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How to Use a Hammer

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Learn all you need to know about using a hammer in woodworking.

The material presented in this video may be used to learn or teach the basic concepts of woodworking.

Never use a hammer against a wooden surface. To tap your workpiece, you need to use a Mallet, as you will see in our next video.

Using a hammer for the first time? Help is at hand! This step-by-step video will take you through everything you need to know to use a hammer safely and effectively in your own woodwork projects.

Music - Gilles B

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In this video you will learn how to use a hammer.

Hammers are used for driving nails in wood and metal and also to pull them out.

It combines two diametrically opposite principles, pounding and levering.

There are several types of hammers and several factors influence the selection of the right hammer for the particular job: the size of the nail, the weight and shape of the head, the length and material of the handle and the curvature of the claws.

Metal Head.


The hammer typically has a metal head and a handle.

Check if the hammer head is firmly attached to the head.

Wrap the fingers around the handle and hold it firmly.

For light work, grip the handle about midway.

For maximum driving force, hold near the end.

For more control place the hand in the middle and extend the index finger.

Clamp the workpiece on a workbench.

Remember to place some scrap wood below so that the nail doesn't damage the workbench.

Remember to place some scrap wood below so that the nail doesn't damage the workbench.

Always start with a couple of tentative taps and take your hand off.

Swing from the elbow and the shoulder to hammer with force.

The hammer should be thought as an extension of the arm.

When you hammer there is hardly any wrist action.

Let the weight of the hammer do the work.

Keep your eyes on the nail and not on the hammer and your hand.

Be careful not to hit your own fingers.

Watch your fingers. Be careful not to damage the carrier

You also need to make sure you do not hit the workpiece and damage it.

On rough work, keep striking with a mounting force.

The last and final blow should sink the nail head into the wood.

For small nails, slide the hand closer to the head and strike lightly.

If the hammer and nail are well aligned, you will be able to drive the nail without bending it.

to finish your work strike steadily.

Ease up for the last two or three blows.

Avoid banging a hammer sideways.

Whenever possible, try and hit the nail square to the workpiece.

In case the nail gets bent or you just need to pull it out, you can do it with a claw hammer.

Use a curved claw hammer to remove a nail.

If you have a tough time pulling out the nail with a claw hammer you might need a piece of wood that you could use as a fulcrum to facilitate the task.

The Warrington hammer allows driving small nails with minimal risk of hurting your fingers.

It is also useful for tapping wooden pieces into alignment.

You can also use some cardboard to avoid accidentally hitting your own fingers.

Push the nail through a piece of carton or stiff paper and use that to hold the nail.

This way your fingers are away from the hammer.

Hit steadily and drive the nail in.

Pull out the cardboard when you are done.

You have now learnt how to use a hammer.


Next video

Sikana - How to Use a Wooden Mallet
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