Fight Fire with Fire

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Project by MadeinMT posted 02-09-2015 03:41 AM 1514 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Began an aggressive project, at least for me, to build two QS white oak sideboards for my two kids that are getting married this summer. The project requires the cutting of many through-mortises through the 8/4 legs. Each mortise is 1-3/4” to 2-3/4” long by 1/2” wide. Bought a new set of Narex mortising chisels for this. Practiced on pine five or six times (I’m not an experienced hand mortiser) after watching various youtube videos, spent plenty of time sharpening the chisels, and then jumped in.

Progress was a bit slow using my beechwood mallet, just didn’t seem to drive the chisel very well, and the mallet was taking a beating. After 1-1/2 mortises, the mallet broke clean in two. At this point I was pretty frustrated.

After pondering my next move, I decided to glue the mallet back together (1st picture). While doing this, it occurred to me – why not make a new, bigger, heavier mallet? I had plenty of scrap QSWO around. So I glued three 4/4 pieces together and created a behemoth of a mallet. Making it was exceedingly simple. The thing measures almost 7” across the top and weighs at least two pounds. See 2nd picture.

Best part is, swinging (tapping, actually) the behemoth QSWO mallet really drives the chisel into the QSWO and my progress has sped up dramatically. I went from frustrated to happy as can be. Funny how a solutions can be so simple sometimes.

-- Ron, Montana

2 comments so far

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 3443 days

#1 posted 02-09-2015 09:42 PM

Call you Thor. Nice kabonger

-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 2098 days

#2 posted 02-14-2015 03:02 PM

I had no idea mortising might need a bigger mallet! (In the past I’ve only used beater chisels with a hammer.) Thanks for the write-up. That big oak mallet means business!

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

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