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Mallet

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Project by Don posted 07-03-2007 02:19 AM 3334 views 6 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had a little free time yesterday so went into my shop to tidy it up. As I did so, I picked up a Mallet that I purchased a few years ago from Lee Valley. I have always liked the shape and feel of this mallet and thought as I held it yesterday that it would make a nice model for one turned in wood.

So distracted from the task at hand, I scrounged through my scrap-bin and found some appropriate wood for the task. Two hours latter, I came up with this. It’s well balanced with a heavy head making the mallet feel good in the hand. I applied a coat of Tung Oil, but I don’t intend to add any finish beyond that.

The head is from Red Ironbark a heavy dense wood; Eucalyptus fibrosa ( F. Muell. ), Red Ironbark or Broad-leaved Red Ironbark, is a type of Ironbark tree found in Australia, mainly in Queensland and New South Wales. This plant is in family Myrtaceae.

The tree has deeply furrowed dark gray bark. It grows to a height of about 30 meters. Flowers are creamy white. Leaves are dark green and broader than other ironbarks. The dense, strong wood is valued for lumber. The sap, locally called “kino,” was used by natives to keep fish lines from fraying and by the early settlers for ink.

The handle is Huon Pine, or species Lagarostrobos franklinii which is a species of conifer native to the wet southwestern corner of Tasmania, Australia.

Jean-Michel Huon de Kermadec was an 18th century French navigator. It is a slow growing, but long-lived tree; some living specimens of this tree are in excess of 2000 years in age. One particular stand of trees reputed to be in excess of 10,500 years in age was recently found in North Western Tasmania on Mount Read.

The wood was highly prized for its golden yellow colour, fine grain and natural oils that resisted rotting. It is now available in small quantities from reclaimed lumber that was logged prior to the middle of the last century, or trees that have fallen naturally.

Oh, today, I still have a shop to clean up.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/





21 comments so far

View Max's profile

Max

55978 posts in 3027 days


#1 posted 07-03-2007 02:26 AM

Don that is a very nice mallet. I really like the color of the Red ironbark. It looks like it is a very dense wood. Is it easy to turn?

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2742 days


#2 posted 07-03-2007 02:32 AM

Looks very nice! I thought it was purpleheart at first. The handle doesn’t look like any pine I have ever seen.
Nice fine grain, without the dark growth rings. Nice!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Don's profile

Don

2603 posts in 2930 days


#3 posted 07-03-2007 02:42 AM

Quote Max: ”Is it easy to turn?”

Yes, with sharp chisels.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2851 days


#4 posted 07-03-2007 02:43 AM

I really like your mallet. How did you join the two pieces of wood?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View john's profile

john

2319 posts in 3135 days


#5 posted 07-03-2007 02:51 AM

Another beautiful job Don.
I wouldn,t want to get wacked in the head with it. lol

-- John in Belgrave (Website) http://www.extremebirdhouse.com , http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=112698715866

View Don's profile

Don

2603 posts in 2930 days


#6 posted 07-03-2007 03:04 AM

Quote WayneC: ”How did you join the two pieces of wood?”

The handle tenon is smaller than it first appears; about the diameter of the narrowest part of the handle. Because the Huon Pine is very light, I didn’t want to hollow out the heavy Iron Bark head and fill it with the light handle tenon. I drilled the handle hole in the head whilst it was mounted in the chuck to the exact depth of the tenon so that the shaft would fit into the head snugly, but without needing to be forced in. I then cut a vertical curf in the tenon with a hand saw. I inserted a wedge half way into the curf so that it also protruded half way out beyond the end of the tenon. When I drove the handle into the mallet’s head, this forced the wedge further into the curf expanding the split tenon as I did so. I think that it’s wedged in there impermanently; I certainly can’t dislodge it, or turn it no matter how hard I try. (No glue.)

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3154 days


#7 posted 07-03-2007 03:08 AM

Niced mallet Don. What’s the square diam of the head. It looks about 3 inches.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2840 days


#8 posted 07-03-2007 03:23 AM

Very nice Don.

Your horticultural knowledge of trees seems extensive. Something I’m always working on. Have you found it to be helpful when choosing wood for it’s material properties. ie: like species having similar properties?

Nice use of a fox wedge tenon in the handle.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Don's profile

Don

2603 posts in 2930 days


#9 posted 07-03-2007 03:29 AM

Quote Karson: ”What’s the square diam of the head. It looks about 3 inches.”

Good eye, Karson; 2 7/8”

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View Don's profile

Don

2603 posts in 2930 days


#10 posted 07-03-2007 03:32 AM

Quote Bob Babcock: ”Nice use of a fox wedge tenon in the handle.”

I learn something every day. I thought that I had invented this wedge idea, I have never seen it done, nor read of it previously. I certainly didn’t know it already had a name – I was thinking ”Canuckdon wedge tenon”. LOL

As for my knowledge of wood species, Google is my friend!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2790 days


#11 posted 07-03-2007 03:41 AM

Really a beautiful mallet Don. I’ve been bidding on some lignum vitae bowling pins that I was hoping to turn into a hand tool mallet. Yours is very nice!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2742 days


#12 posted 07-03-2007 03:57 AM

Don – That’s exactly how I used a wedge to install the heads on the mallets I made. You explained it a lot better though!

I didn’t know what it was called either.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Obi's profile

Obi

2213 posts in 2990 days


#13 posted 07-03-2007 05:09 AM

as is everything you put your hand to, Don, it’s a beautiful work.

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2892 days


#14 posted 07-03-2007 06:43 AM

Don – An absolutely beautiful mallet! I learned a lot reading your entry and dialog with fellow LJ’s. I love the wood you get to work with in your neck of the woods!

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View cajunpen's profile

cajunpen

14432 posts in 2819 days


#15 posted 07-03-2007 12:41 PM

Don, looks like that mallet would sure get a monkey’s attention -:) Nice work.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased." http://www.cajunpen.com/

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