Introduction: Pallet Handle Hammer Restoration

Picture of Pallet Handle Hammer Restoration

I love instructables! I think one of the best parts of this site is the inspiration that it gives me to create and dream up new projects. This is one of those projects... So I saw the tool contest and I knew that I wanted to do something. I didn't really have any time to create my own tool because my wife and I had a baby girl on March 18th, so I don't have a lot of free time.

Anyway, I went looking for a tool to restore when it hit me. I have this favorite kind of hammer. I use this one brand and style for everything except framing up walls. So when i brake one I just go out and get another one just like it. I save the broken heads because I can't stand to throw things away. I never thought about fixing it until this awesome contest.

Well as usual i did things a little different. I used pallet boards for the handle and powder coated the head. I really love how it turned out and I hope that you like it too. Enjoy

Step 1: Clean Up the Head

Picture of Clean Up the Head

This is a master force 16 oz straight claw hammer. It is a super versatile hammer and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a good all around hammer. Now don't get me wrong, it's not a stiletto but for $12 you can't go wrong.

I broke this particular hammer fairly soon after I got it while building a goat barn. It wasn't the hammers fault, I was pretty rough on it. Anyway the head was in pretty good shape I just needed to clean it up a bit. I went to my bench grinder to clean up all the rust. It doesn't take long to find clean steel. There was some powder coat which was a little harder to get off but with a little presence I got it. There were some nooks and crannies that I had to use an angle grinder with a wire bush to clean up, but when I finished it sparkled like new!

Step 2: Powder Coat

Picture of Powder Coat

Sorry I was so excited to do my fist powder coating that if forgot to take alto of pics. I wanted to make the hammer look kind of funky so I bought some lime green powder coat from Eastwood co.

I've had a powder coater for a while but I've never used it until now. I wanted the head to be two toned so I taped off the part that I didn't want to be green. There is two ways to do this. You can buy the high temp tape so you can cook it with the powder or you can just use painters tape and take it off before you put it in the oven. That's what I did because I didn't want to buy expensive tape.

I am not expert on powder coating because this was my first attempt but there are plenty of good instructables on the subject. I throughly coated the head with powder and after disconnecting it from the power, carefully removed the tape. The great thing about powder coating is if there is powder somewhere that you don't want it you can just brush it off.

After you get the head ready you need to bake it in an oven. You want to make sure that you don't use a oven that you use for food. The process gives off some fumes that you don't want to mix with your food. I baked it at 400 degrees for about 25 mins. Let it cool slowly and you have a beautiful hammer head!

Step 3: Glue Up Pallets

Picture of Glue Up Pallets

The first step when working with pallets is always take out the nails. I use a small punch to drive the nails out and then finish by pulling with a hammer.

I used two different boards so there would be some contrast in the handle. Run both boards through the planer so all sides are smooth. This is important so you have a seamless look when you glue the boards together. Glue and clamp the boards and let smith over night.

Step 4: Shape Those Pallets

Picture of Shape Those Pallets

I drew out a rough sketch and cut it out with a jig saw. It doesn't have to be perfect because you can fix any mistakes with your sander. The first thing I started with after the handle was cut out was the head. The hammer head had a oval slot so I traced the opening and went to the bench sander. This part is a lot of trial and error. I would take some off and then check the fit. I slid the head on as far as it would go then marked where it stopped so I knew where to sand. When you get it where you want it you can move to the handle.

To shape the handle I worked for a long time on the bench sander. I made sure that everything was flush and then started working on the contour. I took off the rough edges on the bench sander and then moved on to a palm sander to finish it off.

When you have the desired shape. Hand sand from 80 to 320 grit.

Step 5: Secure the Head

Picture of Secure the Head

Cut two channels in the top of the handle to put the wedges in.

I made wedges with a piece of scrap steel. I cut them with an angle grinder and a cut off blade. Then I went to the bench grinder to sharpen the wedge.

You drive the wedges into the handle to keep the head on. Drive them in until the wood expands tight inside the hammer head. Cut off the excess and sand the top flush.

Step 6: Epoxy Finish and Enjoy

Picture of Epoxy Finish and Enjoy

Thanks to mikeasurus for this next step. After you have the top of the hammer head flush, Use a two part epoxy to seal the head. I mixed some up and worked it into all of the spaces on the top of the head. Let the epoxy dry for about 24 hours and then sand off the excess.

I used bees wax and orange oil furniture conditioner for the handle. It protects the wood and brings out some of the natural colors. And that's it folks... An awesome hammer restoration that you can be proud to hang from your tool belt.

Step 7: That's All Folks

Picture of That's All Folks

It's great to restore something rather than throw it out. It gives you a real sense of accomplishment when you can bring something back to life and make it look so good in the process.

I hope you enjoyed this instrutable and as always... Thank you so much for reading!!


Kinkhoss (author)2015-06-08

you must have access to some fancy pallets. all the ones around here are made of heartwood aka tissue paper

Nothing too fancy... Just plain old hardwood pallets. Sorry you can't find nice ones where you are. Thanks for the comment

rwinscot (author)2015-04-06

Love the green accent.

BruceE3 (author)2015-04-03

Very nice!

ClenseYourPallet (author)BruceE32015-04-05

Thank you

KirstieLynn (author)2015-04-03

Looks beautiful! It has way more character now than before! Nice ible too!

I think it stands out now compared to other hammers. Thank you for the comment

NathanSellers (author)2015-04-04

Awesome project. It looks great. I love that the handle isn't just a plain old blank. It seems much more like a work of art now. Hope you are having fun with your new baby.

That means a lot!! Thanks so much for the kind comment and our baby girl is doing excellent... More fun than i can explain

Corinbw (author)2015-03-28

no way... I had no idea that's how to make a handle for a hammer. Sooooo amazing. If I need to fix a hammer then now I will know how. And umm could you use some wood hardener to harden the wood for a handle or is it hard enough??

ClenseYourPallet (author)Corinbw2015-03-31

So far the Handel has been plenty strong. Pallets are generally made of hard wood so when working with them you find the right ones. The two outside pieces are oak and Im not sure what the middle was but it is nice and strong. Glad you liked it and thanks for the comment

Allons215 (author)2015-03-25

great job! I love to see broken items find new life. "Use it up, wear it out, make with do, or do without" as my grandmother used to say!

I love that saying!! If it's alright with you I would love to start using it! Thanks for the comment

I wish more people would embrace that saying!

Corinbw (author)Allons2152015-03-28

I too find that saying endearing

crank_girl (author)2015-03-28

Beautifully done.

NYCitySlicker (author)2015-03-26

Bad. ass.

My thought exactly... Glad you liked it and thanks for the comment

mikeasaurus (author)2015-03-26

That's a mighty fine looking hammer restoration you got there!

Thank you!! I gave you credit for the epoxy idea... It worked great! I hope I spelled your name right

Looks great. I love giving old tools new life.

If you post a picture as an "I made it" here I'll hook you up with a free Pro Membership.

Kevmaster007 (author)2015-03-25

This is brilliant. Using old materials to restore a hammer! Not only is it vintage looking, but the pallet wood is really nice looking all shined up. Vote from me!

Thank you so much. I love using reclaimed material. Waste not want not

wimprascal (author)2015-03-25

Its fascinating

Thank you!!

dirtspicy (author)2015-03-26

Its useful :)

It is very useful. I've been using it regularly for about two weeks now. No use having a good looking tool if it doesn't work

Switch and Lever (author)2015-03-25

I love the reusing things which other people see as junk, however I want to make one small caveat to your instructable. If you have a planer, and you're caring about the state your blades are in, don't run pallet wood through the planer. Even though you've taken out the nails that's wood that's been around god knows what and picked up who knows what along the line, and that includes sand and pebbles. Easy way to ruin a blade. If you have a thickness sander it would be more okay, sandpaper is a heck of a lot cheaper to replace.

bcavaciuti (author)2015-03-25

Awesome looking but its a real shame the wood you chose has that checking and knots, that's where it'll break I'm afraid! sad to waste the work but it looks great anyway!

I'm glad you like it! I think it looks pretty cool too. I'm not to worried knots on the handle. When I was laying out the design I made sure that they were not close to any of the stress points on the hammer. Also the handle is three pieces glued together so the other two will compensate for any weak points. Thanks for the comment

shizumadrive (author)2015-03-25

handle seems a little rough still maybe a resin coating would help that

Great idea!! Thanks for the comment

Stefano DV (author)2015-03-25

Nice job !

The Rambler (author)2015-03-25

Very nice!

zaphod07 (author)2015-03-25

another good use of a pallet. good job.

bigpig (author)2015-03-25

Nice job.

ClenseYourPallet (author)bigpig2015-03-25

Thank you!!

tomatoskins (author)2015-03-24

Does the powder coating process (heating and cooling) change any of the properties of the metal? For example hard vs. tough.

Like omnibot said, this temp and the time that it is I the oven will not change the properties. Powder coating is and easy and awesome way to give a durable scratch resistant finish to metal.

omnibot (author)tomatoskins2015-03-25

No, the temperature is to low to change the hardening of the steel.

crownarchery (author)2015-03-24

This is beautiful.

Thank you!!

seamster (author)2015-03-24

Beautifully done, sir!

I love the two-tone finish, and lime green was an excellent choice. Congrats on the new baby!

Thank you so much!! The girl took a lot longer to make than the hammer but she's worht it! Thanks for the comment

JuniorMint (author)2015-03-24

This is so cool. I make things with pallets all the time but never thought of this. Almost makes me look forward to breaking my framing hammer!

You should definitely give this one a try! It was an easy project and it looks really cool

OptimistSpencer (author)2015-03-24

awesome idea, and congratulations for being a new father!

Thank you... The hammer is cool but my little girl is way cooler!

servicemancba (author)2015-03-24

Nice job!!!!! i'll be waiting for more.

Thank you so much, it was a fun project

About This Instructable




Bio: My Grandpa got me into wood working when I was five years old. Ever since then I have been hooked. I love creating something out ... More »
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