Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Wanna Be...Your SledgeHammer

Ok, how about just your Soft Metal Mallet?

Most of us are familiar with 3 or 4 kinds of hammer.  Because we only use them for about 3 or 4 things.  We drive and pull nails.  We break things (hopefully what we plan on breaking) and occasionally to change the shape of something,
like straightening a bent nail.

We know a little about the claw hammer, the sledge hammer and the ball peen hammer.  Those with a little more experience know about the rubber mallet, the leather mallet, and maybe a cross peen.  In some industries there are also brass hammers, for working around explosives and combustibles, so they don’t make a spark when they hit other metals (an important feature around dynamite or gasoline).
And there are times when negotiating with a stuck nut or bolt, which the wrench simply can not move,
you need a “Persuader”.
Of course today such a situation would call for a large rubber mallet.

But those have not always been available.
So What did they use before that?
Well, they used a soft metal mallet.
  Usually made from lead.  But after a few uses the lead was badly bashed out of form.  That meant buying another one!
Until business man, tinkerer and inventor John Horat, from Lafayette, Indiana, designed the
Horat Soft Metal Hammer mould in 1914.
 When your lead hammer got in such bad shape that it was no longer usable, you simply cut the head from the handle, inserted the handle into one side of the mold, put the lead in the bowl, heated it till the lead melted, turned the form so that the lead flowed from the bowl into the form and waited

for it to cool.  And Wala, a new lead hammer to persuade the next stubborn bolt!

So what are you getting your honey for Valentines Day?

Well if you haven't hammered out all the details you may want to take a look at Graham Tools.  They have lead hammer mold sets starting at $109.95

Antique Horat mould pictured above is available at Bonanza

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