I’m not usually one to build film props, but my wife and I were waiting on line for the new Avengers movie and she said, "You know, it would be great to have Thor’s hammer." She wasn’t the least bit serious, but her remark got the old maker gears spinning.
As soon as we got home, I was off to the internet, where I found several different designs for home-made versions of Mjölnir (the actual Norse name for Thor’s legendary weapon). The designs I found were typically of the cardboard-and-foam variety; nice enough to look at, but too flimsy to last for longer than a single costume party. I wanted something that would have more heft and look more realistic, even if I’m only going to be swinging it around the house. I didn’t find many designs that fit the bill, but I do have to give a shout-out to the prop-maker Blind Squirrel, who has a nice description of his hammer here: http://blindsquirrelprops.blogspot.com/2…
For my own Mjölnir, I tried to compromise between fidelity to the film prop and ease of construction. My finished product is different from the film version in a few ways. It’s less decorated and has a carved wood handle rather than a leather-wrapped design. I also changed the proportions a bit. The film prop hammer is a bit more square where mine is rectangular, but this design allows the hammerhead to be constructed out of simple pieces of 2×4.
I’m providing specific measurements here, but this project is easy to modify. You can change the size or proportions of the hammer to suit you. Personally, I would be impressed to see someone do the black scroll-work found on the actual prop.
In the meantime, this is a good project for anyone with moderate woodworking skills. The one tool you really need is a good table-saw; something with a fence that will allow you to make very precise and repeatable cuts. Most of the rest of the work can be accomplished with hand-tools and creativity.