Estwing Framing Hammer

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estwing jsergAbout the time of my first Red Wings, I watched a chain-smoking Master Plumber mucking around half a dozen feet below the sidewalk.  He was looking for a pipe.  Everything in the hole looked the same to me.  My first lesson in plumbing:  the most important thing is knowing what you are looking at.

After a bit, he asks for a hammer.  Naturally, I cross-examine him while he’s ankle-deep in mud, dirt dropping down his trousers, knees caked solid with clay.  No, a hammer is what he wants.  Really.

I went on to discover there are 20 ways to swing a hammer, at least.  On that day, the plumber scraped compacted soil with the straight claw from under and around a leaking water service.  I’d seen him break the bell of one piece of cast iron soil pipe while leaving an adjacent piece whole.  Nailing?  Almost never, in our trade.  But I did learn the difference between tapping and smashing!

The Code Book calls for an 8 ounce ball peen hammer for caulking lead joints.  Sorry, every tool has to multi-task.  You can hold a 22 oz. hammer further up the shaft to reduce a swing’s force, something Galileo famously observed in 1582  –  which led to his forgotten pendulum theory.

In a hurry to expose a leaking pipe behind a plaster wall?  One can operate the hammer with both hand, punching a clean line through sheet rock with the claw, like a sewing machine.  Not exactly like a sewing machine, but that is a similar image.

The pictured framing hammers?  One is an Estwing E3-20SM.  I’ve had it 20+ years.  13 ½” length, 28 oz overall weight, but called a 20 ounce hammer.  (The other, a similar 22 ounce model).  This is the perfect hammer to buy your favorite tradesman.  Or an accomplished do-it-yourselfer as a supplementary wedding present.  He/she may have it forever.

I could write 2,000 words on the various uses of a hammer.  Hammering, prying, digging, cracking, slicing, driving, chiseling, cutting, pulverizing.  From tapping the handle off a fine china teacup to knocking the lock off a security door without breaking the glass.  It’s all in how you swing the hammer.

2 thoughts on “Estwing Framing Hammer

    Uvex Safety Googles « American Toolbox said:
    January 15, 2017 at 11:24 am

    […] out a crusty wall to expose fractured cast iron pipe, dropping a weak ceiling, Estwing demolition or Craftsman grinding, none would be complete without Uvex safety gear. After all, we […]

    Gerber Covert Folder « American Toolbox said:
    July 23, 2017 at 12:53 am

    […] always a ⅜” x 8″ Craftsman slotted screwdriver and Estwing hammer should more persuasion be wanted […]

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