Spiral End Mallet #1: The Lay-Out

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Blog entry by Kent Shepherd posted 08-14-2009 10:47 PM 2464 reads 17 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Spiral End Mallet series Part 2: The Router Jig »

Thanks for your interest in my new Spiral-End Mallet, based on the Lazy Larry Spiral Cheese Boards, by degoose. Obviously with the small size of the pieces, the band saw jig Larry uses wouldn’t work. This is how I adapted his GREAT idea for something a little different.

The first step is to make the medallion that is inlayed in the end of the mallet. (Yes it is inlayed—-do you think I’m totally nuts?) If you are looking for a fast, easy project, this may not be it, but the end result is well worth the effort. As you see from jigs I’ve posted, I usually don’t take the easy way out. —-But it sure is FUN.


First, do the math—-or maybe a little Geometry. You need to establish the size you want the medallion, which obviously is related to the diameter of the end of your mallet. Mine is 2 7/8”. My medallion finished out at
2 1/8”, including the band around the outside. The radius you need for this size is 1”. Set your compass on that measurement.—-Note—You certainly may change that to fit your needs, especially if you do another application, like coasters for instance. The principal remains the same, you just change lay-out sizes and create router jigs to accomodate. Draw a circle on any scrap piece.

Now place a mark at any point around that circle and draw an arc from that point through the center of the circle you drew.

OK are you still with me. It’s really not that complicated is it. Now place your center point where you crossed the outside of the circle, and do it again untill you have this. Again, it’s the same radius—You never change your compass.

Now you can start actually building something. The Router jigs began with a base clamped to th router table top. I drilled holes to accept the pivot bolt on the cicle jigs that clamp the workpiece.—You’ll see! I drilled a series of holes on 1” increments to use for other diameter spirals later. I had some plastic tubing that is pressed in the holes. It operates smoother, and will last much longer. Find some that will accept your pivot bolts. I used 1/4” bolts. You want it snug. Drill the holes the OD of the tubing, and glue it in—-Super Glue is fine. Yeah I know, mine’s sloppy. I get in a hurry too sometimes. The slot is for the spiral bit. You will need it to adjust things later, especially if you do a larger diameter later. The bottom of this base has a runner mounted that fits the miter slot. If you don’t have one, use something to hang over the edge to keep everthing lined up. It’s important later.

Now, the clamping jigs. There are two, One for the inside and outside radius. They are 1/2” Baltic Birch Plywood. Dimensions are not important here. Drill a 1/4” hole for the pivot bolt. Take a bolt and cut off the theads, so that only the shoulder remains. The length is enough to protrude from the bottom about 3/8”. I countersunk the bolt head and epoxied into the jig from the top. Next place the bolt into the base. With the router bit below the table start your router, and raise up through the jig. The pivot hole must be exactly the distance from the bit as the radius you have already established. Remember the lay-out step. After plunging the bit, move the top jig in a circle on the pivot bolt. Only go about halfway around (You don’t want to cut a hole in your jig now—do you?)

That’s it for now. I’ve typed way past my limit. Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon. I’ll show you how to make the clamps. Critical if you want to keep your fingers—-Remember how small these pieces are.


12 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3617 days

#1 posted 08-14-2009 10:51 PM

sweet. Thanks for the how-to.. gonna follow up on this one.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3465 days

#2 posted 08-14-2009 11:10 PM

Great blog Kent, looking forward to the remaing parts…..................

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View degoose's profile


7228 posts in 3323 days

#3 posted 08-14-2009 11:59 PM

What no BUBINGA?
Kent you do write a mean blog, and the pics are great.
Nice to see people looking outside the box.
I think that the jig would look good with and inlay of PH lol

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Grumpy's profile


23841 posts in 3820 days

#4 posted 08-15-2009 01:37 AM

Great Blog Kent. Thanks

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3691 days

#5 posted 08-15-2009 01:48 AM

Beautiful! I want one!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10056 posts in 4021 days

#6 posted 08-15-2009 06:06 AM

Kent, thank you… I’m still tuned-in for the rest… :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4215 days

#7 posted 08-15-2009 01:20 PM

Very cool design, even though you stole it from Larry.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3310 days

#8 posted 08-15-2009 01:31 PM

your jig is great ,
opens lots of doors .

waiting for the rest ,
maybe today ?

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3255 days

#9 posted 08-15-2009 04:21 PM

Larry, Want Bubinga?——-See part 2. I guess Purple heart might work.



View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3527 days

#10 posted 08-16-2009 03:49 AM

I’m watching Kent…...............Gotta see more.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3546 days

#11 posted 08-16-2009 07:42 AM

cool kent

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View mafe's profile


11643 posts in 3058 days

#12 posted 10-01-2010 05:49 PM

The coolest mallet ever seen!
A smile and a wonderful thought,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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