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Tightening loose head on Peddinghaus hammers?


#1

I have a Peddinghaus hammer with a loose head. I’ve seen wedges used
to to secure hammer heads, but I’m not familiar with the method used
in Peddinghaus. How do I manage to tighten the head up? Any thoughts
are greatly appreciated.

Paul Anderson


#2

Soak the “business” end in some automobile anti-freeze. The wood
fibers will absorb the fluid, swell, and seat the head tight once
again.


#3
Soak the "business" end in some automobile anti-freeze. The wood
fibers will absorb the fluid, swell, and seat the head tight once
again. 

Wouldn’t garden variety tap water do the same thing?

Paul Anderson


#4

Hello Paul,

You asked about tightening a loose hammer head. Thanks to a tip from
an Orchidian (don’t recall who), I’ve had great success with soaking
the head in antifreeze overnight - or until I remember to check it!
The wood seems to swell and tightens up the head. Wipe the antifreeze
off and go back to hammering.

Judy in Kansas, where those snow flurries seem to appear nearly
every day. At least there’s no accumulation.


#5

Will anything besides antifreeze work? With a house full of cats,
that’s not an option.

Laura SA
http://www.RosariesJewelrybyLaura.com


#6

Yes it would, but temporarily. The anti freeze is a little more
tanacious in its staying power, Part of the problem is the wood loses
moisture during the winter heating season, and, the fibers in the
handle will compress over time. It’ll be interesting to watch for
other solutions and fixes…


#7

Hi Paul:

Wouldn't garden variety tap water do the same thing? 

Yes, but the antifreeze won’t evaporate the way water will.
Personally, I use oil, but the process and outcome are the same:
find some non-evaporating fluid to use to swell the fibers, and away
you go.

Regards,
Brian.


#8

Paul,

Since carpentry was my first career I have a couple tips on
tightening loose hammer handles. First hold the hammer by the handle
with the head down and hit the end of the hammer handle a few good
raps with another hammer. This will usually tighten up the hammer
nicely. If the hammer handle is a split type and there is room for a
wooden wedge you can carve one out of whatever hardwood is
available. Wooden pallets are usually made from hardwoods and are a
cheap (free) source.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
rockymountainwonders.com


#9

I would suggest PEG (polyethylene glycol - carbowax). It is used for
lots of things. such as:

preparing green wood for turning.

preserving the Vasa.

these relate to the hammer handle problem.

soak the head handle in a strong water solution of the PEG.

jesse


#10

There is a product used in furniture making to tighten joints. It
goes by several names like “Chair tight”, “Tight” You can find it in
most all hardware stores and lumber yards. It makes wood swell as
much if not more than anti freeze.


#11
I would suggest PEG (polyethylene glycol - carbowax). It is used
for lots of things. 

Also used as a laxative, and easily purchased as Miralax.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#12
Will anything besides antifreeze work? With a house full of cats,
that's not an option. 

Grab your hammer by the handle, pointing head down at 45 degrees,
and strike a heel of the handle with wooden mallet. It may sound
counter-intuitive, but with every strike, the head will climb up the
handle wedging tighter and tighter.

After few strikes, when it is tight, drive the wedge deeper
anchoring head in place. Cover exposed wood with something to prevent
drying out. Nail polish will do.

The reason it is getting loose is because wood is drying out and
shrinks. It is a shame that company like Peddinghaus do not uses dry
wood for it’s handles.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#13
Will anything besides antifreeze work? With a house full of cats,
that's not an option. 

Probably the cats won’t chew on the hammers :slight_smile:

But call your local woodworkers supply, they’ll have something made
for tightening old dried-out wood joints. It might still be ethylene
glycol, I don’t know.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#14
Will anything besides antifreeze work? With a house full of cats,
that's not an option. 

Anti freeze for the water supply in RV (Propylene glycol) might work
without killing cats.

I’m lazy and cheap, I drill a little pilot hole next to the wedge
and a wood screw will usually do the trick, drastic measures call for
two screws.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#15
Yes, but the antifreeze won't evaporate the way water will.
Personally, I use oil, but the process and outcome are the same:
find some non-evaporating fluid to use to swell the fibers, and
away you go. 

My recollection from the past is that wood grain which has been
crushed, after soaking will swell to it’s original size. It will
remain so even after trying. I saw this on woodwright’s workshop
once(a PBS television series that, IMO, is wonderful - no power
tools), they had a guest on who had apprenticed in Hungary. When
this man had apprenticed, apprentices were paid very little. So they
would make things to sell to supplement their income. One of the
things this gentleman made were washbasins for new mothers to wash
their babies in. He demonstrated the technique. Pieces of wood that
had been joined were sealed by this method. He would take a piece of
wire, and using a hammer crush the grain in a line running from one
end of the wood to the other. Then, he would plane it down to be
almost the same depth as the part that had been crushed - it was, of
course, important that the crushed part not be cut away. When he wet
this area, it was quite remarkable. The crushed line rose to it’s
original height, and there was this raised line running the length
of the board. I’ve tried it myself, it’s very nifty to see.

Paul Anderson


#16

Hi Paul,

Tap water will produce RUST, that nasty little four letter word! I
know I was always taught to use antifreeze by my Dad & Grandfather,
too!

Cheers,
Teresa


#17

You’d be surprised what my cats like to “help” me with! Most of them
are so used to seeing me work that they couldn’t care less, but I’ve
got a couple who think they have to be in on everything, including
when I’m making noise with hammers and metal. I’ve got one who I
swear is a tool junkie, he continually carries off anything he can
get, and believe me dragging off a hammer isn’t a foreign sight in
our house. If a tool comes up missing, I usually look in his hiding
places first and most of the time it’s there.

Laura SA
http://www.rosariesjewelrybylaura.com