the Crucible Cross-Peen Hammer – Lost Art Press

Introducing the Lump Hammer’s little sister.

The Crucible Cross-Peen Hammer is in production, and the first tools will go up for sale in a week or two. This has been a year-long project that required a lot of programming, plus finding a new handle supplier. The result? Craig Jackson, our machinist at Machine Time, said about the finished hammer “I’m happy for once!”

Here are the details on the hammer, which has the in-house nickname “Peeny Weeny.”

The hammer head is milled from a solid block of hardened steel. Weighing 4.5 ounces, the head is 4” long overall with a 5/8”-diameter striking face. The cross peen at the opposite end has a striking surface measuring 1/8” x 1/2”.

Hickory can vary a lot in color.

The handle, made for us by Hoffman Blacksmithing, is hickory and is 11” long overall. The neck of the handle is a scant 3/8” x 1/2”, which was a challenge to cut without chattering. The handles are all sanded and hand-finished with oil. The wedges are walnut.

Overall, the hammer weighs 5 ounces, and is an ideal weight and size for small workshop tasks. In addition to sinking small brads and pins, the cross peen is ideal for starting headless nails without mashing your fingers.

The head and the peen are also ideal for adjusting handplanes. For my entire career, I have used one of these hammers to tap my irons laterally to get the iron centered in the plane’s mouth. I also use the cross peen with side-escapement planes, knocking the iron in place against the blind side of the plane’s escapement.

Adjusting the lateral location of a block plane blade.
Starting a headless brad with the cross peen.

Antique versions of this tool can be hard to find in the United States, especially with a decent handle. Modern imported versions are – sorry to say – not a pleasure to use.

We don’t have a retail price yet. It likely will be about the same price as our standard lump hammer. Though there is a lot less steel, the machine time for this head is considerable. The handle is custom-made and is about three times the cost of the lump hammer handle. 

As always, we will first fulfill all domestic orders for the hammer before we can offer it to our other retailers.

— Christopher Schwarz

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