Dear Saint Roy,
I like you a lot more this week. Lots.
Mallet Boy in PA
If you haven’t gotten a copy of the April 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking, do it today. That’s where this insanity all got started. But I’m telling you, I never could have launched into this if it weren’t for that article. They do a great job. Check them out.
The second attempt with the hardwood turned out to be much better. Doing a practice run with the poplar was a great idea and helped me figure out the angles and such.
As I wrote in the previous blog, I also used my marking knife for nearly every cut. When I couldn’t see the mark it was making, I used a fine-tip pen. That helped out, too. Using two dedicated marking gauges was also helpful. Same with the sliding t-bevel.
I’m pretty happy with the results.
The joints were much better, too.
Some things I learned:
1. Perfection doesn’t come the first time, and that’s okay. The second time is usually going to be better, so give your project a second attempt.
2. When I was cutting the sides of the mallet head, I used my chisel to cut a starter-groove for my saw. That helped create nice, crisp joints. A must for this project.
3. The hardwood (which I think is either oak or ash—it was a hand-me-down) was easier to work with than I expected.
4. I had my boys help me with the assembly. They were totally into it and excited with the results. More generational woodworking.
5. I test fit this and re-measured just about every way I knew possible. When I was ready to “bite the bullet,” I glued it up real good, and started assembly. YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE how hard I had to hit this to get it to go together. Even still, the fit is pretty much right on.
6. The only change I would make is in the assembly. As you can see from the detail of the top of the mallet head, there is some discoloration on the right side. I didn’t realize that my mallet head was bottomed out on the vise, and I sort of crushed the end grain on that side. Not a big deal, but I would be more careful about that if I were doing it again.
I’ll add some finish and include a closing picture later.
Thanks for looking in.
-- Glen, Pennsylvania, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."