My Plane Brass Hammer

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Project by Chelios posted 03-07-2011 03:59 AM 4132 views 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my Sunday project…I have always wanted to make my own cool tools like Mafe does all the time. He usually writes “I hope this inspires someone” and sure enough as contagious as that bug is, the only remedy is to do something about it.

So the story is that yesterday I was at the Lie Nielsen handtool event in Kansas City, which was great by the way, I have fallen in love with the new shooting plane (500 bucks! passed on that one ) and with the Ariou rasps which I did pick up a couple of those, and I saw those nice little peen hammers ($85) which Mafe mentioned in his brass hammer blog. It was nice and I so much wanted one but couldn’t bring myself to paying for it. Kevin Glen Drake was there too and he had some beautiful little brass mallets but again I could not pay the 80 bucks. So today I went and bought a 7 dollar brass plumb bob because you just don’t get brass around here on Sunday. It was the only brass that seemed appropriate. I chopped off the tip with a hack saw, drilled a hole on my drill press, broke my bit because for some reason brass grabs bits really easy. Then I broke my rat tail file tip opening up the hole. I hand carved a handle from a little piece of cocobolo that I had been saving. And I did that in my room on the carpet because it was cold today and I watched a movie. So net net I am down 7 bucks, a drill bit, a rat tail file and a messy carpet that I had to vacuum but I am up with this little hammer.

I guess it is not as sharp looking as those tools I saw yesterday at the show but my hammer was cheaper, I made it and it will do its purpose for hand plane adjustments. I wish I knew how to polish it shiny again because 400 sandpaper didn’t do the trick.

That is it, Mads this one is in your honor. I hope this might spark another idea somewhere too.

all the best

12 comments so far

View TRYPHON974's profile


88 posts in 3294 days

#1 posted 03-07-2011 04:50 AM

Very nice hammer. Cheap and effective, couldn’t be better.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3510 days

#2 posted 03-07-2011 04:51 AM

Keep going finer with the grits and then get some brass polish or rouge for the final touches.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View fjdavid's profile


28 posts in 3194 days

#3 posted 03-07-2011 04:54 AM

Necessity is the mother of invention…. or the lack of funds is as well. Nice job on the hammer. If it works, its much nicer to say “I made that” then “I bought that”.

To get brass or any metal to a nice shine you need to go to 1000 grit or even higher. Metal reflects light and it highlights all scratches and bumps.

-- Frank, or

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3579 days

#4 posted 03-07-2011 05:22 AM

Thanks for the tip, I will try a nicer finish on it, if I can get a mirror finish on it I will re-post the photos.

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3977 days

#5 posted 03-07-2011 07:15 AM

Cool build, I never thought of just cutting a plumb bob. I haven’t been able to find a small brass hammer so consider your idea stolen. I cheaped out and used scrap oak and a leather face pad. Your’s puts my little adjustment hammer to shame. Thanks for the post.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3401 days

#6 posted 03-07-2011 09:08 AM

If you or a family member is a smoker, here’s a tip from my days as an air cadet. Tobacco ash is a great fine abrasive for polishing brass. Used to use a bit on a dampened kleenex to polish the old cap badge and buttons when away from home and therefore my can of Brasso. Did a great job.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Boojum's profile


1 post in 3150 days

#7 posted 03-07-2011 09:16 AM

Very clever! I love the cocobolo handle by the way.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3628 days

#8 posted 03-07-2011 09:49 AM

hey cool little hammer if you have a bar you can place it there
I like the way the head looks like a drinkmixer (picture two )

thankĀ“s for sharing it with us

take care

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4299 days

#9 posted 03-07-2011 04:28 PM

Wow very nice! Has a custom well crafted look to it.

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3579 days

#10 posted 03-08-2011 02:32 AM

Thanks for the comments, yes Dennis now I can pour me a drink and adjust my planes at the same time!

View mafe's profile


12110 posts in 3602 days

#11 posted 03-08-2011 03:22 AM

Hi Chelios,
You have made a wonderful brass hammer!!!
It have charm, it seems comfortable, it makes you curious, and it’s made by you!
This will hopefully be your favorite, to me these tools we make become magic, and they are priceless.

You cant imagine how touched I am in this moment!
So many things are meeting today…
This day has been so amazing, so full of love and wonderful words that my heart almost burst, and sure tears are in my eyes.
I have been in my little workshop also, and today an old hammer spoke to me! I had to give this old beautiful French hammer a new beautiful handle, yes you read right, we were two making hammers and giving others our thoughts!
I also recived some wonderful mails from people who told me good advice and so wonderful possitive things, and opened my heart and mind, one of these was our friend here Msdebbie so I decided to name my hammer after her (She don’t know yet, I will post it soon)!
I also read some wonderful poetry from the hart that a new friend send me, my ohhh.
My best friend for more than twenety years came here to share the afternoon, and I just told him about how life in my belive is like rings in the water. That when we share positive thoughts with others, we make these rings in the water, and this effects like dominos, I know to some this is naive, but to me it’s life.
Today was one of these days where all these rings hit me, wonderful rings of possitive thoughts, and I feel so blessed – thank you.
I did see your post ealier on the front page and wanted to look, but said it will be for tomorrow. But how could I miss it, it cought my full attention right away this wonderful little hammer.
I’m on the edge of my bed now, on my way to sleep and you just managed to make this day a perfect day, thank you!
Best thoughts from my heart,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View whitewulf's profile


456 posts in 3449 days

#12 posted 04-16-2012 07:25 AM

As you were working indoors, I assume SWMBO was elsewhere?
If you drilled brass on carpet with hand drill your hands must be like vise grips!
Walk the carpet to make sure no brass swarf lingers, nasty surprise in the dark, LOL
Opps great looking hammer!

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

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