Ever since I started banging on metal five years ago, I've been lusting after a set of Fretz hammers.
I mean, seriously. Isn't that gorgeous? That sleek handle, perfectly carved to fit into your hand? Sigh.
Well, I did it. I saved up my pennies and bought the complete set of jeweler's hammers from Rio Grande. And those handles are as sleek and smooth and wonderful as I expected.
The set comes with two embossing hammers, each one with two different-sized peens. Technically, embossing is the process of stretching metal from the inside to create a raised pattern or in preparation for forming the metal into a final shape. But these hammers also leave very distinct dimpling patterns, the size of which depends on the peen used.
Also in the set are two raising hammers. Each has two cross peens in different sizes, which are intended to "raise" metal by forming it (usually against a stake) without stretching the metal. The faces of the hammers vary a great deal in width and thickness, from very narrow to quite wide.
Last but not least, the set includes a planishing hammer. It has one flat face and one slightly convex (rounded) face, both of which are used to smooth hammered metal and eliminate hammer marks left from the embossing and raising processes.
As an added bonus, I treated myself to one of the gorgeous Fretz bench anvils. This one has a flat surface, but there are others which have slightly curved or domed surfaces too.
For more information on all the Fretz hammers, check out this great post over at the Rio Grande blog. I guess I need to add Fretz stakes to my wishlist now, hmmmm?
In my next post, I'll do some experimenting with textures and shaping using these beauties... which, since I'm being honest, are still sitting unused on my bench. I'm a little afraid I'm going to ruin them!! (Have you ever gotten that long-awaited tool or material and then hesitated to use it? Please tell me I'm not alone!)
Until next time -
Note: I have not been compensated in any way for this post, and I have no relationship with Fretz or Rio Grande. I just love Fretz hammers!!