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Thread: Hammer

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    East Tenn
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    57

    Hammer

    What's the best hammer, knocker or whatever to open sprue plates, I've used dogwood but it gets beat up after a while. What about the replaceable nylon face hammers?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Oct 2016
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    So Cal
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    I've settled on an old Sears brand nylon hammer.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
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    Cecilia, Kentucky
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    3,660
    I use a cherry knocker about 12" long and 1 3/4" diameter. I've used other hardwoods like ash or birch. Seems like a tight grained wood holds up better.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Mar 2005
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    south western pennsylvina
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    A small hammer with a raw hide head (Brownells ) been using the same one for 30+ years

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
    DHDeal's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
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    South Carolina
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    Garland rawhide mallet.

    I've used wooden mallets and delrin mallets for some time. The wooden mallets eventually send chunks all over the place and the delrin mallets don't, but the delrin tends to bounce.

    There was a thread recently on one of the sub forums about the Garland mallet. As I wasn't too happy with the delrin mallet I've been using, I got a Garland off of Amazon. Very nice and acts like a deadblow hammer. I suspect I'll wear it out if I cast for another 20 years. Truth is that if the mold will allow me to open the sprue plate with a glove, I'll do that, but when the mold isn't quite up to temp, a mallet is necessary for me.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    East Arkansas
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    I use a homemade lead hammer with an all thread handle wrapped in electrical tape. There is a sticky here somewhere that shows how to do it.
    When is gets beat up just stick it in the melt and then cast a new one.

    I use some 6 & 8 cavity molds, H&G recommended the use of a leadClick image for larger version. 

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ID:	259364Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lead hammer.jpg 
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ID:	259364 hammer for large molds.
    Last edited by LenH; 03-30-2020 at 12:41 PM. Reason: add picture

  7. #7
    a harbor freight hammer handle is what is use rrh

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    Rattlesnake Charlie's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    Los Alamos, NM
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    Old hammer handles, pieces of shovel handles, etc. The hickory eventually gets a bit beat up at which point it goes into the chiminea.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Nov 2008
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    Central VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Charlie View Post
    Old hammer handles, pieces of shovel handles, etc. The hickory eventually gets a bit beat up at which point it goes into the chiminea.
    ^^This^^

    When we started casting about 45 years ago, Dad had just broken the head off of a small hammer. It made a good sprue knocker, and I’m only on my second or perhaps third such repurposed handle after all this time.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
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    Back in the 90's, I quit using a hammer at all.

    Turn the mold block so the plate opens counter clockwise, and turn it while wearing a big thick welding glove.
    Home Depot sells the same ones in the bar-b-que grill accessory section, or the welding gear area.

    Turn the sprue plate just after the sprue turns dull.
    It's fast, and the Lead is still soft enough not to dull out the cutting edge of the plate.

    I keep a old hammer handle near by to tap the hinge point on the handles if the boolits don't just drop out.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 03-26-2020 at 02:06 PM.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Feb 2019
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    Washington
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    We have a bush that grows around here called ocean spray, it also goes by the name iron wood. The natives used it to make digging sticks, second year growth makes good arrows, and if glued at the handle a good bow can be made from it. I use a stout tapered piece about as big around as a d cell battery on one end, and a foot long as a mold mallet. All the woods that make good bows would do well (Osage orange, black locust, vine maple, hickory, also fruit wood can be great stuff, apple and plum especially. Many of us have something on our burn pile right now out in the yard that would work.
    Last edited by JM7.7x58; 03-27-2020 at 12:26 PM. Reason: also

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Mar 2013
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    Northwest Ohio
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    I read on Steve Brooks mould site that he recommends a small dead blow mallet. I tried it and have used a 8 oz slimline head model since. I like it as its light and still works well the no mar cover is easy on the plate. I would describe the blow I give as more of a push than a hit.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Apr 2014
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    Way up in the Cascades
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    I've got a piece of hardwood dowel about 1 1/2 inches in diameter x 10 inches long. Not sure, but I think it's oak.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Jun 2010
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    North Queensland Australia
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    I have a box of lead mallets from the local plumbing school I guess that they will out last me

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


    georgerkahn's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
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    MY choice is a lead hammer cast from a Hensley & Gibbs mould hammer mould! Two "sad" notes: 1st, waaay back when, I recall (sort of -- I don't believe I dreamed it ) there was a "floating one" on this site -- where one could sign it out, receive & cast, and then return/pass it on. The second "sad" note is a fellow on a major auction site had one, made H&G hammers, and purveyed them -- QUITE costly -- but after, if I recall, a birthday -- I was presented one. Replacing a hammer handle -- it surely works well!
    geo

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

    mdi's Avatar
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    So. Orygun
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    I have a plastic faced mallet (6-8 oz.?) I purchased so long ago I forgot where I got it. I have used it around the shop, on my Lee Loaders, and as a sprue knocker. It shows very little wear and it'll probably last another 20-30 years. I have no need for a "special" tool to remove sprues and in 30 years of casting I have never damaged a mold whacking the sprue plate with my my yellar plastic faced mallet. It would prolly bother me to purchase a good, hardwood hammer handle and chew it up smacking a narrow piece of steel (I'm a lifelong tool nut)...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    May 2016
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    Missouri
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    Hammer handle.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Rapidrob's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    Hickory hammer handle.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Central AR
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    I read on Steve Brooks mould site that he recommends a small dead blow mallet. I tried it and have used a 8 oz slimline head model since. I like it as its light and still works well the no mar cover is easy on the plate. I would describe the blow I give as more of a push than a hit.
    I've only been at this a couple years but a dead blow hammer with some scrap leather glued to the faces is what I like. The leather helps keep the plastic from melting to the mold. Just don't set it down on fresh dropped boolits. They will stick to the plastic! Lol!

  20. #20
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    6
    Rawhide mallet, lightweight and tough.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check