How to Fix a Hammer Head with Dents

Helen Driggs

You know tools rule when . . .

You feel the way our guest editor Helen Driggs does if her jewelry hammers are used for (gasp!) anything but jewelry. Has someone abused your tools for home repair? Listen up as our managing editor of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist tells you how to smooth out a damaged hammerhead and avoid divorce at the same time. –LR, Beading Daily editor

Dents can be undone
Suppose your unthinking significant other (SO) used your planishing hammer to drive a finishing nail into the trim and damaged its surface. After you come to your senses, resist the urge to commit homicide and install a lock on the studio door, you’ll find it’s possible to remove scratches, dings, and sharp edges from any hammer face by following these directions.

1: Trace the contour of the hammerhead for reference on a piece of paper. Make a tracing of both axes of the curve. Take measurements with a caliper if you desire total control over replicating the hammer face prior to the ding.
2: File down to the deepest depth of the offending mark with a #3 or #2 hand file. Preserve the contour of the hammer face prior to the ding by comparing it to the tracings and measurements you made.
3: When the mark is filed down and the face profile of the hammer is to your liking, proceed through several grades of sandpaper from coarse to fine until the steel is absolutely smooth and scratch free.
  4: Buff the hammerhead on a polishing arbor with Fabulustre compound until it is polished to a mirror finish. Remove excess compound with a lint-free cloth. Hide the hammer, so no one will ever use it for home repair again.

You're only as good as your tools
And for shining examples of how the right tools help you be the best artist you can be, wait until you see Kate McKinnon's forthcoming book Sculptural Metal Clay. You can preorder it here.

Liver of Sulphur

Free How-to!
Learn how to give your silver or copper a nice patina using liver of sulphur. In this how-to by the author of Sculptural Metal Clay, get all the facts about supplies, safety and tips for success in adding the highly desirable oxidized color to your metal jewelry.

How do you keep your tools in good shape and out of harm's way? How do you keep your cool if you find your jewelry pliers being used to fix the toaster? Share your tales here on Beading Daily

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About Leslie

Leslie Rogalski, born and bred in Philadelphia, holds a degree in illustration and design from the University of the Arts, and has been “making stuff” since childhood. She was editor in chief of Step by Step Beads before becoming editor of Beading Daily in 2009, and is currently busy making her own designs, teaching, making videos, and writing. She's contributed original designs to Step by Step Beads, Beadwork, Creative Jewelry, and many Interweave books including 101 Wire Earrings and Chain Style. A teacher at many Bead Fest shows, she's a featured presenter on the PBS TV series Beads, Baubles and Jewels. Her lessons, called DoodleBeads©, were first created as videos for Beading Daily, and are a method of drawing thread paths that makes learning beadstitching easy. DoodleBeads is available on DVD. Leslie is known for playing with different materials, though seed beads remain top of her list. Prior to all this Leslie was a freelance writer, illustrator, and sold her original art clothing at national craft shows. She loves all things beady, making iMovies, tap dancing, her wonderful husband, illustrator, book designer, and owner of Eyewash Design, Mike Rogalski, and especiallybeing a stage mother to her Broadway-bound daughter.

3 thoughts on “How to Fix a Hammer Head with Dents

  1. The projects in Kate’s book are GORGEOUS. Makes me want to put down my needle and thread and roll out some metal clay, no kidding! The designs are so modern and interesting. I drink in every page.

  2. Leslie,
    What a timely post! Any help on how to TIGHTEN a loose planishing hammerhead? Mine has begun to wiggle, so sometimes it turns causing unwanted dings from the edge. Can you give me tips what to do?

  3. I work best in controlled chaos. To my husband it’s just CHAOS. He won’t even come into my studio. He stands at the door to talk to me. So my tools are SAFE!