01-26-2010 01:24 PM
Okay here's the question: I have my OLD Estwing 13 oz hammer. It was mine when I was 5; found it in Dad's stuff after he died. Estwing will NOT repair the handle (liability thing) but the leather is all dried out since some 6 year old left it in the rain ... a while back.
Anyone know where I can get some leather "rings" to replace the leather on there AND/OR how do I get the end plate OFF so I can remove the leather.
Oh, I should mention that the white plastic bands are still in good condition so they can make good templates for rings.
01-26-2010 02:05 PM - edited 01-26-2010 02:24 PM
I don't have that model Estwing hammer, but I do have the hatchet. It has a metal plate on the bottom with what appears to be two peened over steel rivets. They are not rivets, but are extensions of the metal internal handle.
First, I would try something else before grinding off the peened over metal. Take it to a shoe repair shop and ask the shoemaker for a can of Neetsfoot oil. Soak the leather washers in that first just to see if it will revitalize them.
Plan B would be to grind off the peened over areas and work off the metal plate, then the leather and plastic washers. TANDY leather may have the required 1/4 inch thick pieces of leather, or you may be able to get some from Estwing. Cut them oversize, mount them on the metal handle along with the plastic washers, ending up with the metal plate, then re-peen over the last of the metal. You may need to leave out one leather washer, which will shorten your hammer handle by 1/4 inch.
Then you will need a belt sander to grind away the leather washers, shaping and fitting them to the required oval shape.
Estwing dips the handles in a lacquer to seal the leather. ( I saw this on "How It's Made" on the Science Channel)
01-26-2010 04:29 PM
I would look up knife suppliers on the interweb. Many knives still use leather washers and what you want should be readily available without having to try to cut your own. If you are intent on replacing the handle and neatsfoot oil won't help the old one any, then I would cut off some of the internal leather washers and move those at the far and to expose the metal washer and how it's set on there. You will also then have room to move the washer and perhaps...just perhaps, hammer that peened end over to flatten it out...otherwise if you are forced to cut it off, I would think seriously about threading the end of it and using a knife-type butt to screw in place and lock the handle up tight.
01-26-2010 05:06 PM - edited 01-27-2010 12:18 PM
Before doing anything drastic like grinding off the rivited ends of the bottom plate, I would;
- give the handle a light sanding to remove the old varnish finish,
- heat up some BLO, to where it just uncomfortable to put your hand in it,
- soak the handle in a can of BLO for a couple of days, maybe a week, reheat it every now and then,
- then let it dry good, polish it up and maybe apply a couple of new coats of spar varnish.
Leather can often be rejuvinated by application of oil, I saw a set of harness that was bone dry. A year later that same harness was on a draft horse. The guy said it soaked up over 3 qt of Neatsfoot Oil.
01-27-2010 10:30 AM
Any saddle shop worth its salt would be able to find you the requisite leather. We've got a couple in the area if you're not in riding country. Agree with the restoration attempts first.
01-27-2010 10:32 AM
I too am interested in repairing an old Estwing hammer. I inherited a set of 3 from my father. Two 16 oz.....one claw and one straight and a 12 oz trim hammer. The straight tang has leather in bad shape.
I tried to purchase the leather rings or send the hammer in for rebuild and received the standard corporate answer that for "liability" reasons they could not help......My parents told me if I couldn't say something nice not to say anything so I will shut up on this issue.
I read one solution that included carefully prying the rivet heads up and removing the rings. I did that with fair success. The rings are over am I-beam type of metal tang. To reproduce the rings looks to be a lot of work. I have found some leather that is thick enough but I am not sure it is hard enough.
I was also curious about what the product was that would restore the leather. I didn't understand the acronym. Maybe the good folks at Estwing will read the forum and reconsider the historic value of a tool well built. I would gladly pay the price of a new hammer to have the old one restored.
01-28-2010 07:08 AM
Thanks to all. I will try the neats-foot oil first; good idea. I'm NOT a big fan of destroying a tool to make it "pretty" but THIS hammer handle is too bad to use.
I too hope at some point Estwing realizes the the value of a small amount of customer service. Everything new isn't better.
I'll come back here after I try to restore with the results... Oh I WILL take before and after photos.
02-09-2011 11:04 PM
02-10-2011 12:12 AM
"First, I would try something else before grinding off the peened over metal. Take it to a shoe repair shop and ask the shoemaker for a can of Neetsfoot oil. Soak the leather washers in that first just to see if it will revitalize them."
now i wonder how many kids today know Neetsfoot Oil.
THE MOST DANGEROUS TOOL IS THE ONE YOU ARE USING