Making a Plane Adjusting Hammer, Part 1

I’ve been collecting odds and ends to set up my metalworking lathe for woodturning.  It shouldn’t be a big deal, but then I should know better than to say that.  I had the design for a tool rest all planned out in my head. When I walked into the shop today I realized that the place where I was planning on mounting the tool rest was already at the centerline of the spindle…way too high.  Rats.

But while I was sweeping up the polishing debris I came across a piece of brass round bar stock.  I have all sorts of metal odds and ends laying around.   I’ve been wanting to make a little plane adjusting hammer, and lookie here I have a piece of brass in my hand.

I started out by cutting the stock into 3.75″ long pieces in the cold saw.  I wanted a finished length of 3.5″, plus a little extra to machine the ends square.

I cut up all the stock I had, then cleaned it and de-burred the ends.  Making multiples of a part seems to a some sort of hangover from the chopper business – if I’m making one I might as well make a bunch.  I’ll probably grow out of it eventually.

Then I programmed the mill to square one end, pause (so I could flip the part end-for-end) mill the other end square and machine a square hole in the middle.  The hole is .400″ wide and .750″ long with radiused corners.  I have a book on making wooden planes that shows making an adjusting hammer by just drilling a hole for the handle.  That would work too, this way there won’t be any chance of the head turning on the handle.

After milling the handle hole I chucked them up in my lathe, cut a small chamfer on the end and two decorative grooves.  Nothing terribly precise, just eyeball engineering.

The brass stock had a few dings from kicking around my shop for years, so I belt sanded it with an A65 3M Gatorback Trizact belt.  I love those belts, they cut great (on metal) and have a really uniform grit.  Huge timesavers when you’re making parts smooth and shiny.

Then I hit the on a 600 grit cork belt with green chromium rouge.  I wanted a fine satin finish, polished shows every fingerprint and nick.

So now I just need to make a handle.  Just one.  I’ll give the extra heads away or something.  Now to find a nice bit of wood to abuse into a handle.

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5 thoughts on “Making a Plane Adjusting Hammer, Part 1

  1. Frank

    Be glad to purchase one!

  2. Adam W

    They look really nice. A brass adjusting hammer is also on my list. I image an hard wood would work for a handle, since you won’t be swinging it like an ax (hopefully). Have you thought about adding wood to one end for tapping the heal of the plane like Bob Rozaieski did here:

  3. Can’t wait to see what the handle looks like.

  4. Fantastic! I love it.

  5. Nice looking. Interested in selling one? 🙂

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