Lump Hammers Are Almost Here


The first batch of Crucible Lump Hammers will be up for sale in our store very soon this month. This week I visited the Crucible Lab, where Raney showed me how the production run was progressing, and we discussed some of the details of manufacturing.

As we were talking, I noticed one of the Lump Hammers on his bench that had a natural hickory handle – no “shou sugi ban” charred finish. The hickory was soiled from Raney’s hands. I picked it up and was immediately reminded of Alan Peters’s lump hammer, which I fell in love with years ago.

After some discussion, Raney, John and I decided to make the natural hickory handle the standard finish on our handles. For those of you who wish to make the handle black, we are going to offer detailed instructions on how to do it with inexpensive tools and a few minutes of work.


Why are we making this change? Several reasons.

  1. The natural handle has crisper facets and a better feel in the hand. Charring the handles rounds over the facets and noticeably reduces its circumference. Leaving it natural makes for a Lump Hammer that fills your palm and offers better feedback in use.
  2. The charring is functionally irreversible. If you want a charred handle, it is a simple thing to make a natural handle into a charred one. If we send you a charred handle, however, it is not possible to get back to the full-sized natural one.
  3. It looks right. We love shou sugi ban, but we also love the look of traditional Western tools. The natural handle looks like a new one you might find in an English hardware store (in the 1960s), and it will only get dirtier and more glorious with age.

For those of you who were keen on the black handle, we offer the following solutions. In the next week or so we will publish a video tutorial on how to char your handle with simple home center tools. If you are local to us, we invite you to stop by the Lost Art Press storefront on one of our open days (the second Saturday of each month) and I will personally char your handle for you and finish it with beeswax.

Next up: Details on pricing and availability.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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20 Responses to Lump Hammers Are Almost Here

  1. Andrew Brant says:

    The light colored handle really does let the facets show, and the way it echoes the facets of the heads really pulls together the design. That subtle touch really does say, “We really paid attention to the details on this” beyond just the look

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the natural finish will be better for when I paint a landscape on it…
    JK. can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tal says:

    Rood, putting out something that smexy and not putting a price or link to buy……ROOD

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lclement4 says:

    Every tool you offer is like a work of art.


  5. Mark Fisher says:

    The natural is the way to go. It will show the years far more gracefully than a black handle. There is beauty in obvious use.


  6. Len says:

    Beautiful, Looking forward to placing my orde


  7. I am only disappointed because of one thing; you can’t call it the “chared lump” on the online store. Other than that it really for the best!


    • raney says:

      As substitutions go, though, we’re hopeful that ‘nude lump’ will slot into that page quite acceptably, and without exacerbating your feelings of loss too much..

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wade Holloway says:

    I really like the natural better. With a little use it will look like a real hammer should.


  9. toolnut says:

    I never thought I’d say this about a hammer but dang that’s purdy.


  10. jenohdit says:

    It’s times like these when this whole thing really does seem like a cult.


    • raney says:

      I don’t really see why you had to go all the way to the ‘c’ word. just ’cause I got called out for my soiled hands doesn’t mean I’m not a human being, with dreams and feelings and emotions, and a totally-reasonable number of L. Ron Hubbard books for a guy with as many bookshelves as I have.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Chris F says:

    That does look super pretty. I’m imagining it after a few coats of BLO too….


  12. Tom Novak says:

    What is the size and weight of the lump hammer?





  13. guadfly says:

    Will it be available to purchase at the LAP storefront?


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