Keep your hammer clean and improve your efficiency (and avoid the dreaded hammer rash).

Do you find you cannot hammer a nail home cleanly? Do you find that as you attempt to drive the nail home (*or a screw, if you’re really rough! 🙂 ) that your hammer, as it comes into contact with the head of the nail, glances off?

It doesn’t have to be a nail, the same thing can happen as you’re driving wedges into your mortice and tenon joints, resulting in hammer rash, which looks like a crazed maniac has taken his frustrations out on your work. Annoyingly, this means you’ll have to spend twice as long on the finishing of the job than you’d normally would, as you sand the timber to within an inch of it’s life to get rid of any hammer indentations.

Keep your tools clean!

Take a look at the head of your hammer; if it looks like the picture on the right, then hang your head in shame – you’re not a plumber (unless you are actually a plumber and then all is forgiven!). 🙂

If you find the head of your hammer is dulled and dirty, then there is a quick remedy to stop your hammer slipping off the nail or wedge that you’re trying to drive in.

A hammer in need of cleaning

If your hammer looks like this, then clean it!

Get a piece of clean, unused sandpaper and place it on a flat surface so the abrasive side is facing upwards.

Sandpaper to clean a hammer

It’s a simple job to clean your hammer – it takes seconds

A clean hammer head

The head of your hammer should be shiny

Now grab your hammer by the shaft and place the head of the hammer on the sandpaper and give it a good sanding; this will clean the surface of the hammer and also help to remove any small pits from the surface.

Sand it for about ten seconds or so, then have a look at the head; if it’s all clean and shiny, then go and have a go at driving the nail or wedge in – you may be surprised at how much better you’ve (the hammer!) has become.

If it’s still dirty and dull then continue sanding until shiny.

*If you’re struggling to drive a screw home, then no end of cleaning your hammer will improve your accuracy – you’ll need a screwdriver 😉
*No offence intended to any plumbers reading this – it’s a dig at my mate who is a plumber, with the world’s dirtiest hammer (I hope you’re reading this, Neil!).

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