This special-edition Crucible lump hammer features a gorgeous machine-engraved design, based on drawings from Jenny Bower. Our machinist, Craig Jackson, spent many hours translating Jenny's work into something his mills could cut – and that we could offer for less than a hand-engraved tool.
The Crucible lump hammer has a 2.2 lb. hardened steel head and is ideal for assembly, mortising, setting holdfasts and dozens of other chores. Plus a comfortable hand-scraped octagonal hickory handle.
The late, great furniture maker Alan Peters often said that one of his favorite tools was his “lump hammer,” a British term for what Americans might call an engineer’s hammer or a small sledge.
Peters used his lump hammer for a remarkable range of operations, including knocking together dovetailed carcases and drawers. Unlike a traditional wooden mallet, the lump hammer is compact, requires less effort to use and packs considerable punch – a great asset when you need it. Plus, unlike a wooden mallet, you’ll never need to replace it.
After taking Peters’ advice on the lump hammer, we were impressed with how useful it is, and it has replaced the wooden mallet for many operations at the bench. For assembling dovetailed carcases and mortise-and-tenon frames, the lump hammer has no equal. Choke up on the handle to administer careful taps on delicate drawers. Grip the handle at its end and it can deliver a wallop that can persuade joints that have become too tight because of the glue.
It is delicate enough to be used to strike wooden-handled chisels. Because of the weight of the hammer’s head, mortising requires less effort. It’s more about raising the hammer slightly and dropping its head on the chisel handle – low and slow. It sets and releases holdfasts with one authoritative blow.
The hickory handle is shorter than what you’ll find on a typical sledge, making it ideal for woodworking instead of breaking up rocks. The octagonal handles are hand scraped and left bare. You can choose to leave them that way so they will patina quickly, or you can add wax or oil.
The Crucible lump hammer weighs 2.5 lbs. overall with a 2.2 lb. head of 4140 alloy steel, hardened and tempered to Rc 28-32. It is 11-1/2” long overall with a head that is 1-1/2” x 1-1/2” x 4”. Striking faces are smooth-ground at a 5-1/2" radius, and finished by hand. Made in the United States by Machine Time of Nicholasville, Ky.