Thomas Lie-Nielsen sidled up to me with a drink in his hand, a sportscoat on his back and a sly look across his face.
He opened his green jacket to reveal… a stick.
I repressed my urge to pluck it from his jacket because I stank like a monkey’s armpit after hauling four workbenches all over the campus of Berea College for our Woodworking in America conference.
But Thomas (who raises horses and must be accustomed to large, malodorous hairy things) nodded that it was OK for me to grab the stick. I did. Then I squealed like a little girl.
It was a brass Warrington hammer and looked just like my favorite hammer of all time, the little guy shown at the top of this blog entry. I use the round end of this hammer for adjusting all my planes. A few subtle hammer taps adjust the lateral position of my iron with more accuracy than any lateral-adjust mechanism.
I’ll also use the round end to advance the irons of my planes that don’t have mechanical adjusters. Oh, and I drive small pins with this end, too.
The flat end, called the “cross pane,” is ideal for starting nails. You pinch the nail with your fingers and use the cross pane to sneak through your fingertips to strike the nail’s head. Very handy.
There are probably 100 other uses for this little hammer because I take it with me whenever I travel with my tools.
So here’s the news: Lie-Nielsen Toolworks is going to begin making this hammer in both steel and brass. I don’t have information on pricing or availability, but who cares? I’m getting a set (or two) the minute they come out.
You see, I have a hammer problem. I probably have 20 or more of them, all different. Most of them came into my hands when I wrote about hammers for Woodworking Magazine a few years back, but for some reason I can’t seem to get rid of them.
But the Warrington’s size and weight have made it my favorite shop hammer (followed quickly by my 16-ounce Maydole hammer). And soon – thanks to Lie-Nielsen – you are going to be able to see if you agree with my assessment.
— Christopher Schwarz
All I’m saying about this photo is that I’m glad it’s not scratch ‘n’ sniff.