Show us your favourite chasing hammer

Mike Dubber

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These are my favorites - one at Bench #1 and the other at Bench #2. #3 is in my travel/teaching case. They are used daily - couldn't work without them.

They were made by A.G. Duncan who lived in California - he had an ad in the early Engraver Magazines and they were named the "1800's Chasing Hammer." Mr. Duncan is deceased so they are no longer available.

Notice that the heads have a heavy and light face. That helps balance the "strike." Notice also that the handle sections are very slim...about 1/4" wide near the center, allowing the hammer to rebound after the strike (deadfall hammers are no good for chasing). I have also added registration pins (a 3/32" steel rod) into the palm. Those are used to register the hammer in my hand without having to look at it when I pick it up. I can pick up the hammer, register the pin between the second and third finger, and I know the hammer is properly aligned in my hand for the strike, i.e., the heavy face is down. It's an auto-response, and it happens without thinking every time I pick up a hammer.

Having engraved for about 15 years before the advent of airpower I think it is valuable to provide basic hammer technique in all my classes. The chasing hammer technique I use and teach is described in detail in James B. Meeks book "The Art of Engraving."

I also like Sam Alfano's chasing hammer, although I have thinned the handle section for a more lively rebound.
Hammers.jpg
 
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JJ Roberts

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These are my favorites - one at Bench #1 and the other at Bench #2. #3 is in my travel/teaching case. They are used daily - couldn't work without them.

They were made by A.G. Duncan who lived in California - he had an ad in the early Engraver Magazines and they were named the "1800's Chasing Hammer." Mr. Duncan is deceased so they are no longer available.

Notice that the heads have a heavy and light face. That helps balance the "strike." Notice also that the handle sections are very slim...about 1/4" wide near the center, allowing the hammer to rebound after the strike (deadfall hammers are no good for chasing). I have also added registration pins (a 3/32" steel rod) into the palm. Those are used to register the hammer in my hand without having to look at it when I pick it up. I can pick up the hammer, register the pin between the second and third finger, and I know the hammer is properly aligned in my hand for the strike, i.e., the heavy face is down. It's an auto-response, and it happens without thinking every time I pick up a hammer.

Having engraved for about 15 years before the advent of airpower I think it is valuable to provide basic hammer technique in all my classes. The chasing hammer technique I use and teach is described in detail in James B. Meeks book "The Art of Engraving."

I also like Sam Alfano's chasing hammer, although I have thinned the handle section for a more lively rebound.
View attachment 47919
Here's a few chasing hammers that I've collected over the years.
 

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Mike Dubber

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Yes, they are Louis Daniels Nimschke's - sorry to say they are not mine.
Here is the larger collection of Nimschke tools. These photos are from an auction conducted several years ago.
I found the photos while doing an LDN search - the auction was held in the early 2000's, and the price of the sale was not given.
 

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Sam

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Here are mine but it's hard to pick a fav.
 

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Roger Bleile

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Yes, they are Louis Daniels Nimschke's - sorry to say they are not mine.
Here is the larger collection of Nimschke tools. These photos are from an auction conducted several years ago.
I found the photos while doing an LDN search - the auction was held in the early 2000's, and the price of the sale was not given.
They were purchased by the late Bob Lee who donated them to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
 

Roger Bleile

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My favorite looks quite ordinary (I don't have a picture). It was given to me by Jean Francois DuBois who was an instructor at the Leon Mignon school in Liege, Belgium. I met him at the IWA show in Nuremberg, Germany. After a brief conversation he just gave it to me which means a lot to me. You can see Jean working with it in the picture below. The two in the other picture, I made about 40 years ago. The upper one has a bronze head and is very light.
 

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mitch

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i must be the only engraver on the planet with just one chasing hammer, but it is a Friedrich Dick with the coveted, long out of production, 7/8" face. i made the replacement handle and would not recommend using beech for that. it's been re-wedged about six times...
 

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Mike Dubber

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I like the shape of the handle and the palm swell Mitch- I could chase gravers with that one!

Several years ago I knocked one of my 1880's hammers off the bench. When I pushed my chair back to retrieve it I rolled over the handle - you know, one of those with the finely crafted, thin, and flexible shafts I talked about.
I spent hours making a new one out of hickory...still using it today.
 

Mike Dubber

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Yes, as Roger said -they were purchased by Bob Lee and donated to the museum - best pace for them !
 

Chujybear

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My favorite right now. Plus the only one I can find (in middle of a move)
 

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AllenClapp

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i must be the only engraver on the planet with just one chasing hammer, but it is a Friedrich Dick with the coveted, long out of production, 7/8" face. i made the replacement handle and would not recommend using beech for that. it's been re-wedged about six times...
You might want to try pecan. We used to make bows out of pecan.
 

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