Misc. Shop Stuff #38: New Tool Arrival: A Fine Bronze Head

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 12-10-2013 10:05 PM 1464 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 37: Artwork: Carlyle (IL) Swinging Bridge Part 38 of Misc. Shop Stuff series Part 39: Just Another Shop Cabinet DONE »

Short and sweet.

A mini-swap with Jim “Boatman” of LJs, he sent me something first: a brass (no, make that bronze) mallet head he made. It’s small, it’s beautiful.

I have to come up with a suitable handle, but started with a simple dowel to get some idea of ideal length. What I didn’t realize was balance may be optimized if I choose a handle style that can incorporate some kind of counterweight. Not a lot, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, I love it!

What will I send back? Well, that’s a tough one that I’ve told Jim will take some time. The bar is set high based on this tool, so we’ll see.

Thanks for looking, I’ll update with a blog entry when I make the final (?) handle for this mallet!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

9 comments so far

View AnthonyReed's profile (online now)


8938 posts in 2015 days

#1 posted 12-10-2013 10:09 PM

Very nice Smitty. I’m looking forward to see the handle you decide on.

-- ~Tony

View mafe's profile


11330 posts in 2664 days

#2 posted 12-10-2013 10:42 PM

What a wonderful brass head.
A wonderful hammer to be.
Best thoughts,

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

View Brit's profile


6841 posts in 2418 days

#3 posted 12-10-2013 10:57 PM

I’m going to make a handle like these for mine Smitty and I’m embarrised that I STILL HAVEN’T MADE IT YET. Like you, I might add a counterweight. Where does all the time go?

You can get some more inspiration here:

-- Andy -- "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." (Michelangelo)

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2909 days

#4 posted 12-11-2013 11:19 AM

A beauty of a hammer. I’m sure you will come up with something really nice for the handle Smitty to honor this fine gift.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Brit's profile


6841 posts in 2418 days

#5 posted 12-11-2013 11:40 AM

By the way, the hammer head is made of bronze from an old propeller shaft. At least mine is, so I assume yours is the same Smitty.

-- Andy -- "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." (Michelangelo)

View Boatman53's profile


1018 posts in 1771 days

#6 posted 12-11-2013 11:54 AM

Yes Andy it is bronze. From the same shaft.but in running low. I asked around at the boat yards if the summer produced any more and the one guy wanted new bronze price for bent bronze product, that one was two inches in diameter though. That diameter suggests more signal cannon than hammer.

-- Jim, Long Island, NY home of the chain leg vise

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13991 posts in 2193 days

#7 posted 12-11-2013 01:14 PM

Ah. Thanks! Title and entry hereby corrected.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Don W's profile

Don W

18219 posts in 2142 days

#8 posted 12-11-2013 01:52 PM

Sweet. I bought a piece off ebay. Not terribly expensive. If the hammer is going to be used for plane adjustment, I like the handle shorter. Finger tip control is best. If its for general purpose, then a longer handle allows more force.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Mauricio's profile


7115 posts in 2726 days

#9 posted 12-13-2013 07:58 PM

Great little mallet! I have one from Jim also and I like it a lot!

Its pretty heavy so I went with the short stubby handle for more control rather than the “counter weight” idea.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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