Regarding that cobbler's hammer the other day


Greetings,
The post a few days ago about the cobbler's hammer got me wondering too. Went to the big downtown library and found "Dictionary of Leather-Working Tools, c.1700-1950" by R. A. Salaman. From the description in the earlier thread, the hammer is a 'cordwainer's hammer,' used in America and Canada. The pein (pane in the book) was used in, I gather from the text, an adze-like motion. The purpose was to make little pleats in curved parts of the shoe leather, so the leather would wrap tightly around the last. The buckled high spots were then rasped off. One quoted authority suggested that only bodgers would use such a technique. Dissent among craftsmen! Whodathunkit?
A tidbit I got from the book is that what we see called a "Mill Knife" in our LV catalogs derived from shoemaker's knives. The blades were first used without handles by the "clinkers" who cut out the shoe pieces from the hide. The blades were bendy if too long, and ungrippable if too short. Then a clever inventor made the handle which allowed only a desired length of blade to protrude.
A final tidbit is that Paul N. Hasluck, who wrote/edited the great woodcarving book, wrote a series of how-to books, including saddle and harness making. Ping Charlie Self: get cracking, dude!
--
"Keep your ass behind you"
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Australopithecus scobis wrote:

Interesting. Good bit of research, Asto...Austra...guy! I'm sure, as with most tools, that there were several variations on the usage, particularly in light of how many different versions of cobbler's hammers I've seen. Knocking down pleats is a possible function, but it wouldn't be necessary to have such a curve on the working end.
I surmise that the thin end could work well to start a tack held between the fingers, and that the curved peen would function as a dolly does in autobody work - it could be held inside the workpiece to bend over nails that would be driven with another hammer.
R
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On Mon, 20 Feb 2006 21:30:47 -0800, RicodJour opined:

Indeed. There is yet another special tool used "when the worker's hands are too large to fit in the shoe."
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On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 03:26:48 +0000, Australopithecus scobis opined:

[typo. That's "clickers."]
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