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Thread: Hammer (handle) time

  1. #1

    Hammer (handle) time

    I've started to go on a hammer buying spree after Stan opened my eyes to the beauty of a nice gennou.
    I plan to buy a few heads and make handles for them.

    1. Any ideals on what to look for?
    Stan recommend strong, sheer resistent, dense, stable woods.
    I think that he and So also recommend something this some shock absorption.

    2. Any domestic recommendations?

    I've seen So recommend gumi and quince.
    Derek used Jarrah.
    Stan had a beautiful black persimmon one.
    On some japanophile websites, I've also seen hickory championed.

    I'd love to hear your recommendations and rationale.
    I have pear, osage orange, ebony, rosewood, oak, and maple.
    I'll maybe make one with osage orange--but it's whippy and transfers energy very efficiently (why it's favored as a Brazilian Rosewood substitute in guitarmaking circles).

    I was thinking of getting some quince?


    Anyways, I know that I'm being a bit crazy.

  2. #2
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    Of what you have mentioned I would likely try hickory.

    If you are buying a few heads, why not make handles of different woods for each head?

    I often do this for some of my chisels so I know which is which by the wood of the handle.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
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    After seeing Brian's ebony handled gennou, that's what I would choose. I also like rosewood. Both woods are very durable and beautiful.

  4. #4
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    I assume this is going to be a tappy tap type hammer - if so, use whatever you like from a visual appearance. If these are going to be hammers for serious pounding you should go hickory or ash.

  5. #5
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    Agreed,hickory or ash are the traditional choices because they have the best properties for a hammer handle. The grain should run vertically in the handle.

    If the hammer is for light tapping,you can use just about any hardwood. Osage orange would make a great handle.For hard or easy use. I wish I had a long piece to make a long bow.
    Last edited by george wilson; 03-15-2016 at 8:27 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Schweizer View Post
    After seeing Brian's ebony handled gennou, that's what I would choose. I also like rosewood. Both woods are very durable and beautiful.
    Brian, I meant to ask you who made your handles - I assume that you purchased the gennous from So? And that he supplied the handles as well?

    The reason I ask is that they are different from the curved handles of Stanley's and my gennous, which I consider to be more traditional ... yet So knows his oats, and if so, what did he say about the design to you?

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

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    I only make straight handles myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Brian, I meant to ask you who made your handles - I assume that you purchased the gennous from So? And that he supplied the handles as well?

    The reason I ask is that they are different from the curved handles of Stanley's and my gennous, which I consider to be more traditional ... yet So knows his oats, and if so, what did he say about the design to you?

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    I bought them from So and he supplied the handles as well. We didn't discuss the design of the handle really, I just picked the ones I liked.

    I bought the Hiroki from another vendor and he only supplied curved white oak handles, so I used that in that in instance.

    Both work well, I can use either all day without my hands feeling tired, and my hands would feel it right away if they were incorrect. For most handles I know within minutes if the design not working for me.

    So has curated his tool collection very well, so if I am on the fence about something I will generally just take the leap and see how it does.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  9. #9
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    Matt,
    I have a couple Gennou heads waiting for me at the P.O.. Apparently tried to deliver them yesterday, while I was cycling with my dogs, and needed a signature.

    I talked to Brian and he suggested Japan-Tool, which may be So? Brian suggested just buying handles with the heads. The only listed gennou with handles, have ebony, which may be why he got ebony. There was a caution on the site that ordering handles might delay the order for a good while. Apparently they are so backed up they are not able to answer emails so I could not get more information. I understand they have many more items that are not listed. Rather than trying to communicate with So?, I just ordered the heads.

    I have a block of Ash I got from an ash tree I took down several years ago. I plan to split some straight grained pieces from it later today. I have read that Ash absorbs more shock than Hickory. Which is why they use it for baseball bats, maybe a good thing maybe not, but it is what I have. I have many Hickory handled tools too though. Most of the hand tools I have from Sweden come with Swiss Ash handles, but I don't think they have hickory. I will have to finish the redesign of my shavehorse too.

    Thanks again for the help Brian.
    Last edited by Mike Holbrook; 03-15-2016 at 9:41 AM.

  10. #10
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    Anytime!

    Post up the result when you finish the handles.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  11. #11
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    I would buy a replacement handle. Vaughn has several listed on Amazon. I have bought them at hardware stores that sell wood working hand tools.

  12. #12
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    Replacement handles will work. But,I haven't seen any where the grain of the wood is oriented correctly. Mostly their grain is at about 45 degrees,or an assortment of odd angles.

  13. #13
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    I haven't re-handled a hammer in years. Maybe we used to get better stock. You used to be able to go to lumber/hardware yard and get things like hammer handles and such.

  14. #14
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    Was in an ACE Hardware store the other day, not only handles for sale, but if you needed the steel wedges, they had a tray of them, too.

    As for me..
    handle finished1.jpg
    Not sure if it is Oak, or Ash...

  15. #15
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    Yes,they sell handles these days,with RANDOM grain orientation. Old saying: If you want it done right,do it yourself.

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