Apprenticeship Session 28

Since it had been a couple of weeks since our last session, we decided to take a step back a revisit some of the basics. We had decided to scrap our attempt at and “armed” spade hinge and start over. There were several flaws to overcome and lessons learned in what we had done so far. We all agreed that it was best to begin anew with a different plan and some different tools.

So instead of getting started on a new version of the hinge, we took a detour and decided to make Thor’s hammer pendants. Thor’s hammers are just a classic Viking-age trinket that should be a nearly subconscious project to make. However, while Rob had made one or two, I had never attempted one to this point. I had been looking forward to doing so, however!

We started with some sizable round stock – maybe 3/8-inch or so – and then proceeded to shoulder it on two dimensions (sides) to make what amounted to a square tang that was even with the edge of the stock and not centered in the middle. That seemed weird, but the next step was to cut it off and then flatten what remained of the round stock and so having an edge to use for the “bottom” while pounding the thickness flat made sense. When we finished that step, we had what looked like oars or a broom ball stick.

We then used a nail header, like the one we had made earlier, to create the shoulders of the hammer. The nail header worked brilliantly and much better than any fuller or guillotine we had tried in the past.

Then it was a matter of hammer control to get the angles of the Thor’s hammer in place. That was a little tricky as the hammer can hit the anvil when you’re at an angle like that.

The last step was to bend the tang over and twist it around to form the loop. It’s really quite easy to do, except it cools off so fast. It took more heats than you’d hope to get that finished. (And we cheated and used a torch to finish it up.)

It’s interesting that they have different shapes, but both are classic, traditional Thor’s hammers. We both want to crank out scores more of these as they are fun to do – and great practice for hammer skills!

His and Hers Thor’s Hammers