I uncovered some abandoned sledge hammer heads in some dirt next to my garage. Someone must have broken the handles and just left them to get covered over. They are not antique or rare, but I thought I would use the excuse to make new handles for them. Most of the information about making handles on the web are about axes rather than specifically about sledges (like this one by Woods Roamer), but it is pretty much the same process.
The heads were rusty, so I soaked them in vinegar overnight and then scrubbed them with a wire brush. I punched the wood and metal wedges out of the sockets with a hammer and a fat old nail punch.
I still have some oak from my neighbour’s tree, so I used that for the handles. If they break later on I will replace them with hickory. I shaped the handles on the shavehorse with a drawknife and spokeshave.
The end was fitted to the head using a very similar method to my round tenons. The handle was cut a little over length and was trimmed after a dry fitting to be flush with the head. After cutting a notch at the end of the handle, I chiseled out a piece of oak to use as a wedge and used, along with the original steel wedge, to secure the handle to the head. This hammer will be better for driving wedges into logs than the maul I am currently using.
3 thoughts on “A new sledge hammer handle”
Nice articles – I’ve got a couple of heads that I rescued from my grandfather’s yard 12 years ago, I’ll have to do them now that you’ve told me how!
Cheers Andrew. It can be done in a few hours at most, which is nice.