Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tools of our Trade - Hammers.

My favourite part of restoration - filling the shed with tools! 

What are you going to require?  Does it need to be expensive?  Is there a limit to how many toold you need?

To start with - yes you'll certainly need to be armed with more than a wooden spoon and a Swiss army knife.  The better equipped your toolbox - the easier life is going to be.

Let's start with the basics.

That's the hammer.  
The toolbox favourite!  Used correctly - one of the most useful tools in the inventory.  However, when used by an idiot - and you will see evidence of this during a restoration - the resulting carnage can end up haunting you forever more.  

Pick a 2lb ball pein hammer to start with.  Ideal for most jobs and, as a back-up if the work gets heavier, a small lump or club hammer should get you through most situations.

Sometimes, a steel hammer can be too harsh.  For instance, you don't want to mushroom-over a shaft or spindle.  In these cases, the copper mallet is ideal.  The copper bears the brunt of the force, leaving the harder steel part in perfect shape.  The weight of it still enables you to shift seized components but without the damage a steel hammer can do.

Then comes the rubber mallet.  Laugh you may, but if you want the cooling fins on a stubborn cylinder head or barrel to stay intact, you'll need a rubber mallet to avoid any damage (although a good block of wood will sometimes suffice).  Although difficult to break things with a rubber hammer, it isn't impossible, so be careful with those fins!

Don't forget that we no longer have the common sense we were born with so make sure you wear eye protection when using any of the above.