Socketed hammer

Found: France
Age: late bronzeage

Socketed hammer of this type have been found in countries like Great Britain and France. In the Netherlands, very few metalworking tools are found, but there's a chance these type of hammers were used here. In France a hoard of metalworking tools have been found, including a small socketed hammer like the one I cast before, and two hammers of this type. One of those two hammers I used as an example.

De mould
Material: clay & sand, baken

This is the first time I attempted to make a complexe mould as this one. The core is also the casting feed, where the bronze flows through four holes in the core into the cavity. This mould was just meant for practice, so that one day I could succesfully use this casting method, which was used commonly during the late bronzeage.

Casting result
And suddenly I had a perfect socketed hammer! I expected the bronze to solidify in the feed, only filling the mould partly. To increase the chance of success, I preheated the core in the fire of the furnace itself. This probably gave the success. I didn't even add lead, as was common in the late bronzeage. It's said that this is required to make the bronze more liquid, to enable castings like this one. But that appeared not necessary in this case. So I don't have to risk my healt to cast objects like this one:)
Part of the core is removed, to reveal the feeds. As can be seen, not just the funnel, but also the feed holes are nearly empty. So I had only just enough bronze! The bronze gods were definately generous that day:) Now this has succeede, I'll naturally also try to cast socketed axes. For the next season I'll make a good number of moulds for those. But first I'll have to finish this one and chip out the core. That's going to be a tough job, considering how well I baked the core!

Finished hammer
The hammer has now been finished and is ready for hafting. The feed and flash has been removed, and the hammer surface has been grounded smooth. The hammer has turned out as a quite a close copy of the original socketed hammers.

Ready for use
The hammer is attached to a haft of lime wood. Lime is not as strong as for example ash, but the shape of the branch was to perfect to pass. The haft is finished using a bronze chisel. This was quite easy, as the wood was still fresh and soft. The hammer head is attached to the side branch of the haft, and fixed with a string of leather. This was made wet first, so that it shrinks when drying and gives a very sturdy attachment. This hammer I plan on using only for metalwork where a smooth hammer surface is required, such as plate work or smoothening of surfaces.