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Quest for the perfect mallet

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  • Quest for the perfect mallet

    I started using the lathe over 5 years ago and have been carving for nearly 4, in this time I have made hundreds of mallets. All styles shapes and sizes, each one better then the next. I have made them from all sorts of different woods and always ended up with the same results, a beautiful mallet that stays that way until it has been used a few times, I also didn't like that the wood on wood not only mashes up the mallet but also the tool handle. I have seen leather mallets, never comfortable for me, the other option is a soft head mallet well I have one works pretty good but it could be so much better. All of these have combined into my newest mallets made from select woods headed with UHMW Polyethylene (ultra high molecular weight). The UHMW is highly impact resistant and a superior material then the urethane that soft head mallets are made with. My soft headed urethane mallet has begun to mushroom and has many many dent from heavy work I will be abusing this mallet as a test beating it against the end of a 2x4 or whatever I have at my bench tonight.

    The handle is tiger figured hard maple total length is 8 inches the head is 2 3/4" in diameter. All together it weighs a total of 12 ounces. Let me know what you think.
    Carl

  • #2
    Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

    Some more pictures and the handle is finished with beeswax, very soft yet it is easy to grip.
    Carl

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    • #3
      Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

      I have never seen a prettier mallet.
      Kelley

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      • #4
        Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

        Thank you Kelly and they can only get better as I develop them and use more valuable woods, of course the options for handle wood are limited. But Cocobolo, Oaks, Ash, Maples, Burls, Cherry, and quite a few others are an option.
        Carl

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        • #5
          Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

          That's a great looking mallet, Carl. Let us know how it holds up to abuse.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

            So far so good Ed, I took my largest roughing gouge a wood turning tool and used the mallet to drive some big gouges of wood with it. I didn't want to hit my carving tools this hard because you really don't need to hit very hard with tools that sharp. Well anyways drove that 1 1/4" roughing gouge through some dry birch no problem other then it was awkward because of the tools size.

            Just finished this one it's a bit larger 8" long 3 1/4" diameter head 18 ounces, cocobolo handle I will try to get better pictures of it in the sunlight the wood is way more red and orange then these pictures show.
            Carl

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            • #7
              Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

              That's a nice looking mallet. I don't think I've seen a better looking one. So when are you going in the the mallet biz?

              Dan

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              • #8
                Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

                Dan I've already been into the mallet biz i have sold quite a few and made a bunch of custom orders for local carving buddies. Send me a PM if your interested and we can talk about them.
                Carl

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                • #9
                  Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

                  Man I have made more than a few mallets with all kinds of wood that thing is cool. I do use a traditional raw hide mallet now.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

                    Hi Carl,

                    Wow - beautiful deisgn and execution, by the looks. I really like your idea here - very eye-catching, and the mallets look like they're just calling out to be used! I like the idea of the bigger size, too.

                    I think you're on to something here!

                    Mark

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                    • #11
                      Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

                      I can only echo Ed's comments. I love the handle on the first but prefer the head shape of the second one.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

                        Carl, Carl, Carl......turning plastic...on a wood lathe!!! Sacrilege!!

                        Just kidding of course, I like the idea of a plastic mallet!! Where do you find UHMW plastic that size?? AND don't discount adding lead into the head for more weight...better yet, if you add lead "shot" (shotgun shot, maybe a #6 or #5) into the hole before you seat the handle, you end up with a "no bounce" mallet!!!

                        Good luck, great idea...
                        jerry

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                        • #13
                          Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

                          They are so beautiful!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

                            Here is a custom turned maple mallet that a friend of mine turned based on some measurements from a Chris Pye book.
                            As nice as it is, and it is VERY nice, I find that I always turn to my Robert Sorby lignum vitae mallet. In both design and construction it is just the best in-the-hand mallet I have. The old style is the best style I have found.


                            RussL>

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                            • #15
                              Re: Quest for the perfect mallet

                              I have added shot to them before jerry with disastrous results, I didn't put in enough shot I think. As it was used the shot slammed around in there and then all of a sudden the head went zing across the room and there was lead shot scattered all over my shop.

                              The two handles are nearly Identical the second mallets head is just larger in diameter the same shape as the other just bigger. This UHMW on the lathe isn't much fun because it makes one non stop shaving as long as you keep cutting and when that starts to wrap back onto the handle or the headstock it's a pain to cut it off.
                              Carl

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