Finishing touches

Here’s what the hammer finally looks like . . . and I missed another photo-op. Remember the two sections of 1X3 that I didn’t use in the first glue up? I used them instead to provide  a bit more depth to the head, cover over the end of the axe handle, and provide a bit more strength by being glued across the seam down the middle of the head. Just cut them to length, apply glue, and clamp them down. I did one at a time so that I could use one to act as a gluing guide for the next.Remember to get rid of the squeeze out before it dries so that the next piece will butt snugly up against the first.

raw_product

Easier to see in this shot is the rounding I did on corners. There’s nothing fancy here, just mark an arc using the bottom of a glass at each corner of the face and use the rasp to round the corners. You’ll also want to use a bit of sandpaper to round over all the sharp edges. I wanted to add a bit of strength to the striking surface – I was concerned about the wood splitting along the grain – so I used painters blue tape to mask off the front of the hammer and applied a coat of marine epoxy using a foam brush. I removed the blue tape once the epoxy was partially cured.

first_coat_epoxy

Since I’m a “belt and suspenders” sort of guy and had epoxy left I re-taped the head and applied a second heavy coat of the epoxy. The foam brush leaves a nice textured surface.

second_coat_epoxy

I gave the head a light sanding (used a sanding block for this), wiped the dust off and used painters blue tape and newspaper to mask off the handle. I sprayed on two coats of gray primer, sanding between coats. Lowes carries truck bed paint in a spray can which gives a flat black slightly crinkled finish. Two coats completely covered the primer.

final_hammer

Here’s the finished hammer next to a 2 liter bottle. The black hammer head contrasts nicely with the hickory handle and looks very dramatic in performance.

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