Introduction: Make a Post Apocalyptic Chipping Hammer

About: I am a 18 year old engineering student who dabbles in woodworking, welding and occasional chainsaw carving.

Welding is one of those skills that is incredibly satisfying once you learn it. Once you can do it, you are no longer limited to prefabricated parts and fasteners and can make custom creations and parts yourself. A crucial step often overlooked by many is cleaning your welds off and taking off the slag. Most people if they do weld, will often use stick welding or flux core welding because those are the most affordable methods and if your like me, your budget will constrict you to welding on rusty, gunky, not so pretty metals to build your projects. As a result of those two, your gonna have a TON of slag and having a decent chipping hammer makes a big difference.

I have seen chipping hammers with wire brushes, but they are hard to find and are kinda pricey. So, since I had some scrap and a broken wire brush lying around, I decided to make a proper chipping hammer out of the materials I had. With this project, you will have a multi function tool that not only can take off slag, but also has a wire brush which is ideal for scrubbing metal down before and after welding. Let's get started!


- Railroad spike

- Rebar

- 1/8th inch mild steel plate

- 6011/6013 welding electrodes

- Old wire brush

- Angle grinder

- Arc welder

- Drill

- File (optional)

- Screw

- Impact driver (optional)

Step 1: Safety

Safety is 100% crucial when building projects. This instructable uses dangerous power tools and uses welding which can be dangerous to your health. Always wear the appropriate safety gear for the job and have a healthy respect for the tools and dangers associated with welding and fabricating. Wear a proper welding helmet, welding gloves and most importantly, safety goggles and hearing protection when doing this project. I am not liable for any accidents, injuries, property damage or death as a result of you attempting this project

Step 2: Tools/Materials

This project doesn't use too many tools. Your gonna want something to measure with, an angle grinder, sharpie, drill/impact driver and a welder. I decided to use a file to take down the rough edges and clean down the welds because that way I will use less angle grinder discs (which can get expensive).

For materials, Your gonna need a railroad spike, rebar, a screw, a wire brush and some 1/8th inch thick mild steel plate. The thickness doesn't matter too much, but make sure its thick enough that the welder won't burn through the plate. I took a broken wire brush and cute the broken part off with the grinder. The length of the rebar will depend on how big your hands are. You will need to lay out the parts and see which length is most comfortable for you.

Step 3: Measuring and Cutting Mild Steel

Take the mild steel plate and mark out 2 separate squares which are 1 inch x 3/4 inch with the sharpie. Then, fasten the plate into the jaws of a vice or clamp it down and cut them out with an angle grinder. Be sure to cut straight and on the outside of the lines. I also recommend finding the center of one of the squares by drawing lines diagonally across. This will be used as a reference for drilling later on.

Step 4: Grind and Weld It Together

I positioned the two mild steel squares so that the brush would fit in between them and they would act as holders. I tacked them in place along the rebar shaft. After that, I tacked and welded the railroad spike ontop, inline with the squares. Please pardon my horrible welding skills, I am by no means a good welder, but a grinder and paint sure makes me the welder I ain't!

Step 5: Drill and Drive Screw

Next, I took the center point of the bottom square tab and drilled a hole through with a cordless drill. I then put the wire brush in between the tabs and drilled into the plastic body of the wire brush. I used an impact driver to drive a screw through to retain the brush.

Step 6: Start Chipping!

Voila! You have just made a useful, multi function tool out of scrap metal. Not only can you chip slag, but you also can use the blunt end of the hammer as a striking surface to hit things with, and you can use the wire brush as well to clean metal. Thanks for reading and happy welding!

Metalworking Contest

Participated in the
Metalworking Contest