|Project by ColoradoMtn||posted 01-11-2016 04:25 AM||487 views||0 times favorited||1 comment|
Here are several novice children’s mallets I made as Christmas gifts. Two handle are simply a factory made wooden dowel, the small mallet handle was a left over scrap piece of balou.
Large mallet is a noble fir head with leather face & wool wrapping.
Middle mallet is an oak head with 2 leather faces & party bag handle cord & no wrapping.
Smallest mallet is apple wood head with no leather face & twine wrapping & lace.
The project was tons of fun & neat to try different types of wood. The kids to whom I gave them seemed to like them. The apple wood grain & rings was really striking. Also kind of nostalgic to use a noble fir Christmas tree piece to make a gift.
Your comments / advice on the questions below are welcomed!
a) I cut each head from a branch & drilled out a hole for the mallet. The hole was slightly smaller than the mallet & I shaved the top part of the handle to fit it.
b) Removed the bark on the apple wood mallet.
c) Drilled a hold in the back of the head 1/3 way from the top, through the handle, into the front part of the head. Filled this with a small hickory dowel to hold the head into place. (I wasn’t sure if glue would be enough to hold the head in place.) This was done on the large & middle sized mallets.
d) Traced out the mallet head face onto leather with an awl (for the large & middle sized mallets). Cut out the leather & beveled the edge. Glued this vegetable tanned leather onto the mallet with glue, clamped overnight.
e) Drilled holes in the handle for a lace to hang it. Used different materials for each child’s handle including wool strip, pink cord & leather lacing.
f) Added details; for the girls mallet I used a round rasp to create an “X” at the hole in the handle. Also this mallet has a leather piece on each face. I stamped flowers & butterflies onto the back face leather piece. For the small apple wood mallet I wrapped twine at the head/handle transition as it didn’t look very good.
g) Top “cotter pin” on the small mallet. I used a custom cut piece of leather to keep the head from slipping off. This piece is pulled through a small hole in the top of the handle and then secured via another hole in the leather itself. A “stingray” latch of sorts.
h) Labels – I burned the children’s names into the handles with a wood burning pencil.
i) Finish – I simply used boiled linseed oil to finish the mallets & let the natural beauty of the wood come out.
1) How long do I need to dry out a piece of wood / branch / tree to prevent it from drying out / splitting?
2) Is glue sufficient to keep the head attached to handle over time (if the handle diameter is the same diameter as the hole drilled into the head)?
3) What added benefit (other than aesthetic) does a leather face provide?
4) On a traditional mallet (made from a branch) any recommendations on a handle from a branch instead of a dowel?
Still learning on each new project!