Friday, March 26, 2010

Helve Hammer

While waiting for the water to warm up in my electrocleaning bath, I decided to tinker with a hammer. I figured one which would have lots of mass and not a very long stroke would be most useful. I drilled a three-eights hole in a hammer head (that was harder to do than I thought it would be...I think it was case hardened) and rounded and put a mirror finish on the business end. A wooden wedge holds the thing in place as you can see. A bungee cord supplies the recovery.
I cut notches in the spring to ensure the thing doesn't slide back and forth. It seems to have seated nicely. It doesn't jar loose when I use it at any rate.
As you can see by the above picture, its not quite finished. Some duct tape, a temporary measure which could become permanent if I am not careful, and a couple of pieces of twine which go down to the motive power below.
And as you can see by the above picture, this is the motive size eight boot stepping on a board. I was a little surprised how well this worked...just shifting my weight forward and back on the board will drive the sledge down on the wooden anvil at a comfortable 60 times per minute. I could do this for an hour without any real effort, lots less effort than say, stair climbing! Compare to swinging the sledge with my arm! Oh my!
Now a better anvil is in order. I am thinking of a forty inch high block of maple from the tree we felled last year. A solid surface may make all the difference...this buck-shee method, although effective, is not really very stable and is of course, only for the proof of concept. And maybe something that looks a little better than the duct tape. I expect the twine to fail soonest, but then, I have been fooled before.
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