I have always used what I considered the American pattern veneer hammer made of wood with perhaps a brass blade, but generally hardwood such as boxwood or lignum vitae. The one on the right is my first veneer hammer with a brass blade, I made this about 40 years ago. The one on the left is the American pattern.
A while back I taught a workshop on hammer veneering and the class made veneer hammers, it was a fun class at the Nevada WoodChucks. We built the American pattern with one fellow turning the head as well as the handle.
Recently a friend borrowed my veneer hammer for a big job he had designed and built. Then I found myself in need of a hammer for a restoration job. I borrowed an all metal German Veneer Hammer from a friend to do the job in a timely manner. I really liked the way it worked and was able to warm the head to aid in the hammering down of the veneer.
I did some research on old metal veneer hammers and came up with a traditional style in the size I wanted, and these are generally considered Continental patterns and this one is French or German in influence. And it was constructed from a wagon wheel out of wrought iron, forge welded together to make the proper thickness by master blacksmith Mark Schramm.
The handle is split hickory, wedged with beech and glued in place with Fish Glue after I etched the eye with garlic. Washed it off with alum and water to make the glue waterproof and I will finish with Moses T’s Reviver [a lean oil] followed by Moses T’s Gunstocker’s Finish [a fat oil].
I have a big veneer job to do so this will fit the bill.
[I have also seen this type of hammer with the head mounted with the blade inside toward the handle, which is correct? I think this way with the maker's mark on the underside.]