Could you reccomend the proper grinding wheels, polishing wheels,
compounds to use?
When dressing the head of a hammer, it is important not the change
the hardness or temper of the hammer. This means that you should
not generate heat while refinishing the head. If you are using a
machine driven method of refinishing the head, heat will build
up. So the solution is a bucket of water that you can dip the head
into to prevent it from reaching the temperature where hardening and
tempering occur. IE the head should never get hot enough to sizzle
when put into the water. If you keep this in mind while finishing
the head back to where you want it, it will retain the original
hardness and temper, providing that you didn’t remove to much
Any tips for securing loose hammer heads?
This can be a problem. To secure a loose head, I would remove the
head from the handle, and recut the handle to fit the head. The
handle should fit with a tight fit without the wedges used for the
You should note that the head has two tapers in its bore. The long
taper should go to the handle, while the short taper is for the
wedge. In other words, there is an up and a down for a hammer head.
You need to make sure you have the head on correctly. If you are
the first to work on the head/handle fit problem, remember which way
the head came off. The manufacture probably did it right.
Now use a pocket knife and gently carve the handle to accept the
head. You might want to use a little color to help here. Use some
lipstick, rouge, something to give some color to the inside of the
head and push in the handle. Wiggle it a bit and then remove it.
Cut off anything that has the color on it. Be gentle, you only want
to remove the high spots, not dig new canyons. Once you have the
lower taper fitted to the handle, you can then go about securing the
head to the handle. Hopefully there will be a bit of the handle
protruding above the head at this point. Place the head on the
handle, and drive the handle into the head by striking the butt of
the handle with a leather mallet. Once the head is forced down on
the handle, you can then drive in a hardwood wedge to flare out the
handle to lock down the head. The hardwood wedge should be running
from the face to the opposite side of the head. Drive the wedge in
to the point that it starts to crumble at the top of the handle.
Take a fine saw and cut off everything that extends above the head.
Now put the head and handle in a bowl of water over night. Next
day, drive in two more wedges at 45 Degrees from the first, One
right handed, and the second left handed. The first wedge will
tighten up the handle to head along the length of the head. The
second two will tighten up the end play, making the final lock. Cut
and then sand off the final finish of the head and then apply some
Linseed oil to seal the head. You now have a head to handle fit
that will last until you break the handle, however long that takes.
You won’t wear it out.
One last point, the handle under the head should be small. You
want some spring here. Somewhat like a golf club. You never see a
golf club with a 1/2" pipe shaft. They always have a long taper to
the head and the smallest diameter at the head. The same applies to
your hammers. Let the wrist do the work and let the hammer head
translate the message.