Introduction: 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!!