Monday, January 13, 2014


I found this little treasure on eBay recently. It arrived today. It's a mallet with what I think is a hickory handle and a cow horn. They've fallen out of favor in the last few decades in favor of rawhide and Delrin mallets that are common on the market. These hammers have been made since Paleolithic times and were probably used much like a chasing hammer in that they were used to strike a tool and not the object being worked. Hammers like the one above are great for getting into small spaces to form annealed metals and to gently form bezels on a mandrel. I was excited to find such a relic on eBay but I really would like to try my hand at making one.  I found these cool instructions on Brian Meek's website. Check out his beautiful jewelry while you're there.
I love antique tools. I have a pair of my Dad's pliers that belonged to my Grandpa and then to Dad, several old jewelry hammers that I've found at actions, an old Archimedes drill found on eBay, some old watch makers tools from a garage sale, an antique awl with pearl handle given to me by my friend Karen, to mention a few. I like to think of the people who owned these tools and the things they made. I like to think about who they might have been and what they thought about while they were working. I wonder if someone will think about me someday when they're using my tools. Not for a long time I hope :-)

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