Restore An Old Hammer

Restoring an old hammer is one way to get more use out of an effective and efficient tool. Not only will you save some money, you will also lengthen the life of a favorite tool. Many times removing the rust and other buildup or replacing the handle may be all you need to do. This is a fun project that takes little time to complete. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Remove the handle of the hammer. Use a hacksaw and cut off the handle just below the head. You can purchase a new handle or make one yourself using a variety of woods. Using carpenter’s pliers, remove the wedge that’s located at the top of the hammerhead.

2. Look for a nail or a screw underneath the wedge. Place the head of the hammer in the vice and tighten it so the head will not move. Use a nail punch and a hammer to remove any nails or screws. If the nail does not fall out, you may need to use a drill to get the remaining pieces out.

3. Clean the head of the hammer using a grinder, sandpaper and a wire brush. The grinder is used to reshape the face of the hammer. If the hammer is covered in rust and other debris, the grinder can help loosen these materials. Use 100-grit sandpaper to smooth out the metal. Use the wire brush to smooth out hard-to-reach places between the claws of the hammer. Use 400-grit sandpaper for your finishing touches.

4. Purchase a new handle for the hammer if you don’t want to make one. Bring the hammerhead with you to the hardware store so you can find a handle that’s the right size. Stain the handle, or purchase one that has already been stained.

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5. Place the hammerhead on top of the handle. You will notice that the handle has a slot at the top. Use a mallet to attach the hammerhead to the handle. Use the mallet to insert the wedge into the slot. File the wedge using a chisel, if necessary.