Sunday, July 1, 2018

Who would have thought - 36 hammers!!!!

Fiona commented that I seemed to have quite a few hammers in the pile in my hammer 'storage area' (aka on the bench beside the drill press).

On that basis I thought it was time to sort the hammers out and get rid of any that I was not using.

As it turned out there were 39 hammers in the pile and only three of them were not being used. When I started doing metal work I started with 5-6 hammers; and have built the tools up over time as trips to Japan and jobs dictated I 'needed' other hammers.

The following show the various groups of hammers and the captions indicate their use.

©2018 Barry Smith - Solid pure soft copper hammers used for stamping and tasks that required strength but little marking on the metal. The bottom hammer is a great weight for stamping words on leaf words and peace on peace leaves.
©2018 Barry Smith - Plastic, nylon and rubber hammers for fold forming and metal work where one needs a softer touch - the four hammers on the left get lots of work.
©2018 Barry Smith - Yikes - heavy duty hammers for blacksmithing type jobs like making the rods for Bending sculptures. The orange hammer gets a good workout when I want to stamp images such as the peace symbol on harder metal.
©2018 Barry Smith - Ball-peen hammers used in the main for sinking bowls - the hammer on the right was one of my first hammers and still is a favourite.
©2018 Barry Smith - Tungsten tipped and edged hammers for working with stone
©2018 Barry Smith - Planishing hammers for giving a smoother surface or a facetted surface to the outside of bowls and other metal work. The red hammer second from the top is my favourite planishing hammer - it is a panel working hammer.
©2018 Barry Smith - Riveting hammers - but second hammer from the right is also used in making leaf forms and is one of my favourite go to hammers. The hammer on the extreme right is my favourite when setting tiny rivets.
©2018 Barry Smith - Wood hammers and tools - usually used in sinking and forming larger vessels - obviously the wooden hammer second from the right is my favourite.
©2018 Barry Smith - Raising hammers- my bread and butter hammers - used a lot in making bowls, vessels  and leaves - size and weight of hammer depends on the size of the task and the softness or hardness of the metal. The hammer on the extreme left and third from the left are my go to raising hammers; the third from the left is often used in leaf making as well; and second from the right is used for making large copper leaves.
And the good news is that the hammer storage area is clean and tidy for a short period of time.


  1. Barry - such evocative names: ball peen, planishing, raising, riveting ... and equally evocative forms. Your spare prose is full to the brim with the purpose for which each is loved and needed. But last is best as I chuckled over the "area is clean and tidy for a short period of time." Too true, too true!

  2. feeling the tiniest twinge of tool envy... ;) a very impressive collection of wonderful tools of the trade, Barry. Now I'm wondering which three didn't make the cut.

  3. Who would have thought there could be so many hammers, and a use for each? Tools are truly enchanting. Good luck with the neatness.

  4. Hi LA, S (R) and R&S - thanks for taking the time to check out the post and collection of hammers. I guess as artists all tend to build up tools of our trades. LA - I had to smile re your comment about names - again names of the trade one picks up along the way. Thanks for your thoughts about my captions - I don't think the pile will be tidy for long. The three that did not make it: a rawhide hammer that is now over in the letterpress studio; another wooden mallet with two different sized ends to be given away; and a small tacking hammer that has soft metal and can't handle the job of metal raising - will be given away for tacking. R&S - thanks for the neatness well wishing. All - peace. B

  5. Excellent tools are the source of good works.

    Great photographing.

    I wish You all the best.
    Greeting and hug.

    From Japan, ruma ❃


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.