How do I replace rawhide tips in a mallet?
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  1. #1
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    How do I replace the rawhide tips in the kind of hammer that has a solid head - The standard Thor hammers, not the split head or screw on kind? They appear to be swaged around the rawhide tips, and when you remove a tip, there is no way to force a new one in without skiving material off the tip and ending up with a loose tip. Can I shrink them somehow with water or something? There's got to be someone on here who has an old time trick up their sleeve...

  2. #2
    jfsmith Guest

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    Flap,
    Could you send me a picture of this hammer, I do leather and have some leather working friends, we maybe able to come up with an idea or two.


    Jerry

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    Jerry - here's the hammer in question. You can see the concentric rings on the inside of the head to help hold the tip in place, the head curves toward the end like the ogive of a bullet, as though it were swaged. I like these mallets because they are lighter and more compact than the bolt together type, but I hate the idea of throwing the whole thing away when the tips are worn out.


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    Mud.

    There is an email enquiry link on this page if you want to ask Thor.

    http://www.thorhammer.com/index.htm

    I thought you just drove or pressed them in, the radius / chamfer on the new tip, I thought that just shaved it’s self in. In reading the above link, they mention that the buffalo hide is cured for months, I guess that makes them very dry. Once installed, with some water or oil, I’d think they would expand to make them tight.
    Phil.

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    I have not replied, hoping someone had a good way of doing this...
    I wouldn't be without my Thor copper/rawhide, N0. 1 & 2, but replacing the ends isn't easy!

    The hardest thing, from memory, is getting the old ends out, especially trying to drill out the copper end. Usually made worse by having waited too long before replacement.

    Usually they last so many years before needing replacement, most guys just buy a new hammer.

    I am pretty sure I just ground (or linished) down the diameter of the leather enough so it started in the hole and then presses in using a vise. You probably need to reduce the diameter for 1/2" or whatever depth required. It still should be a tight fit though.

    Once in place they seem to only get tighter with use.

    BTW, unless you really need both ends leather, I would recomend fitting one copper end - very useful when it comes to whacking things!

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    I received an answer from Thor this morning. Here's the how to -

    ----------------------------------------------

    I have attached a scan of an old leaflet which tells how to replace the faces on the copper/rawhide hammer which is the next size up from the one you have, but the principles are the same.

    The text from the leaflet is below:

    "You ask the best method of removing and replacing copper faces. This is not easy but may I advise using as an example a No. 2 Copper Hammer (04-312) with face diameter of 1 ½".
    During the manufacturing process faces are placed in the socket of the malleable iron casting which is oversize by approximately .025" to enable the face to sit firmly. With faces fitted the casting is then put under a 50 ton hydraulic press which swages the malleable iron around the faces, thus ensuring that they are securely fitted. In this operation the socket opening is closed in, and after swaging could be 1 ½", -×005" or -×007".

    You may appreciate therefore that it is not easy to replace worn faces and I attach a scan of a simple leaflet giving details of general fitting procedures. While many customers do replace rawhide faces, copper can be particularly difficult for there are grooves in the copper socket into which the copper spreads.

    The use of an opening and closing tool is essential to change the copper face and I can send you a drawing of the tool or make one for you. A different tool is needed for each size of hammer and for example the number 2 size is £35.00, although anyone with tool room facilities can easily make one themselves.

    Our copper is 99% pure and, being soft, will after considerable use, mushroom over the hammer head and in this state often lasts almost indefinitely.

    Many customers find it more economical to use the copper end to destruction and then replace the complete hammer. Some large users use an air/pneumatic chisel to force out the copper face but this can only be done before there is any head distortion.

    The time taken to replace copper faces is generally not cost effective.

    I hope this brief summary is of assistance."

    In the past I have actually managed to replace the rawhide faces with limited success without using the opening and closing tool by lubricating the face with washing up liquid, putting a hose clip around the face at the top and bottom to stop it spreading and squeezing it in with a vice, moving the lower clip up a little at a time as the face goes in.

    An even better way, if you have a suitable piece of pipe and a press, is to put the face in a tightly fitting pipe, again lubricated and use something as a piston to force the face in with an hydraulic press.

    If you do go the opening and closing tool route, there is a possibility that the casting will crack in the process and only the minimum opening up and closing in of the casting should be applied.



    ------------------------------------------------

    Even if I calculate my time at $10hr, I think I'm better off pitching it and buying new.

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    wouldn't it bee nice if those were real coarse threads instead?

    twist in, twist out. maybe some glue in the bottom of the leather end, and some ridges in the bottom of the copper end.

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    I think I can make that "special tool" for a LOT less than 35 pounds (about $50). Glad he sent it to you and that you put it up for us.

    I have watched this thread as I have a PILE of this type of hammer in various sizes. Now I know how to fix them.

    I have also re-fitted one of these hammers with plastic faces (just turned out of some scrap). That's VERY handy. A big REAL sized hammer that won't mar things up. That one, we just turned a chamfer on teh end and pressed it in place with an el cheapo 12ton Chinese hydraulic press.

    BTW, these are referred to as "bung hammers". They are officially designed to drive the bung into a barrel. A recent History channel bit on breweries showed them still at work in the Yuengling brewery. he whole process was automated until it got to placing the bung, which was still performed by a STOUT young man who could seat the sucker with one blow.

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    Default link to Thor instructions.

    There is a document at thor that describes how to do the replacement and provides drawings for machining your own opening/closing tool.

  10. Likes Mud liked this post
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    Honestly, I don't care how well made they are, if they don't have any real provisions for replacing the hide section, they've only done half a job of it and I'll buy from someone else.

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    Holy necro-thread, Batman!

    That's got to be a record, around here! 13-1/2 years???? Sheesh.

    Pretty sure that Mud has pitched that thing by now... Good grief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    Holy necro-thread, Batman!

    That's got to be a record, around here! 13-1/2 years???? Sheesh.

    Pretty sure that Mud has pitched that thing by now... Good grief.
    Oh, considering some of the necrotic threads that have been dug up around here, I sorta doubt that's a record.

    Would love to know how or why these guys are digging that far in to the past, that they are finding those posts though!

    Liking the Thor's Hammer tool link, I am!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    Holy necro-thread, Batman!

    That's got to be a record, around here! 13-1/2 years???? Sheesh.

    Pretty sure that Mud has pitched that thing by now... Good grief.
    Almost That mallet lingered in a bottom drawer along with the replacement insert since my OP. I didn't get the third page of the document j robert posted, and I just had more urgent things to do than design the tools and have about a dozen other rawhide mallets so just didn't bother. I Did get it out and use it one sided a few times because it's my smallest one but put it back and ignored it afterward. Bought a new shop toolbox and moved it to the new box about 2 years ago.

    Finally made the tools and fixed it about a month ago. Figure that. Do I get a procrastination prize for that? Took an hour or so to make the tools and do the fix. Been using it lately too.I really like rawhide better than deadblows.

    I picked up a 6 pound rawhide mallet earlier this year. Now THAT's a mallet!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    Do I get a procrastination prize for that?
    Not unless you have a lower number on your tickets than some of my projects 30-years a waitin'

    Even so, I had to take a number as well....

    Then again.. wouldn't want to RUSH these things, would one?



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