Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

Inertia Example #111 – The Hammer Head

Posted on: July 16, 2008

Wood handled hammer

Wood handled hammer

This is a trick that most real woodworkers know.  When you need to replace the handle of a tool, you put the head of the hammer on the handle and then you drive the head down by holding the hammer vertically and hitting the bottom of the handle on a concrete floor. This is also how you tighten the fit of the head on the handle.

Because the head is heavy, the downward inertia of the head causes it to continue down, causing it to tighten itself.  I have an old hammer head in my shop that I’m going to purchase a handle for, just to demonstrate this principal.


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