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Make a Veneer Hammer – Part Two

April 12, 2014

In yesterdays post, the veneer hammer head and handle were shaped and the brass blade was cut and dry fit.

Once the parts were ready, I went over all the edges with some light file work to clean things up.

I should also mention this project was originally a chapter in my book, The Unplugged Woodshop,

but, due to space restrictions, it wound up on the cutting room floor.

I’m happy to be able to share it with you now and hope you’ll make a veneer hammer for yourself.

I’ve been using this one for the past three years and wouldn’t change a thing about it.


Once the head and handle are shaped, we’re ready to assemble.

Hold the handle firmly in a bench vise and apply a generous amount of glue to the tenon.

Push the hammer head firmly down onto the tenon and double check that the shoulders are properly seated.

Apply some glue to the wedge and drive it home.

The handle is glued and wedged.

The handle is glued and wedged.

I drove the wedge as deep as it could go and didn’t mind the mushroom effect on the end.

This will all get flush cut once the glue is set.

Once the glue is set, cut away the waste with a flush-cut saw.

Once the glue is set, cut away the waste with a flush-cut saw.

The final step is to glue the brass blade into the groove in the hammer head.

I used hot hide glue to glue the brass blade into the head.

A fresh clove of garlic is cut and the oil is rubbed on the brass before gluing it in place.

( This was a trick I discovered in Stephen A. Shepherd’s book – Hide Glue. It’s definitely worth checking out. )

The natural oils in the freshly cut garlic will actually etch the brass and make for a better glue bond.

A light clamp holds the blade in place until the glue sets, after which, I gave the cherry a coat of oil and some wax to finish.

Finished hammer- handle detail.

Finished hammer- handle detail.

In just a few hours of shop time and a couple of small pieces of hardwood,

I have a custom veneer hammer ready to work for about a tenth of the cost of buying a new one.

Veneer hammer complete.

I hope this project will inspire you to make your own veneer hammer-

and when you do, I’d love to hear about it.

Leave me some thoughts and comments below ~


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