Author Topic: lead hammer build  (Read 3935 times)

Offline Andrew Wildman

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lead hammer build
« on: February 27, 2016, 03:41:33 PM »
Whilst perusing the contents of the local autojumble I was inspired to build a lead hammer.  Theses seem to be very hard to find for a sensible price so I thought I would have a go building one.  Probably this will be a fairly quick build.

I purchased by donor hammer for the princely sum of 50p


I cleaned it up and cut down the head.  this will form the handle for the hammer.


I am planning to make a plaster mould to cast the lead.  I don't see why this wont work (as long as the mould is fully dried out) but I have never done it before so we will see.  This is the set up for making the plaster mould.  I am using a rubber mallet as a pattern.  I will cast the lower half of the plaster mould, let it dry, sandwich a layer of cling film and the cast the top half.  The mallet can then be removed.

I can then peel off the cling film, tie the two halves of the mould together and cut a riser in the cast.  The handle can be sandwiched in the mould and the lead poured.  This is the set up to cast the mould.


Offline PK

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Re: lead hammer build
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2016, 06:24:56 PM »
Not sure about lead. But you have to do more than just let the plaster dry if you use aluminium. But al melts at double the temp of lead....
It'll be interesting to see how you go..

Offline Pete49

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Re: lead hammer build
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2016, 08:55:21 PM »
I'll be watching  :clap: Just be sure its completely dry or it won't go well for you. Like aluminium it will splatter on contact with water, not as badly but still burn you badly.
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it

Offline raynerd

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Re: lead hammer build
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2016, 03:42:59 AM »
Great post... Interesting idea and something I've thought about doing!
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Offline Andrew Wildman

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Re: lead hammer build
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 05:18:26 PM »
So I completed the mould, decided it was too big and re did it with a smaller pattern.  I baked the plaster cast in the oven for a couple of hours and also pre heated it with the torch before the pour to dry it out but it still steamed when I put the lead in.

The hammer came out ok - well it was hammer shaped, but it wont win any prizes for quality casting.

I had to smash the mould to get it apart, however here are the mould halves:


I may re cast it when the hammer gets bashed up a bit, but for the time being it will serve it's purpose!  Here are a few lessons I learned:
-The mould needs to be really dry - If I will do it gain I will bake it for longer at a higher temp.
-The alignment of the two halves needs to be really positive.  Even with the little cast in 'pins' it wandered slightly
-I should have tied the two halves together.  I just relied on a few lumps of steel stock to hold it in place but the top half did wander slightly during the pour.

Offline PK

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Re: lead hammer build
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2016, 05:34:08 PM »
I reckon that's a good result! In my (badly failed) investment casting attempts I read that you need to fire  the plaster for an hour for each cm of thickness. Obviously it's not quite so critical for lead.

Given these things tend to get used and recast, perhaps fabricating a simple steel mould is the go?


Offline krv3000

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Re: lead hammer build
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2016, 05:43:13 PM »
a job well dun

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: lead hammer build
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2016, 12:06:32 AM »
Nice one.

I got mine from flea market. Used it yesterday. I friend called toltd that he kissed a rock with propellor. The screw was made out of stanless steel and from all soft hammers lead hammer turned out to be right hammer and a wood block played the part of soft anvil.

You'll need it.

Pekka

Offline vtsteam

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Re: lead hammer build
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2016, 10:09:47 AM »
Back in my early 70's naval architectural days I cast a dozen "ducks", or spline weights out of lead in a couple of ordinary plaster of Paris molds. The molds were cured for a week first (which may be the missing element here) before baking in the oven. I don't remember them steaming at all despite being unofficial non-investment, and the castings of about 3-4 lbs each came out well detailed. The molds were re-used an average of 6 times ea., so I'm sure it can be done.

Lead casts at about half the temperature of aluminum, and can be melted, as I did, on a camp stove outdoors. Fumes are dangerous, and lead is a cumulative poison in the body, of course, and this should only be done outside, and with intelligent precautions against inhalation and burns.

Vaseline, grease, butter, lard, etc all work fine as release agents for plaster mold cast over an existing part, or a carved wooden plug or pattern (as I used for my "ducks") -- as long as draft is maintained. And the results will look a lot better with a grease than cling wrap. Just some tips for next time.

I think the use of an old cheap sawed off hammer was very clever, and I'm sure you could clean up that head if you wanted. Or actually just re-melt it and cast anew for a better look, if important.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline Andrew Wildman

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Re: lead hammer build
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2016, 04:35:05 AM »
Thanks for the feed back.  I have used this a surprising  amount but it soon gets marred up and mushroomed over.it makes worrying about the casting finish seem a bit pointless! It makes sense to have a mould that can be easily reused.

Offline howsitwork?

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Re: lead hammer build
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2016, 05:45:37 PM »
How about a bit of old copper pipe sealed at one end and fill it with lead then cut back the copper a bit? That way less mushrooming as lead is supported? Going to try it out and will let you know. Just need to make sure SWMBO is "out" for the afternoon.

Offline vtsteam

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Re: lead hammer build
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2016, 05:53:58 PM »
Don't know if this would be of interest, but if you hold a bolt's threads above a candle flame and get it covered in  black soot, you can cast it into the front face of the hammer, and when it cools, it should unscrew. Then you could use a flathead bolt of the same dia, and pitch to fasten on a disk with a countersunk hole of any material you want for a hammer face. For a soft face, maybe brass, or steel if harder is needed. It would be replaceable, too.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline howsitwork?

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Re: lead hammer build
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2016, 06:24:01 PM »
thanks for that one,might try it to make some faces for the Thor hammer shaft !

PS Not the one that summons lightening etc... :)