The Making of LEAD HAMMERS

Lead Hammer

Fgiure I

Content Tools

2301 61st Street, Lubbock, Texas 79412

I have found the lead hammer useful in restorations, as a thump from a lead hammer is less likely to break cast iron and does not mar.

Lead hammers are available from commercial sources and the hammers shown would cost about ten dollars plus postage, which would bring them to about fifteen dollars each, and after a certain amount of use, they would be battered beyond use.

Should the reader decide to make a lead hammer, he should make several, as they do deteriorate with use and need to be remelted. The equipment needed can be as simple as a charcoal barbecue fire, stainless steel bowl and a stainless steel cup as a ladle. A Coleman camp stove will melt lead.

Observe the usual safety procedures: eye shield, leather gloves, boots and apronheating the lead should be outdoors with the wind to the back to avoid breathing the vapors coming off lead.

The best lead is from automobile wheel weights, which contain antinomy for hardening. These may be obtained from tire shops. Another source of lead would be indoor shooting ranges which salvage their lead. Salvage yards would also have lead. However, the recyclers in our area buy at five cents per pound and charge twenty-five cents to sell.

Two methods have been presented, each requiring only hand tools.

Figure I shows a mold made from two exhaust pipe reducers1' to 1'. The large and small ends are cut off so the total length is 3'. Each half is then cut lengthwise on the bottom to help remove the formed hammer. Before pouring, the slit on the bottom is closed with two hose clamps. A half-circle is cut into the top to pass the handle. Three-quarter inch electrical tubing makes a suitable handlea3/8 inch hole is drilled crosswise to anchor the hammer head.

Figure I-A shows the mold made from the two tail pipe reducers firmly clamped in a wooden box with the ends closed, using heat resistant gasket material, and packed in dry sand. Also shown is a support for the handle. The molten lead is poured into the handle.

Figure II shows another lead hammer made from a mold using only hand tools.

Figure II-A shows the mold for the hammer in Figure II, bent and assembled with 6-32 screws, made from aluminum sheet about .030' thick.

Figure II-B is the pattern for right and left hand ends.

Figure II-C shows how to bend the pattern into a hexagonal tapered tube. The pattern cutout is held on the bending line between two ' angle irons by a vise on one end and a clamp on the other. The cracks are closed with a small amount of plumber's putty and placed in a box with the ends closed and packed with dry sand as described in the hammer shown in Figure I-A.

Figure II-B shows the pattern for the hammer shown in Figure II. The outer radius is 7' and the inner radius is 5'. It is suggested the builder make a test pattern from heavy paper to organize the flaps and cutout for the handle.

Figure II-C shows how the pattern cutout is bent into a hexagonal tube.