The ball peen hammer is a kind of peening hammer that has 2 ends. 1 end is shaped like an ordinary hammerhead while the other is ball shaped. It has a handle that is like that of a regular hammer and the material can vary, which includes wood, metal or fiberglass. This kind of hammer is also called a machinist’s or engineer’s hammer. There are also different ball peen hammer weights and these range from 2-ounces (56.7 grams) to 48-ounces (1.3608 kilogram). The head of the ball peen hammer is usually harder than that of a claw hammer so it is highly unlikely that it will break or chip on contact.
Use of the Ball Peen Hammer
The ball peen hammer was made for use in striking and shaping metal materials. It is the tool that is utilized to form the general shape of the material in metal fabrication. It is also used for hitting chisels and punches. In the past the peening hammer was used for the manufacture of swords and knife blades. After the metal has been formed in a cast into the desired sword or knife shape, it is filed roughly and then molded into its proper shape by means of a ball peen hammer.
More Conventional Uses of the Ball Peen Hammer
The original function of the ball peen hammer in conventional usage was to peen metals that are welded or riveted to each other so that the joints will become as flexible as the surrounding metal. However, more people are now using this kind of hammer for shaping and expanding the free end of light rivets, copper roves and set rivets. It has also become common for the ball peen hammer to be used for shaping, flattening or removing dents in various metals, because of the additional hardness and heft that you can find in the tool.
Why Ball the Peen Hammer Is Best for Riveting Jobs
If you want to set rivets in metal by hand, your best choice of tool for the job should be the ball peen hammer. Riveting entails the use of a soft metal nail that is driven through a hole drilled in metal sheets or boards. Rivets are the usual means of joining 2 metal sheets together aside from welding, and you can make a great permanent joint if you will be able to do the task right. The process will require cutting the unused material on one side and then peening the shaft of the nail that is jutting out on the opposite side. Striking it with a ball peen hammer will form a mushroom shape at the end of the nail, effectively fastening the 2 metal sheets together.
A ball peen hammer is more effective in riveting because the greatest risk in peening a rivet is when you heat the shaft of the nail dead on. This will bend the soft metal nail inside the hole effectively crippling the rivet. If a load or stress is placed on the metal sheets after your task is finished, the extra weight will straighten the bent rivet thereby separating the joint. This will severely weaken the structure of your project.
For more hammer types check out Choosing the Right Hammer.