Short Post: Personalizing an Inexpensive Hammer

Disclaimer: This story was started in May of 2022, but sat in the "draft" folder 'til now. 

Finally - 173 is ramping up for the first large-scale project since before the pandemic!  I don't want to let the cat out of the bag right now, but the other day I had to stop by the local Home Depot to spy some prices and get some ideas.  While there, I strolled through the tool corral and was of a sudden inspired!


The Find

The inspiration was neither sublime, magnificent nor astounding.  Rather, it was humble, simple and quite unnecessary.  I must have passed this section of the Home Depot tool corral hundreds of times, each time passing without as much as a glimpse - until now.  

For whatever reason, my eye was drawn to this simple wood-handled hammer.  And at that moment, I had an idea!  First, it's a rip claw hammer, which was the immediate justification for getting it - I didn't have a rip claw hammer!  Next - it cost $7!  How can you pass that up?

Try to learn something about everything and everything about something. -  Thomas Huxley

The Idea and Getting Started

Again, my inspiration wasn't exactly extravagant, but I thought, heck, take this simple looking hammer and make it...well...less simple looking.  So I started by scraping the original varnish off the handle with the ol' razor blade.

Just a few minutes later the handle was down to bare wood, and ready for the next step.  I say the next step as though there were a bunch of steps.  In all actuality, how complicated can re-styling a hammer be?  There really aren't a lot of options with a hammer after all.


So here we come to it.  The whole point of this little project was to stain the handle, it's really that simple. Like I said there's really not a lot of things to do with a hammer, especially a brand new one!  I chose Minwax's gunstock stain. I've always liked gunstock over the years.

And into the trusty shop oven it went. This was such a small project the stain dried well overnight.

And now this inexpensive Stanley rip claw hammer looks just a little better than it did with the very light colored handle...

Its Natural Habitat

And here it is in its natural habitat. This hammer will probably end up in the shed to join the curved claw shed hammer!

Hey,  you never know when you'll need a rip hammer outside!

Thanks for stopping by, see ya soon!
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