I bought an old hammer for $2 from a nearby Restore Store with the goal to make it into a new hammer with a turned ash wood handle.
Step 1: Removing the Old Handle and Cleaning Up the Hammer Head.
The first thing I did was remove the old hammer head in the vice. Next I polished up the head with a wire brush on my drill.
Step 2: Preparing Ash Log for Turning.
I started with an ash log about 14" long and 4" in diameter. Next I split the log in two. Then I trimmed part of the edges on each side of the split log.
Step 3: Rough Turning the Ash Handle on a Lathe.
A center mark was made on each end of the ash block with a Sharpie and then center punched to be placed on the lathe. The ash block was rough turned down on the lathe to about 1.5".
Step 4: Turning the Ash Handle Down to Basic Shape.
The handle was marked where it would have high spots, low spots, the end of the handle, and the end for the head. The handle was then turned down to the desired diameters and rough sanded with about 100 grit sandpaper.
Step 5: Turning the Handle Into an Oval.
Each end of the ash handle is marked about 0.25" on each side of the center turn mark and center punched. This will allow the handle to be turned into an oval shape. The ash handle is mounted in the lathe with each end off centered. The handle wobbles when turned in the lathe but when cut with a lathe tool only one sided is cut. I make 2 real light passes with the with the lathe tool. Then the cut is side is rough sanded. Then the ash handle is moved to the other outside holes to complete the other side of the oval. It is cut and sanded just like the first side. Next I placed the handle back in the center holes and sanded the handle with rough sandpaper down to a fine sandpaper.
Step 6: Shaping the End for the Hammer Head.
The end of the handle is marked the width of the hole in the hammer head in preparation for sanding into a "rectangle" shape on the belt sander. It is sanded down until it will fit in the hammer head. Next the other end of the hammer handle is trimmed off and sanded on the belt sander.
Step 7: The Ash Handle Is Prepared for Mounting in the Hammer.
The end of the handle is marked to split for wedges. It split on the band saw. Next it is sprayed with a couple of coats of clear Ace enamel. When the finish is dried the handle is pounded into head. A wedge is make and pounded into the end of the handle in the hammer head to hold the handle on. The end is finished by sanding it smooth on the belt sander.
Step 8: Finished Handle and Hammer.
The hammer has now been rebuilt with a new turned ash handle. It should have many years of good use now.