "everyday" tools.  This post is about just such a tool - the shed hammer.

The Shed Hammer

As you probably know by now, I have a nice little collection of hammers here at 173.  Seriously, it's a little collection, but it's fun restoring old hammers, so the collection seems to be growing.  

But, as much as I like my hammers, there's one that I have absolutely no sentimental attachment to - good grief, who (besides me) gets sentimentally attached to a hammer?  It's not that there's anything wrong with this hammer.  I mean, it's a hunk of steel mounted to a chunk of hammers for centuries.  

But, it is rather ugly...cheaply made in China, a fine patina of rust on the head, and splatters of paint on the handle. 

The Hammer Head Cleanup

Cleanup was as simple as the tool itself.  Back when I restored my old paring chisel, to protect the wood handle while polishing the ferrule, I had cut some strips of aluminum from a soda can...

After I finished the chisel I had a few aluminum strips left over so, of course I kept them in case I needed them again, and voila here we are!  This time, to protect the wood handle while working on the head, I taped a piece of aluminum, right at the top of the handle...

It only took a couple minutes at the wire wheel and a couple more with some Flitz polish to bring the business-end of the hammer to a respectable shine.

Some Hammer Posts at 173:
Tubular Steel Hammer Cleanup - May 2021 
Making a Workbench Hammer - August 2021
Powr-Kraft Ball Peen Hammer Resto - October 2021
A Study in Hammers - February 2021
You might also like the $1 Great Neck Backsaw Resto

The Handle

The hammer head now in pretty decent shape, it was time to move onto the handle.  I have no idea what kind of wood the handle is made of, but it has a nice grain so I thought it had the potential to come out good.

As you can see, the handle really needed to be cleaned up.  As I mentioned, this hammer has been in the shed for more than twenty years.  It's used for whatever it needs to be used for - driving stakes in the ground, repairing a fence, closing paint cans, and even acting as a persuader on the occasional stubborn goo gaw.  

Anyway - about five minutes with a single edge razor blade stripped the handle quite nicely.  A couple swipes of sandpaper later, she was ready for stain!

My favorite stain is Minwax's Gunstock.  The only problem with it is, you have to be pretty particular what kind of wood it's used on.  Pines and other white-ish woods just come out rather orange, but darker woods come out a beautiful brown that's reminiscent of the stock on my dad's 12-guage when I was a kid.  That gun always fascinated me - the smell of gun-cleaning oils and solvents, the blued steel, and that beautifully colored wood!

Okay, nothing like waxing poetic about the color of a chunk of wood!  But...I gotta say, this handle came out so incredibly close to the color of dad's gunstock - at least to what I see in my mind's eye.

Its Natural Habitat

And, as you probably already know, I like to show a refurbished tool in its natural habitat.  So here it is, hanging from the pegboard in the shed.  And there it will stay - being pulled out and called upon to whatever necessary if undignified job for which it's needed.

Have fun and - see you next time!
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