Make a (Working!) Steampunk Hammer From Reclaimed Nails




About: i am an artist and musician. i make things of use out of things that no longer have use. i think the hip term is "upcycling." i post a lot of inspirational and entertainment videos on oc...

I jokingly call my large jar of bent, reclaimed nails my "retirement fund." Sometimes I dip into the bank to make stuff, like this ironic hammer.

I made it for a local art exhibit and it came out better than I expected, so I thought I'd share. Watch the video and read along ;-)

Step 1: Sort, Bend and Weld!

I have many types, shapes and sizes of nails and i basically just welded them together. First I made the basic shapes then I filled them in with various nails. Sometimes I would bend them or snip them to fit and look the way I wanted. For structure, I was thinking "OSB" (oriented strand board) and changing the direction of the nails, avoiding patterns, to make it strong.

The head i made from all the same square-cut nails, to make it more solid.

Step 2: Use It to Make a Display

Once I had what looked and felt like a hammer, I decided to put it to the test. I used some reclaimed lath to create a square backboard to mount the hammer. I expected the hammer to maybe nail one or two nails in then I'd switch to a regular hammer, but the darn thing actually worked well enough to make its whole backboard. Watch the video! You can see me drive every nail!

And that's about it. The hammer became a trophy in a YouTube upcycling challenge. A lucky winner (Doc Jared Hildabrandt) is now the proud owner.

Be good,




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    9 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Hang the art in your house. Use the wall space in your shop for peg boards or other storage options. Storage space is your friend.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    ?? I hung it for the video. After spending a couple months in an art gallery I gave it away as a trophy in an online upcycling contest, where I believe the winner hung it proudly in his shop! My workshop isn't only utilitarian, it is also a creative space designed for inspiration and accessibility :) I have a whole section where I hang gifts, trophies, kid projects, successes and failures to keep me inspired by the awesomeness of others and striving to do more and better. Thanks for checking this out!


    Reply 2 years ago

    hahaha! the best? really? thank you!


    Reply 2 years ago

    I can't possiby think of a better way to reuse nails... :)