Knock knock! Wooden mallet making time. A small mallet made from scrap hardwood pieces. Why use a hammer when you can use a mallet?! 🙂
It seems that any woodworker worth his salt, needs to have a wooden mallet of some description. Plus if you blog, I believe there is some sort of law which says you have to post something on making a mallet, so I thought I’d better get one done quick smart. Ha! Well that aside, it’s true that I’ve often wanted one of these things so I can assemble bits without dinting my projects too badly as you can do with a steel hammer. So time to turn some timber scraps into something useful. (Yes I know I could probably buy something already made for $10-20, but I want escuses to make stuff!)
Somewhat satisfying finding a use for these bits and bobs that have been in a scrap bucket for several years now. This is all 19mm Tas Oak. Lots of colour variation so should come out quite nicely.
OK so first steps were to get all these angles cut. I went with a 2° angle on both the mallet and striking face, as I’d seen that used somewhere before so thought I’d just go with that. (I guess this comes down to the geometry of the mallet and the swinging arch of your hand/wrist/arm). I’m also using that same 2° as the taper angle to make sure the held get’s wedged on nicely.
I’ve seen some designs where you drill out pockets in the wood and fill it will lead sinkers to add extra weight. But this seem completely unnecessary for my purposes as this will be heavy enough for what both chiselling and helping with assembly of small parts. If I need to really belt something hard I’ll break out my lump hammer!
Cutting these little wedges out was an absolute pain. No doubt I’m doing it wrong. They flew everywhere and were black from saw burn. Plus I could not get a consistent angle, so just made a bunch of them to pick through later.
For the handle I got my first chance to use my new table saw crosscut sled I made recently. Clamping it up nice and square I cut two slots in the end to take those wedges I’d made earlier. I then also used it to size up my other small parts quite effectively, although in hindsight I should have done this before cutting that 2deg angle. In any case this simple jig worked perfectly.
Onto the glue up. Nothing too tricky here; Clamps and wood glue. At least it’s starting to look close to done now!
Wedges knocked in with a little glue for good measure, then a quick run over with an orbital sander with 40 grit paper to seriously round off the edges. A coat of linseed oil for good measure makes this thing look pretty smick! I think I’ll give this to my toddler to test out 😉
Ok truth be told, I stuffed this up in the end. I drove those wedges in before that glue was fully dried and managed to partially split my laminated head. It’s still usable but probably now won’t last, so this may end up in the fireplace this winter. I think in future I would reinforce those pieces with some dowels, or get my wedges more accurate so they don’t need driving home so hard, or… perhaps just wait for the glue to dry, who could say which would be easier?!
I would also in future give the handle a shoulder to meet the head with as when I drove those wedges in the head ended up a bit off square, as it feels a bit odd swinging it with it the way it is now. I also spent far too much time sanding things smooth as those angles weren’t cut consistent enough, so I need to improve accuracy of those cuts somehow.
Oh well I guess this is what learning is about.