One-Arm-Man’s Hammer

cheney_0538I grew up in a family business of home building. The first time my Dad retired, I was still interested in building homes, so I took a job framing – the part of the business that I most enjoyed. The lead carpenter on the crew had lost an arm in a machining accident. I was amazed to watch him work. He would grab a nail between his fingers, hold it on the side of a hammer head, start the nail with his first hit then rotate the hammer and drive the nail home. All that and he could out-drive most of the guys on the crew.

Little did I know – he must not have known, either – that there was a hammer produced in the late 1800s and again just after the first quarter of the 1900s that was designed specifically to hold nails in its head. (We got a look at it when filming Ron Herman’s video “Essentials of Woodworking Hammers.”)  Sometimes known as the “One-arm-man’s hammer,” the Cheney Nailer has quite a story behind it. Yes. Of course Ron sent me a link to the story. You can read more about it here.


— Glen D. Huey

(Join 360 Woodworking as an Enthusiast or Fanatic to gain access to tons more articles on various woodworking subjects, including projects, techniques and special interests. Just click the link. It’s the first step toward becoming a better woodworker.)


Posted on

One thought on “One-Arm-Man’s Hammer

  1. Hello all,

    My 16oz go to hammer is a Cheney 938. Though I’ve never used the one arm feature, it is a great tool. With its original handle, it is comfortable in use and tight in every season.

    Thanks for all the interesting reads.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *