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How to change a hammer swivel and top up an underweight hammer or shot

How to change a hammer swivel and top up an underweight hammer or shot

This 'How to...' video shows both removing and changing a damaged or worn swivel, as well as how to top up the weight of an underweight implement.  This is essential maintenance for hammer throwers - increasing the life of your implements, ensuring they are legal for competition.  Look after your equipment well and you don't have to buy a new one!

See below for a written guide.

How to change the swivel on a hammer and top up an underweight implement

Tools for the job:

  • a hammer, complete with wire and handle
  • a ring to stand the hammer on (the inside of a roll of brown tape is ideal)
  • circlip pliers and a small allen key for Nelco hammers
  • hammer spanner for Polanik hammers
  • lead shot (can be purchased on the internet) in a small pot
  • pva craft glue
  • a flat-headed pin or stick for tamping the shot
  • a friend with a spare pair of hands
  • electronic scales
  • a partner to help

Steps to maintain your hammer:

  • Remove the wire from the hammer swivel. See our ‘How to change a hammer wire’ video for guidance.
  • Stand the hammer on the ring base stand to remove the swivel.

For Nelco hammers:

  1. Remove the safety grub bolt first. Insert a small allen key into the grub bolt and turn to loosen and remove the bolt.
  2. Insert the circlip pliers into the indent holes on the top of the swivel and press them down with the flat of your hand. Your partner will then hold the hammer firmly and turn the hammer.  The manufacturer’s seal may be very tough to break, so the first part of this will require some effort.  Continue turning the hammer, holding the circlip pliers steady until the swivel is far enough out to finish by hand.  Untwist the last bit of the swivel and remove

For Polanik hammers:

  1. Insert the Polanik hammer spanner into the indent holes on the top of the swivel and push down using the t-bar handle. Your partner will then hold the hammer firmly and turn the hammer.  The manufacturer’s seal may be very tough to break, so the first part of this will require some effort.  Continue turning the hammer, holding the spanner steady until the swivel is far enough out to finish by hand.  Untwist the last bit of the swivel and remove

 

  • Place a ring base stand on the scales, then zero them. Weigh the hammer, wire, handle and swivel. If the combined weight is less than the marked weight on the hammer, you will need to top it up with lead weight.
  • Remove all items except the ring base stand from the scales. Place the empty small pot on the scales with the ring base stand and zero the scales.  Replace the hammer, wire, handle and swivel on the scales. 
  • Add lead weight to the small pot, until the weight is just over the required weight. g. a 4kg hammer could weigh 4.0065kg.
  • Add a small amount of pva craft glue in with the lead weight in the pot. Mix with either your finger or a stick.  Then pour the lead shot/glue mix into the hammer.
  • Tamp the shot down well with the flat-headed pin so that it is compact and level.
  • Replace the swivel. If your old swivel is damaged or worn, use a new replacement swivel.  Start it off by hand, then tighten with the circlip pliers or hammer spanner.  If possible, realign the swivel to enable the re-fit the safety grub bolt if applicable. 
  • Check the finished weight of your hammer.

Note:  Now that the manufacturer’s seal has been broken (and if there is no safety grub bolt), you will need to check the tightness of the swivel periodically to ensure it is safe to use.

Your hammer is now ready to be re-used.

 

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