Folks that make their own jewelry know the value of having tools. And you can never have too many hammers, especially when you are looking for custom shapes and hammer heads. But they can get expensive quickly - one off-the-shelf version starts at $75. With some InstaMorph, some hex bolts, and an inexpensive hammer, you can make your own for under $20!
Step 1: What You'll Need
As noted, you can create your own custom jewelry hammer with just a few supplies:
- A Hammer with interchangeable heads, such as this Quick Change Hammer from Harbor Freight
- Some InstaMorph
- Hex Bolts to fit the hammer - in this case, 5/16"-18 x 3/4" bolts
And you'll need some tools
- A hot plate or other source of heat
- A pot to hold your water and InstaMorph
- Some tongs, large pliers, or other means of retrieving the InstaMorph from the water
Step 2: Get the 'Morph Ready
There are some great detailed instructions on using InstaMorph from their website, located here. While you're there, check out the safety warnings and some other ways to heat the product, too!
Here's my quick-and-dirty version:
- Pour some water in your pot. The exact amount is not important.
- Place your pot on a heat source, and start heating the water. A "low" or "medium" setting on the hot plate was good. The goal is to get the water to 150 degrees, not boiling.
- Add the InstaMorph pellets. As an alternative, you can also add leftover bits of InstaMorph from previous projects (like we did here).
- After about 2 minutes, the pellets and other material will turn clear and stick together.
Step 3: Start Making the Head
To get started, remove the original heads that came with the hammer. You can discard them if you want, or just add them to your soon-to-be-large collection of interchangeable heads.
Find a bolt or screw that matches the threads on the hammer. This Pittsburgh hammer uses 5/16" threads. We added flat washers, too, just to keep things clean.
Thread the bolt into the hammer. Use the tongs to fish out a small amount of InstaMorph and mold this around the bolt to hold everything in place. Allow this small amount to cool completely (it will turn back to solid white).
Step 4: Make a Shape
Now for the fun part!
Use the tongs to retrieve some more InstaMorph. Add the blob to the bolt and start shaping it into the desired hammer head profile. You can add the InstaMorph in small amounts and build up the shape as desired.
Once the InstaMorph starts to cool, you can remove the head from the hammer to let it cool completely. This will also allow you to continue on to the next shape.
Step 5: Get Creative!
There's no limit to the shapes and sizes you can make - round, cone, wedge, curved, or more! The beauty of the InstaMorph is that it allows you to create the exact, custom profile for the type of jewelry work you will be doing.
If you find, over time, that the head profile starts to deform, the InstaMorph can easily be reheated and remolded back into the original shape. Of course, this also means that you can change the profile of the hammer head as needed, too!