Intro: DIY Thor's Hammer - Mjolnir
I really enjoy working with wood and I have recently become a fan of the various Marvel characters thanks to all of the movies in recent years. So I thought, how cool would it be to build the various Avengers weapons from wood? For me there was no better place to start than with Thor's hammer Mjolnir.
Step 1: Materials You'll Need
The dimensions of my Mjolnir hammer head are: 9"x5.5"x6.5" and the handle is 12". Total hammer length is 19.5". Everything for the project I bought at my local home improvement store...except the leather.
1 board of MDF - 11/16"x 5.5"x 8'
1 piece of scrap 1/4" thick you can make a 3.5" circle cut out of (I had some oak ply scrap)
1 dowel rod - 1 1/8"x15"
2 pvc end caps - 1"
2 strips of leather - 1" wide 55" long and 3/4" wide 12"-14" long
(this I bought from my local "major chain" hobby store. They sell bags of leather remnants for $5-$10)
3 screws - 2 tiny 3/8" Phillips head to hold the leather, you don't need them if you would rather glue the leather with some epoxy. One 2" phillips to attach the loop on the handle.
Sandable wood filler
Spray primer - I used rust oleum auto primer (gray)
Spray paint - I used rustoleum "forged hammer":)
Step 2: Tools You'll Need
-Miter saw (or any saw you have to cut MDF)
-Scroll or band saw (or jig saw or coping saw, something you can cut a circle with)
-Table saw (I can't think of a substitute I could use for this tool on this build to make the angled cuts on the hammer)
-Drill or drill press
-Rotory tool (or you can omit the markings on the hammer, or use paint)
-1 1/4" forstner bit (if you have hole saw bits, you can work with that too with an extra step I'll outline in the build step)
-Clamps, I like to use ratchet clamps but you can use whatever you might have to get by with clamping something 9"x6".
Step 3: Building the Hammer Head
The width of my hammer is 5.5" because that is how wide the MDF board is and the height is 6.5". The 11/16" thickness will take 9 pieces to get to 6.5" of height.
Cut 9 pieces of MDF 9" long. I made a little "stop block" set up on my miter saw to not only make this faster (no measuring between each cut), but to also ensure each cut is exactly the same. It won't hurt anything to be a little longer than planned on the entire hammer head, but its a total bummer if each cut is off here and there because of variations that can happen when you are making a bunch of successive cuts. If that happens, then you'll just have to sand a lot more later to even out the end surfaces.
Now you have a stack of 9" cuts that should come to the 5.5" x 6.5"x9" that make up a ( if ye be worthy) block of Asgaurdian goodness that needs to be glued together. If you do not have forstner bits for your drill or drill press, you can use hole saw bits, but you'll need to make the holes in the first few layers(starting from the handle side) before you glue this up in each layer one at a time. If you do have Forster bits, you can move forward with the glue up.
Spread glue evenly on each layer and clamp together keeping all sides even. After fully clamped, wipe off excess "glue squeeze" with a light-moderately moist towel and let dry overnight.
Step 4: Build/Shaping the Hammer Head
Once your block is dry and completely solid, it's time to make it look more like a hammer that is worthy. To start, the way I made angles along the sides and faces of the head was to run it through the table saw. All the angle cuts are 45 degrees. I made some general marks on the corners on the block to use as a guide before I set the distance of my fence to the blade of the table saw. I really just eye-balled how wide of an angled cut I wanted on the hammer head and then locked down the fence so each side cut was consistent.
I used a similar process for the "face" cuts of the hammer. You will have to re-adjust the fence for the face cuts.
Now it is time to apply the wood filler to the sides of the hammer to fill in the grooves from where the layers meet. This will give the hammer a more solid, clean look prior to the paint application. I used a fairly generous amount of the wood filler as it sands down pretty easily. Let dry as recommended.
Step 5: Making the Top Cap
This part of the hammer is fairly consistent through all of the versions of mjolnir, so I felt it was an aspect I could not omit. I had a drawing compass to use, but you can probably get by with anything that's about 3.5 to 3.75" (maybe a soup can) and trace it on your 1/4" scrap piece. I cut it out with a band saw, but you can use any tool you might have for making circular cuts (scroll saw, handheld jig saw, coping saw).
I chose to angle off the edge of the cap at roughly 45 degrees with a disk sander.
Then attach the cap with wood glue and allow to dry.
Step 6: Drilling the Hole
This was the most stressful part of the build for me. It was really important that I get the hole in the hammer head exactly centered and plum for the handle. This step will be fairly easy if you have a drill press and Forster bits. I chose a 1 1/4" bit for the 1 1/8" dowel to allow for the additional thickness of the leather I would be wrapping around the dowel. I don't exactly have a drill press, I have a light duty "drill stand" and a power drill mounted to it. It's similar to a drill press in the way that a Vespa is similar to a Harley. My stand has a tendency to move to the left or right when too much pressure is placed on the lever. I slowly drilled a hole appx 4 layers deep in to the head so that the handle has adequate depth for stability.
Step 7: Making the Handle
From a 1 1/8" dowel, cut appx 15" of length. I chose this diameter of dowel because I wanted a leather wrapped handle, if you are planning on doing a stain/paint treatment on the handle you may want to go with something a bit larger.
Dry fit the handle in to the head and check where your leather wrap will need to begin. To wrap the leather, I screwed a small 3/8" screw in to the leather and through the dowel. Since this part of the handle will be inside the hammer, the screw is not going to show. Continue to wrap the handle till you get to the end of the dowel and drive in the second 3/8" screw. Trim the excess leather so your wrap is flush with the bottom of the dowel. This side of the handle will be covered by the pvc end cap. Dry fit the handle to make sure the leather wrap is going to be tight enough. This step is important to do before you glue the handle to the head or the end cap to the handle.
Step 8: Making the End Cap and Collar for the Handle
I purchased two 1"PVC caps. One is for the end of the handle and the other is needed for when I cut down a ring of the cap to use as a collar that will cover the transition the handle makes in to the hammer head. I chose to sand down the end cap on the belt sander to give it a more contoured shape (as similar to the movie hammer as I could) and less like a PVC end cap. On the other cap I cut about 1/2" of length off the bottom to get the collar using a scroll saw, but a hack saw or any fine tooth saw will get it done. I wrapped some tape around the cap to serve as a guide to make a relatively straight cut.
To add a leather loop to the bottom of the handle I cut a slot on each side of the end cap the same size as the strip of leather I used. This part of the build also became difficult because I could not determine the best tool to use that would keep me from ruining the piece. I tried many things (oscillating tool, scroll saw, file), in the end I settled on the rotary tools cutting wheel. It was the most controlled manner I found to cut the slots, if I did not have a rotary tool, I would have settled on using a hack saw, box cutter and a file.
I found grinding the opening a little bigger made the fit over the leather wrapped handle easier to make and less destructive to the end cap (I broke my first end cap trying to "ease" it on with a rubber mallet.
Step 9: Prime
I set up a make shift paint booth to prime and paint the cap, collar and hammer head. I did 2 coats primer, a light 400 grit sand
Step 10: Engraving
I elected to only engrave the trinity mark on the side of the hammer. I am putting the "worthyness" quote on the cap as opposed to the side of the hammer because
1. I like the cleaner look
2. I don't trust myself to try and engrave that much on the hammer as this is my first attempt at engraving. I suppose if you went for it and messed it up, you add wood filler, let dry, sand, reprime and try again.
I printed a stencil from the internet, cut it out, traced it on the hammer, filled in the gaps by hand . Now you have a pattern to engrave off of the hammer.
Step 11: Paint
After I had everything primed and sanded, I applied two coats of paint.
Step 12: Attaching the Handle
From the previous step's dry fit steps, everything should be ready to glue up. However this would be the time to make one more dry fit and make sure the collar is positioned where it needs to be to meet the hammer. I then used a generous amount of glue/epoxy in the hole that was drilled in to hammer and placed the handle firmly in to place.