Hammer and Mallet

Clock- and watchmaker hammers were smaller than those used by woodworkers, needed for riveting wheels to arbors, tapping pinions and pivots in place, stretching or straightening arbors, hardening or tempering brass, and hundreds of other related tasks. Many of these hammers were made of hickory—a tough, springy wood—designed to give the flexible response so greatly desired by craftsmen.

(Right) 1957.0026.383

Clockmakers had to be certain that the surface of polished brass and steel parts remained unmarred when they were fitted together. Leather or boxwood mallets, therefore, were needed to perform the fitting task for which hammers were not suitable. They would also have been useful in working on a metal as soft as silver, and the Dominys repaired silver objects as part of their work.

Mallet, Nathaniel Dominy IV (maker), 1790-1812. Bone. 7.4" (L). Museum purchase with funds provided by Henry Belin du Pont, 1957.0026.276