Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Adjustable Weight Hammer

I've got your "bigger hammer" right here already!
  [vote for,

They sometimes say, "If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger hammer." However, that can be inconvenient, prying yourself from whatever tight location you might be in, just so you can crawl out and find that bigger hammer, and then crawl back into that tight spot, to use it.

This hammer is mostly hollow. Both the head and the handle are hollow. Empty, it has a modest heft (tap-hammer magnitude), for light work. There are some special parts to this hammer, which now need to be described.

First is a kind of valve between the hollow hammer head and the hollow handle. We start this discussion with the valve in the closed position.

Second and third are some screw-type gadgets that can move through the interior of each hollow. You would twist external knobs to make them do that.

Now, suppose we filled the hollow handle with lead pellets. They might rattle loosely, so we turn the knob on the hammer handle, and the screw-gadget moves a kind of barrier down the hollow handle, until the slack is taken up, and the pellets no longer are able to rattle.

Meanwhile, the hammer head has the same mass or weight as before. It is still a tap-hammer.

Open the valve, and let some of the lead pellets move from the hollow handle to the hollow hammer head. The valve is then closed again. Adjust the handle-knob to once again prevent the remaining pellets in the handle from rattling.

And now you rotate the hammer-head knob, to move the other interior barrier, so that the pellets in the hammer head don't rattle, either.

The hammer is now effectively a medium-duty hammer.

Loosen up on the hammer-head knob, open the valve and let still more pellets move from the handle into the head, and you can have a "bigger" hammer.

Note that there should never be a need to add or remove pellets from the overall hammer; they can be permanently sealed inside. They simply are able to be manipulated, moved from the handle to the head and back again, as needed, so that your one hammer can be "smaller" and "bigger" as required.

And, of course, we shouldn't use lead pellets in the first place. We should use pellets of depleted uranium, instead. The Government, after all, is willing to throw the stuff away, giving it to any enemy they shoot their shells at, so it should be available cheap. And it is 70% denser than lead!

Vernon, Jun 19 2012

A less-efficient way to adjust a hammer http://www.lockpick...ht-Bump-Hammer.HTML
For anyone interested. [Vernon, Jun 19 2012]


       You could just use water. Or less sensibly, mercury.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 19 2012

       Or, you know, start with a heavy hammer and just choke up.
MechE, Jun 20 2012

       This is great. Water and mercury slosh. Choking up doesn't work- I've tried. Bun that hammer!
white, Jun 20 2012

       And if you want it light as a feather: to the mooooooon!
theleopard, Jun 20 2012

       Tungsten (19.6), platinum (21.4), gold (19.3) or Rhenium (21.2) would all be better than lead (11.3)... or depleted uranium (18.9). As would Osmium (22.6) and Neptunium (20.3), though those last two might be a little difficult to obtain.
UnaBubba, Jun 20 2012

       I do seem to recollect reading somewhere there's a whole wedge of stable artificial atoms waiting to be created off the heavy end of the periodic table.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 20 2012

       I stayed away from the really freaky ones. They're likely to result in a very loud bang if you were to gather enough of them to make a sledgehammer head and belt them on something solid, I fear.
UnaBubba, Jun 20 2012

       I like this, a tooled leather case containing a matched set of hammers in Tungsten, platinum, gold and Rhenium, each exactly the same size and shape. Perhaps the shafts should be of different woods to match the heads - boxwood, bog oak, lignum vitae.
pocmloc, Jun 20 2012

       [UnaBubba], for some reason I never recalled (or, perhaps even knew) tungsten was THAT dense. I did know about the densities of most of those others you mentioned (mercury, mentioned in an anno, is about 13, and iridium, which you didn't mention, is about the same as osmium). I picked uranium because, like I wrote, it is in theory more available/cheaper than platinum and such. Tungsten, however, might be even more available. Thank you.
Vernon, Jun 20 2012

       Yay- I understand it and I like it! [+]
xandram, Jun 20 2012

       No problems, [Vernon]. I just recited the ones I remembered off the top of my head.
UnaBubba, Jun 20 2012

       //I just recited the ones I remembered off the top of my head.//   

       Wouldn't it be more convenient to just store them in some sort of cabinet? Especially the heavier ones.
AusCan531, Jun 20 2012

       I kinda hate to tell you this, [Vern], but I baked the low- tech version of this years ago. I've got three of them in my garage. Your valve-thingy is original; I just used a threaded plug in the side of the head. The handles are wood.
Alterother, Jun 20 2012

       Why not store them on your head? It works for sharks.
UnaBubba, Jun 20 2012

       Let me guess, [21], all of your problems resemble a nail?
UnaBubba, Jun 20 2012


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