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Hammer Away at Home Improvement Projects

The hammer is one of the oldest tools known to man. The "stone in hand" method was thought to be used all the way back in the 4th century B.C., before man decided to put the stone on a handle and create our first hammer.Needless to say, both humans and hammers have come a long way since then, and the former stone-age tool is becoming safer and more efficient all the time.

Striking Hammer Facts
Did you know that most people grip a hammer the wrong way? The advice from experts - don't hold the hammer too tightly, instead grasp it lightly but firmly as if you were to shake someone's hand.

Quality hammers provide two handle positions.
Experts recommend that you grip the bell end of the handle for heavy hitting and the slight flair mid-handle for lighter blows. Quality hammers never die - they improve with age. A quality hammer with a forged steel head and a precisely heat-tempered face, can get better with proper use because pounding keeps the temper in the striking face. The 16-ounce common claw hammer which is used for most around-the-home jobs, comes in other weights - 10 and 13-ounce "finishing hammers" for lighter, finer work and heftier models up to 32 ounces for framing and heavy carpentry.

You can keep wood from splitting

when hammering into it by blunting the point of the nail with a hammer before hammering. With the nail tip blunted, the nail will crush the wood fibers rather than shear through them, and the wood won't split.

Safety in Hammering
Although hammers appear to be the most basic of tools, they can be very dangerous if not used properly and with care. A quality hammer is a safer hammer, but all hammers should be treated with care and respect. Besides avoiding bashed thumbs, there are other safety rules to follow while hammering:
(1) The number one rule for all hammering jobs is to wear safety glasses.
(2) Make sure the handle of the hammer fits tightly on the head.
(3) Do not strike a hard steel surface with a steel hammer. This may cause small pieces of steel to fly off and injure someone.
(4) Do not use the hammer handle for striking, and never use it as a pry bar. This may cause the handle to split, which could result in a cut or pinch to the user.
(5) Always strike the surface squarely - avoid glancing blows.
(6) Never strike any hammer with or against another hammer.
(7) Discard a hammer with a chipped or mushroomed face.
(8) Do not use steel hammers on concrete, stone, or hard metal objects.
(9) Replace loose or cracked handles
(10) Discard hammers with cracked claws or eye sections

Courtesy ARA Content

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