Leathercraft Hammers

In this video I discuss the different types of leathercraft hammers and their uses in the workshop.

This is a little different style of video and if you like this style and would like to see more videos like this let me know and we will try to do some more like this in the future.

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33 Replies to “Leathercraft Hammers”

  1. Old OutdoorsGuy

    I have been meaning to leave a comment on this video since I first watched it last year. Being a past owner/operator of an auto body repair shop in the Midwest for 14 years and a vocational teacher for a one year auto body repair curriculum in a Southern IL Community College setting for an additional 13 years, I have been around some of the older and, more importantly, better grade of body repair hammers, and I wanted to chime in on finding and using some of the older [20's to 50's] vintage hammers. I inherited a few of the old style hammers from that man who mentored me in the late 50's to learn the trade as it was back when there was an art to moving metal back into it's rightful place on a body panel.

    Some of those old hammers are still found, as Don mentioned, in antique shops, barns, old mechanical auto shops, and other places if you know what you are looking for. They can be cleaned up and the faces carefully smoothed by grinding, filing, and sanding them until all of the "ding" marks and the small nicks and scratches are gone. Truth be known, many of the body men of my era and older would modify a factory made hammer to suit their style and methods of straightening sheet metal. Today, you will find few body men who even know what "moving metal" means let alone the actual "science" of how metal reacts to hammer blows, dolly reaction to the hammered metal, and how careful heat will help with removing some of the stress in metal to further displace it back to its original contour with little or no additional filling with lead [in the old days] or plastic body filler. There simply is not enough real steel sheet metal left in most of today's vehicles, just a series of plastic panels, aluminum panels, and other man made materials, which can only be removed and replaced easily. My first boss told me one day that a real body man will only use lead or plastic filler to remove the marks left by the finishing hammer or body file when the sheet metal is properly restored to its original position on the panel. But, enough of the history of auto body work and Art of Moving Metal.

    If you are lucky enough to find one or two of these old hammers, take the time to be precise in your cleaning and polishing of the hammer faces and you will be rewarded with a tool for which there is little to replace it if disaster ever occurs and it is stolen or damaged beyond salvation. In my estimation, tearing up a good old school body hammer would be akin to tearing up an anvil, it CAN be done but will ruin your afternoon trying to get that job done!

    Good luck and, Don, I really enjoyed your video, I had a carbon copy of your little body hammer which I made from an old body shop pick hammer which had been shortened by cutting off the long pick end of the hammer and carefully rounding the short tip to suit my needs in the shop. That was in 1958 and I still had that hammer up until all of my tool boxes were stolen from a storage building here on the Florida Panhandle in 2006. I felt no worse than when I lost my best friend 2 years later. He was a chocolate lab named Robbie, and old age and a few old age problems finally took him during his morning nap on my back deck one sunny morning. I pray that I leave this planet the same way when it is my turn to go …….

  2. Troy Best

    The second tack hammer you showed with the split tail. you mention you didnt know what the split end was for. It to hold the tack and set it with one swing, then spin the hammer and continue driving the tack in. We used them in upholstery usually in restoring older furniture. Edit: the new ones use a magnet instead of a split tail. https://youtu.be/JXVe1ks5RLY

  3. gene Pohlemann

    I'd love 2 work in a leather shop like yours, after I retired from the oilfield I got into leather work and I got addicted of course, I work in my living room and get by but I'm limited of things I can do, there's nobody I know of here in Frisco Texas that has a shop and love to open one up

  4. Joshua Tichota

    If I may add, a hard wood mallet is good to work with too, like one that I made yesterday where it had a birch wood handle, and then a purple heart wood head to it. Purple heart wood not only is naturally purple and looks nice, but it also is a very hard dense wood, and it can take a decent pounding. If you have a piece of purple heart wood, or walnut wood, or something of that sort that is very hard and dense, and a birch dowel that is 7/8's inch, you can make a decent mallet for very little money.

  5. king fox

    I the smallest hammer is for engraving i think but the tapered back dose not make sense. the light wight handle makes it easy to grip lower on the handle "adding more momentum to the head". you could hammer what ever your hammering very fast. weld a larger head on and wedge the handle to the head and it mite replace the small maul for tooling.

  6. Misty dawn

    My first one was wood from Tandy at 17 I made a pair of knee high moccisans. At 45 I still have those and wear them lol. I also use that hammer for my silver smithing. I love my hammers💜✌yes I still have that wooden hammer and I use it

  7. Fredo B

    Mr Gonzales, that split tail hammer is a tac hammer. My father used one for almost 50 years as a furniture upholsterer. His was a little smaller. It has a magnetic tip on the split end, he would toss a few tacks I his mouth and place them on the hammer one at a time. He would set the tack with the magnetic end then flip it around and drive it home.
    Thank you for all you've taught me.
    Fredo, Star Leather USA

  8. Jean-Marc Labonte

    Greetings from the Great White North. Very informative lesson about hammers. I just picked up the exact same French cobblers hammer at a garage sale. I just fixed the handle and I am waiting to use it. The really small french hammer is for engraving, used primarily by Gold and Silversmiths. Thanks for posting this excellent video. Take care.

  9. Wilburn Crane

    BEST hammer instruction ive found. Convinced me the hammer/maul is important enough to spend the bucks on. I visited your web sight and bought two e books. Looking forward to watching more of your videos and continue checking out your web sight. THANKS!!

  10. takes2home

    as always RESPECT! to you and the knowledge you'r sharing ..i hope some day you gonna make a video about painting with Angelus metallic acrylic color with the antic process stain..etc…etc..
    what do you suggest:: when i dye a project i put some times tan kote like you suggested in the painting on leather video and other times i use leather balm with Atom WaX..and for the sealing i been using lately snow proof aerosol or something similar ..my question is now: if i wanna put some grease/conditioner like Aussie should I apply the Aussie & buffing before or after the aerosol sealing?
    ps man sorry for my long explanation..i just have difficulties writing with a few words in English.
    Thank you in advance DoN ( :

  11. pjculbertson55

    I have a split tailed tack hammer in my shop and if you will check, the split is slightly magnetic and is used to hold flat head tacks. You can then put the tack on the magnetic split tail and hammer it to start rather than try to hold a short tack with your fingers. I may not be explaining it very well but I use mine a lot with 3/4" long flat head tacks.


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