I should start a series of “Chase screws up a project, so don’t follow in his footsteps” blog entries. I made a wooden mallet out of maple and some unknown scrap for the handle following (more or less) the WoodWorking for Mere Mortals method. I used BBs for the weight and leather on the surfaces. It worked out pretty well until I went to use it the first time.
The leather face flew off after the first hit, and the maple dented badly. Full disclosure, I did hit a piece of metal with the mallet, though not very hard. I think a breakdown of the lessons are as follows:
1. Soft maple might be too soft for a mallet. That was end grain that got hit, what grain direction does everyone else use for the mallet face?
2. Rubber cement does not hold leather onto the mallet face well at all. Do most people use contact cement?
3. Never hit metal with your mallet… Even when you think you are hitting gently.
On the bright side I can probably split the head and get the bbs back. The mallet felt a bit heavy, so I will use a smaller cavity this time. Also the handle could have been a smidge longer for my taste. I will probably try again soon with oak instead of maple.
Any other lessons people have learned about mallet construction and use? I would like to reduce the number of disaster posts I produce.
-- Every neighborhood has an eccentric neighbor. I wondered for years "who was ours?" Then I realized it was me.