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Everything You Wanted to Know about Hammers

types of carpentry hammersHammers are useful tools that are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and weight.  Every household needs to have some sort of hammer, and the different styles indicate the variety of uses of this valuable instrument.

Traditionally, hammer handles were made from wood, as this allows for easy replacement, if and when necessary.  Today, hammer handles are built into the head, as this creates a natural shock absorber, each time the hammer is used.

Let us take a closer look at the different types of hammers on the market, and their primary uses.

Types of Hammer Used in Carpentry

Claw Hammers may be the most familiar, and these are commonly used for all types of general work, the handle can be made from hickory, steel or glass fiber, and they sometimes have a rubber hand grip.  This tool has a special “V” shaped cut out that is used to pull nails from a workpiece.

Ball, Cross and Straight Peen hammers are commonly used by engineer’s, to shape metal pieces, and also to close rivets.  They weight between 4 ounces and 2 pounds.  The handle is usually made from Hickory or Ash wood.

A Pin Hammer is basically a lighter (no more than 4 oz.) version of the above mentioned peen hammers, and these are perfect for cabinet work.

Club Hammers are also referred to as Lump Hammers, and these are helpful in light demolition.  This type of hammer weighs between two and three pounds; and the handles are made from synthetic resin or wood (Hickory)

A Sledge Hammer is used for heavy jobs, such as breaking up stone or concrete.  For best results, it is recommended that you swing this hammer like an axe.  Due to the fact that debris can become airborne, it is also recommended that a person wear protective gear when using a sledge hammer.

Mallets are unique; as they do a job (such as tapping wood joints together) that metal faced hammer would not be effective in doing, and more than likely will cause damage to the workpiece.  You will notice that there is a slight tapering at the head, to help with being effective in their designated job.  The handle and the head of a mallet are made from wood (usually Lignum Vitae or Beech)

Special Hammers include Brick Hammers (used for splitting bricks), Veneer Hammers (used for tapping/pressing veneers in place), Woodcarving Mallets, Spring Hammers (used mainly by makers of picture frames) and Upholster Hammers (ideal for driving nails and tacks into confined areas).

Power Hammers are also known as ‘powered nailer’s; and these type of hammers are useful in fixing floorboards, decks or other areas where many nails will be needed.

Important tips and advice for working with hammers

  1. Always use the best hammer for the task at hand, as it will not only make your job easier, but it will not cause damage (to either the workpiece or the hammer).
  2. If you find that the hammer head slips off the nail, use medium grid sandpaper, and roughen the face of the hammer head.
  3. When hammering delicate pieces together, put a pieced of scrap wood between the hammer and the work piece to prevent damage.
  4. Timber is known to shrink in dry weather conditions.  If you notice that a timber hammer handle looks and feels loose, submerge the hammer head, overnight, in water.  This will cause the handle to expand and naturally tighten the head.

Whether you are “handy” or not, every home should have a hammer – or two.  Which is why, this great tool makes a useful and unique house-warming gift.

Small Town Towing Services

tow truckCar owners value their vehicle so much. When their cars stall or break down, the priority is to find efficient towing services to prevent further damage to the automobile. The services drivers look for are not limited to towing, but pulling the car to safety and making necessary repairs as well.

This can only be done by selecting the most capable car towing firms. Let’s be honest here… Not all towing companies are created equal.

Choosing a Towing Company

The car owner should find out about the rates for the service or if payment is required outright. There is a possibility that your insurance company will reimburse part or even all of the expense. A number of towing companies go to the extent of helping in the documentation that is required by the insurance providers.

Many service providers do not restrict their services to pulling stalled vehicles, but also offer roadside assistance. These firms are also capable of providing emergency support such as taking care of discharged batteries, replacing flat tires and refueling drained fuel drums. They will help to get all the contact details of the tow company that can provide you with the most efficient services.

Calling for these tow truck brings your automobile to the nearest repair facility. The reason could be an accident or collision, but not limited to this since towing services are needed in other situations such as attending to vehicles being repossessed by collection agencies, banks and other creditors.

Types of Tow Trucks

There are different kinds of tow trucks which can perform these services. The hook and chain, flat bed and wheel lift models. Hook and chain trucks make use of chains that are wrapped around the stalled vehicle’s axis or scaffold. However, this can result to unnecessary damage as it is not meant for new vehicles, but for units that have been dented in an accident or those that do not have steel bumpers, front and back wheels. This equipment is seldom used nowadays.

Small town towing companies frequently employ the wheel lift tow trucks, which are simple to chain and employ a metal harness instead of a shackle. This crossbar is clipped to the front or back tires of the vehicle to be towed. The front or the rear portion of the vehicle is raised from the ground by using a hydraulic pulley.

Flatbed or rollback tow trucks are equipped with an empty base at the back of the truck. With the use of hydraulics, it can lean back to form a ramp. The vehicle can be driven to the flatbed or a lifter can be used to pull it onto the truck. Flatbed tow trucks are the favored method for hauling vehicles since they do not place pressure on the vehicle or drag it for a long period.

Consider safety measures when choosing a small town towing service in order to prevent unnecessary damages and loss of lives, destruction to vehicles or unwarranted accidents. Make sure that car lights and flashers are turned on and working, particularly in roads where the volume of traffic is heavy. There are also regulations that are being implemented according to state and federal laws. The bottom line is to follow these regulations.

Using Different Types of Spot Welders

Stationary spot welderThis device uses an electrical current, to join metal pieces together. Two clamp-able electrodes send an electrical current through the metal pieces. Naturally, the metal between the electrodes heat and fusion occurs. The area that has been “fused” together is referred to as a spot weld.

Spot welding is a process that is most effective for joining thin pieces of metal (ranging for 0.02 to 0.12 inches thick).

One of the benefits of spot welding; is the fact that a lot of energy is delivered to a direct location in milliseconds. This allows the weld to happen quickly, without the possibility of excessively heating the entire metal sheet.

The energy (heat) that is applied to the spot is determined by the resistance between the electrode, and the size and length of the current.

The amount of energy used is directly impacted by the thickness of the material, and the type of electrodes being used in the process. For instance, if too much energy is applied, the piece will melt, creating a hold rather than the intended weld. If not enough energy is used, a poor quality weld is usually created.

The components of a basic spot welder include:

(1) an energy storage unit – such as a capacitor bank

(2) power supply

(3) a switch

(4) transformer

(5) electrodes

The storage unit is helpful, because the welder needs to deliver instantaneous intense power to a workpiece.

The switch releases stored energy into the transformer, and then the transformer increases the current, while decreasing the voltage.

The electrodes are sized and shaped, in order to accommodate the type of application required. They are usually made from a low-resistance alloy, like copper.

Types of spot welders

While there are multiple types of spot welders for sale, These are the two most basic types used today: Hand held and stationary welders. They both have the same components, and the metal is fused in the same manner, but they are designed for purposes that are very different.

Hand-held spot welders

Hand-held versions are great for repairs that are off-site, as this is a portable unit. The drawback of this type of unit is the minimal effects of the cooling system. Electrodes wear out faster, and the speed of spot welding repairs are reduced, due to the excessive heat generated.

Stationary spot welders

Stationary welding machines are used for high production. Water is generally circulated inside the electrodes, to keep the unit cool. Some other features found on a stationary unit are an adjustment for clamping pressure, thickness of metal and welding time.

 Metal being spot welded

Applications that use spot welders

Spot welding is commonly found in the aerospace and automobile industries. This is the process of choice for many manufacturers, because the process is completed quickly; and it can be an automated process, which may reduce certain work area safety hazards.


It can also be found in an orthodontist’s office, because this technique is quite effective in re-sizing metal molar bands, and creating braces.

The making of batteries also benefits from this process. Spot welding is a lot cooler than other types of soldering processes.