Constructing a Hammer
A proposed standard design for a Belegarth-legal hammer, designed by Arrakis of Dur-Demarion. This is an advanced build and so visual aids will be left sparse and it will be assumed that the foamsmith attempting the build has significant experience under his or her belt.
- Core Material (PVC, Fiberglass, Kitespar/Graphite not recommended...)
- DAP Contact Cement
- 3M 77 Spray Glue
- Blue camp pad
- Open Cell Foam
- cloth tape
- Carpet tape
- Coin-capping materials
- 1/8-3/8" rope
- Cover fabric, preferably trigger
Pick a core length. The first hammer I did was a blue, so it was, say, a 30" core of 1/2" 600psi PVC. Mark a handle+pommel length less than a third of the length of the core and a total head height at the other end (I did 8" and 6"). Don't forget that the addition of the boxes of blue over the core in the following steps (please read all the way through before starting construction) will add ~1.5 inches to the total length of the weapon and at least 1" to the head height in particular. Thus, for my 6" head height, I marked 5 inches from the tip.
Coin-cap, box, and cap the entire core from the top of the handle mark up to the tip.
Box and cap again, over the first box, the entire length of the head plus between 5 and 10 inches towards the handle (extra haft padding makes weapon checkers happy!).
Cut 10 rectangles the width of the second box and the desired height of the head. DAP these together 5 and 5. You now have two thickass pieces of blue foam. Trim them at the top and bottom to a slight angle, leaving them wider at the base (where they will connect to the shaft). This should produce a blunt wedge shape:
___ \_/ x 2
DAP these onto the striking-surface sides of the second box at the tip. The shaping helps distribute impact forces better and lends the head a nice shape.
Lay the hammer on a sheet of blue and cut out four copies of the profile of the head. DAP two of these to each side of the head, making the whole thing wider.
Profile of the head:
_ / \ \_/ x4
Add about one and a half inches of open cell to the striking faces. I didn't do this on mine until after the last layer because I'm stupid, but I feel that this will work better.
The final layer is a long (seriously, it was like 30+ inches!) wrap over the entire head, from the shaft on one side, over the striking surface on that side, across the top, down over the striking surface on the other side, and onto the shaft on that side. This took careful measuring and some trimming after it was on, too.
With that last layer on, the hammer is complete! Add some big, fat rectangles of cloth, carpet tape and spray glued down and held on with hockey tape, wrap the shaft with hockey tape, add a pommel and any desired counterweighting, oblonging, rope-wrapping, etc. and you're done!
Here's a visual aid for these instructions. It includes a key as to where to put some leather strips to reinforce the head, like is done with axes, but these have, in practice, proven to not be necessary, at least for a Blue, even for shield-hoooking: