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Hammer handpiecs

Hello to Orchidians everywhere! I’m writing an article for the SNAG
news on Hammer Handpieces for the flex shaft. I’ve used Fordoms,
Badecos but would appreciate any feedback from the list.

What are favotite brands or styles?





I’d also appreciate any concise explanations of how these critters
work internaly. I’ve contacted Foredom but they are slow in
responding. Thanks in advance… Andy Cooperman

Hi Andy . . . being an ignorant twit when it comes to “hammer
handpieces” and being a member of SNAG, it would be nice to know
exactly how and what for these things are used. I keep hearing about
them. I fabricate, make my own bezels from 26 or 28 Gauge fine
silver. I haven’t a clue how I could use this kind of handpiece.
Thanks for any

Hammer handpieces!  boy I bet this produces an array of replies.
Personally I have used the foredom brand for 25 years and here are
my answers to your questrions. 

Criticisms: The hand piece with the duplex spring tends to kink and
break the spring when used at too steep an angle or too high a speed.
If used for extended periods the hand piece tends to heat up.

Problems. overheating and binding of duplex spring

Modifications. I don’t use the hand piece with the duplex spring.

Availability: It is a foredom and everyone carries and repairs them
or ships them back to foredom or you can contact foredom direct

Comments: I keep the old worn out had pieces for parts in an
emergency and usually return them to foredom for repair when it is
convenient. Most of the parts are interchangeable between the foredom
models. Frank Goss


I bought a Badeco last year at SNAG. Originally I had intended to use
it for hammer texturing surfaces that would be difficult to get at any
other way [I make a lot of those], but so far I have only had time to
use it for stone setting. I have two problems:

  1. The documentation on the Badeco is terrible. Three paragraphs, poor
    diagrams. This is not enough for a potentially fussy [though very
    nifty] tool. I had only seen the thing used once, and had to
    trial-and-error my way along, always afraid that I would either
    injure the expensive little beastie or damage the piece I was using it
    on. So I am most interested to read your article, I really want more
    I especially want to know the whys and wherefores of
    adjusting the stroke speed and strength – how to do it, what kind of
    stroke you would want in a given situation, and so on.

  2. I was hammer setting a stone and the tip just bing fell out. This
    was only the third time I had used the tool, so that seemed quite
    peculiar. I looked at the tip and saw that the screw threads were
    completely stripped except for the last two rounds, the ones closest
    to the working end. No wonder it wasn’t going to stay in. But how did
    this happen? This was the tip it came with, and I hadn’t taken it in
    or out myself, or adjusted it in any way. I looked at the
    "instructions" [ha!] and found only a remark about not tightening the
    tip too much or it would damage the threads. What’s going on inside
    this thing? The tip did not seem too tight to me [especially not when
    it fell out onto my lap… :slight_smile: ]. Now I am worried. How do I tell if it
    is tight enough? I bought a number of blank tips to shape, harden, and
    temper myself for texturing purposes, and I don’t want to be killing
    them off after taking the time to make them perfect for a particular
    job. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Anne Hollerbach

it would be nice to know exactly how and what for these things are
used.  I keep hearing about them.  I fabricate, make my own bezels
from 26 or 28 Gauge fine silver.  I haven't a clue how I could use
this kind of handpiece. 

G’day ‘Fishbre’ ; You can use the hammer handpiece for riveting, and
for setting. Having pressed the bezel or claws close to the the
stone, you will know that it is difficult to get that final actual
slight pressure of bezel or claw to hold the stone firmly. A small
hammer used gently will do this, but a little mechanical hammer with
it’s many strokes a second makes setting easier. However, I do have
to admit that on occasion I have returned to my little (home made)
highly polished hammer or even a hammer and punch on a very difficult
setting. For instance on the bezel setting on corners of a square or
rectangular stone. Used with a light stroke, a hammer handpiece can
also be used for certain types of burnishing. I don’t believe that a
hammer handpiece is essential, but think it is at times a very useful
tool to have. Cheers John Burgess

I have one of the foredom hammer hand pieces and have found that with
extensive use the handle can get too hot to hold. That to me would
be a suitable area for improvement. Other than that it works well
for light guage bezels and such but is not powerful enough to really
push a heavy gauge one. Al. Sleeper

Al. I had the same over heating with my hammer until I put it on a
foredom motor with a 3:1 reduction gear. The increased torque and the
decreased RPM seem to help the problem. Frank Goss

All, I have been using a fordom hammer handpiece for seven years at my
bench and it has worked great.I work full time and use it almost every
day It looks like a truck ran over it.I have had to take it apart a
couple of times and fix the spring just a minor tightening.It also has
the flex connection which I would recommend.I have used it for hammer
setting channel set stones,bezel set stones,prong set occaisionally
and burnishing pits in castings and solder joints also riveting and
hinge pins and texturing.I grind the tip to fit the job making sure
not to over heat it.Regards J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio Where tonight
the coyotes ARE howlin and our dogs are talkin back!

   it would be nice to know exactly how and what for these things
are used.  I keep hearing about them.  I fabricate, make my own
bezels from 26 or 28 Gauge fine silver.  I haven't a clue how I
could use this kind of handpiece. 

If you’re just doing fine silver bezels a hammer handpiece probably
won’t be much use, fine silver is too soft and you really only need a
hand burnisher for that. Once you get into gold though, or do heavy
bezels in sterling then you’ll probably be glad to have one. You can
actually make an inexpensive hammer handpiece for very little that
works quite well out of a Dremel electric engraver. Basically its a
hammer action with an adjustable impact dial. All you do is unscrew
the setsccrew that holds the carbide tip in and make your own setting
tip out of 1/8 inch brass rod. Even this thing is overkill for fine
silver bezels. I bought the Badeco hammer handpiece and yep the
documentation on it sucks. I’ve not been able to find any real
documentation of hammer handpiece use in any book, I wish Foredom or
someone would make a short video showing its use. I use mine as the
last part of 14kt gold bezel setting as this stuff is hard as heck to
burnish over by hand. I push the bezels in and use the hammer as the
last step forcing the top of bezel down almost straight down til its
tight against the stone; I’m not real sure if this is even the correct
way but it seems to work but with lots of cleanup afterwards. The
handpiece is also really good for riveting which I use it for alot.
The Badeco has gotten really expensive but I’m told by those who do
heavy production work that it outlasts the Foredom substantially.
Maybe some of you pro-hammer handpiece users could explain in detail
how you do bezels and prongs with these, somewhere I have an email
from Peter Rowe on this but I’d like to hear others experience as
well. Dave

J. Morley, Sounds like a heaven sent hammer, you neglected to say
what brand or type is was! Could you ,between the howlin animals, let
us know? Thomas Blair.

Hi Gang,

  I had the same over heating with my hammer until I put it on a
foredom motor with a 3:1 reduction gear. The increased torque and
the decreased RPM seem to help the problem.

Frank’s made a very important point. If you read the instructions
that came with your hammer handpiece, you’ll probably find the
something like the following. ‘DO NOT operate this tool at more than
5,000 rpm!’.

The flex shaft motors with the gear reduction slow the output down
to this range. Most flex motors will run up to about 15,000 - 20,000
rpm. Unless you’ve got a very educated toe & an experienced ear, it’s
very difficult to hold the race horse ouput down to draught horse
speed. Dave

Andy,There is a hammer handpiece that is different than any I’ve ever
used! I have had it for 15 years! It’s still working great! It is
different in that it comes off the flexshaft at right angle!The
advantage to this, is you can rest the connection to the shaft to the
hammer between your thumb and forefinger,grasping almost like a
pencil. Instead of contorting yourself to direct the working point.
You can also SEE what your are doing. It is quite a simple piece, and
has interchangeable tips. I use a torqued or geared down speed and it
has lots of punch.I don’t know what I’ll do if it dies! I did buy
two(on the second)so one may be used for parts(I also have a
"blueprint" diagram) BUT I cannot find the company (Austian Creations)
that made it! If anyone has a lead or idea how to search for this
Co.please advise. Happy Hammerin, Thomas Blair

Sorry,I thought I said fordom.It is a Duplex no 10D.I have used the
18D but like the 10D better.And like it has been said you can’t rap
them out to the floor or they will over heat.I have not had any
problems with the duplex spring. J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio No Coyotes just snow tonight.

Dear Dave,

I am responding to your post about using a hammer handpiece to push
down hard as heck 14k bezels onto stones. May I make a suggestion,
use 22k bezel the stuff is like butter. The 22k gold is just as easy
to work as fine silver bezel. The 22k must be fused, not soldered. A
good way to fuse it is to roll down a small amount of 22k bezel strip
(until it just like foil) then you use the 22k foil in clip form at
the seam and it will act similar to solder.

Happy Smithing.

Cathy Wheless

Thomas et al There is a German company that has these types of hammer
handpieces in their catalog: Peter Paul Schula i L�beck: their cat. #
5422: Fasserhammer-Winkelhandst�ck. They don’t write anything about
its proveniecence. Their price (in 1998) was German Mark 167. I know
that also Fischer in Pforzheim, Germany has a similar thing in their
catalogue, but somebody borrowed mine and forgot to deliver it back.,
so …

Kind regards
Niels L�vschal, Jyllinge, Denmark
phone (+45) 46 78 89 94