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Re: [BKARTS] Bookbinder's Hammer Question



Hello James,

Thank you for the two messages you've posted in reply to my query.  They
are most helpful.  I am in need of a backing hammer and have actually
been considering picking up an old cobbler's hammer and modifying it to
suit the task, but I wanted to know the function of the claw so that I
could make appropriate modifications.  Your answers have given me some
historical background and have provided an explanation as to why there
appear to be two different styles.

Why the chrome plating?  I was thinking of simply polishing with steel
wool and rubbing with paste wax.

T. A. Brown
Franconia, New Hampshire  USA


James Tapley wrote:


I'd like to add that my personal preference is for a cobbler's hammer  on
which the face is parallel to the handle. It will greatly reduce the stress  on
your wrist and improve your accuracy to not be tilting the hammer as you  work.
These will be lighter in weight than a German hammer but still have the
extended neck and longer curved claw shank which are very desirable. The  sizes of
the face and claw usually fall in between English and German  hammers.
Because one almost never backs a joint to 90 degrees there is no real  need for
great weight in a backing hammer or any real force in the  operation.
Personally I find the design the most elegant.
There is the added advantage that old cobbler's hammers of this design  are
quite common and inexpensive on the used market and appear regularly on  eBay.
I would suggest that you file the face and claw smooth if necessary (you  may
also wish to soewhat thin and flatten the curved working edge of the  claw)
and then have the hammer head chrome plated.
Best, James



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    The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist

            For all your subscription questions, go to the
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*********************************************** The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist

            For all your subscription questions, go to the
                     Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.

                 Both at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>
            ***********************************************


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