A toolkit for nearly every rating in the Navy would
not be complete without at least one hammer. In most
cases, two or three are included, since they are
designated according to weight (without the handle)
and style or shape. The shape will vary according to the
Machinists' hammers are mostly used by people
who work with metal or around machinery. These
hammers are distinguished from carpenter hammers by
a variable-shaped peen, rather than a claw, at the
opposite end of the face (fig. 1-48). The ball-peen
hammer is probably most familiar to you.
The ball-peen hammer, as its name implies, has a
ball that is smaller in diameter than the face. It is
therefore useful for striking areas that are too small for
the face to enter.
Ball-peen hammers are made in different weights,
usually 4, 6, 8, and 12 ounces and 1, 1 1/2, and 2
pounds. For most work a 1 1/2 pound and a 12-ounce
hammer will suffice. However, a 4- or 6-inch hammer
will often be used for light work such as tapping a
punch to cut gaskets out of sheet gasket material.
Machinists' hammers may be further divided into
hard-face and soft-face classifications. The hard-faced
hammer is made of forged tool steel, while the
soft-faced hammers have a head made of brass, lead, or
a tightly rolled strip of rawhide. Plastic-faced hammers
or solid plastic hammers with a lead core for added
weight are becoming increasingly popular.
Soft-faced hammers (fig. 1-48) should be used
when there is danger of damaging the surface of the
work, as when pounding on a machined surface. Most
soft-faced hammers have heads that can be replaced as
the need arises. Lead-faced hammers, for instance,
quickly become battered and must be replaced, but have
the advantage of striking a solid, heavy nonrebounding
blow that is useful for such jobs as driving shafts into or
out of tight holes. If a soft-faced hammer is not
available, the surface to be hammered may be protected
by covering it with a piece of soft brass, copper, or hard
Simple as the hammer is, there is a right and a
wrong way of using it. (See fig. 1-49.) The most
common fault is holding the handle too close to the
head. This is known as choking the hammer, and
reduces the force of the blow. It also makes it harder to
hold the head in an upright position. Except for light
blows, hold the handle close to the end to increase
leverage and produce a more effective blow. Hold the
handle with the fingers underneath and the thumb along
side or on top of the handle. The thumb should rest on
the handle and never overlap the fingers. Try to hit the
object with the full force of the hammer. Hold the
hammer at such an angle that the face of the hammer
and the surface of the object being hit will be parallel.
This distributes the force of the blow over the full face
and prevents damage to both the surface being struck
and the face of the hammer.
MALLETS AND SLEDGES
The mallet is a short-handled tool used to drive
wooden-handled chisels, gouges, and wooden pins, or
to form or shape sheet metal where hard-faced
hammers would mar or damage the finished work.
Mallet heads are made from a soft material, usually
wood, rawhide, or rubber. For example, a rubber-faced
mallet is used for knocking out dents in an automobile.
It is cylindrically shaped with two flat driving faces that
are reinforced with iron bands. (See fig. 1-48.) Never
use a mallet to drive nails, screws, or any other object
that can damage the face of the mallet.
Figure 1-49.Striking a surface.