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Striking Mallet With Octagonal Handle

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Project by fatman51 posted 06-23-2016 08:52 AM 856 views 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was sitting in my shop after work today and I decided that my octagon handled chisel set, needed an octagonal handled mallet. I can not argue that I needed one, but I wanted one so I made it.
I know a lot of people that would have turned a baton or made an old fashioned chunk of wood with a wedge and a handle, but I have always used amber or plastic mallets and I have been at it for too long to want to change now so I stuck with what I know. The octagonal handle turned out to be quite comfortable.

The material is Honey Locust and the finish is Howard’s Cutting Board Oil.
I turned the head and the handle between centers and I used a brass screw as a wedge to secure the head to the handle.

Thank you for looking!

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin





17 comments so far

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

9120 posts in 2330 days


#1 posted 06-23-2016 09:04 AM

Nice addition to your collection.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1751 posts in 526 days


#2 posted 06-23-2016 10:54 AM

I have this say about that.

-- Mark

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17154 posts in 2568 days


#3 posted 06-23-2016 11:53 AM

Great mallet and it matches the chisels, too!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

4881 posts in 2130 days


#4 posted 06-23-2016 12:10 PM

Handle matches nicely with your chisels but be careful and maybe a leather face would be nice on this mallet .

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2373 posts in 1653 days


#5 posted 06-23-2016 12:31 PM

Nice looking mallet, perfect match to the chisels. After turning the handle, I’m curious to know the procedure you used to apply the octagon shape.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View fatman51's profile

fatman51

335 posts in 1299 days


#6 posted 06-23-2016 03:56 PM

Thanks, Ivan. Its okay Mark, a lot of folks do not like octagonal handled Honey Locust mallets and the incorrect use of the words “to”, “too”, and two. Thanks Jim.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View fatman51's profile

fatman51

335 posts in 1299 days


#7 posted 06-23-2016 04:34 PM

Thanks for the input Klaus. A leather pad might be in order. What if I found a a piece of mahogany and turned a softer head?

Thanks Old tool. You just had the one simple question but I am going to try to give a detailed answer in case anyone else out there is curious too. I have found it can be dangerous to run a finished handle through the tables saw, so I run them through after I have established center on the lathe but before I shape the handle. The procedure I follow for octagonal handle turnings is to cut a blank out of my log or timber using, chainsaw, bandsaw, table saw, generally in that order. I cut this mallet handle blank 1-12” x 1-1/2” by 11”. I found the center of each end and secured it between centers in the lathe. I turned out a 1-3/8 dowel, +- 3/64, removed it from the lathe and secured it on my workbench where I planed just enough of a flat on one side to run the workpiece through the table saw with the flat on the table. I was looking for a 1-1/4” octagon so I set the saw to 1-5/16 and ran my piece through. Setting the sawn flat on the table, with the planed edge towards the blade, I ran the piece trough again. Next, I set the fence to 1-1/4, sawed the other two sides, working always with a flat side on the table. Next, I used my hand plane to cut the first flat of the second set to complete the octagon. Again, I did not plane this too deep and I remembered to set my fence back out to 1-5/16. After I ran the piece back through the saw, I chucked it back in the lathe to finish turning. Where I want to make an octagonal handle out of a round handle I have already turned, I use a hand plane. If you cut your blank close to the finished dimensions, draw an octagon on each end and square your lines across. You can carefully chuck your workpiece up between nearly exact established centers and then you only have to cut or plane one of the squares but it is easier to loose your centers and mess up the workpiece this way.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2373 posts in 1653 days


#8 posted 06-23-2016 10:30 PM

OK fatman51, I do believe i have it, thanks for the detailed explanation.
What I gathered in a nut shell is; you make the octagon section prior turning the round portion. Glad I asked, because I envisioned, and why I don’t know, that you turned the handle then created the octagon. I guess old age is catching up with me, what used to be simple to think through now evades my common sense.
Any reason you don’t create an octagon shaft first, on the table saw, first square, then tilt the blade 45 deg. for going from 4 sides to eight?
This looks like fun to do, gotta make me an octagon handle.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View fatman51's profile

fatman51

335 posts in 1299 days


#9 posted 06-23-2016 11:37 PM

Old tool. When I am making octagonal table or bench legs with turned sections, I will make the octagonal stock first and cut them close to length before turning. When one does it that way, they have to be careful to center the stock on the lathe so that the turning is not out of round. I have found that it is just easier, when I am putzing around in my shop, to turn the stock round first so that I have my centers established before I turn the rest of the handle.

I had to think to remember as to why I run them through the table saw in the manner I do, probably because age is catching up with me as well, but I have always cut octagons the way I described. I always square the blade and leave it that way for the exercise. Probably because a couple up my power planers have a 45 degree notch for planing flats on the corners of square stock, which makes it easy to do with a minimum of fussing around with the table saw blade and fence. When I am making up octagonal stock, I clamp the long workpieces in V blocks on my bench and use the power planer to establish the first flat of the second square, as it were, and then finish cutting the octagon with the table saw. I use a good sharp combination or triple chip blade so that I do not have too much scraping or sanding when I am done.

The process goes pretty quickly once you get your system figured out and I hope you do make and post some octagonal handles. They look good and they are comfortable to use, especially once you get the size matched to your hands.

I hope that I have helped more than I have hindered,

John

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2373 posts in 1653 days


#10 posted 06-24-2016 10:50 AM

Thanks John, all is understood. I think I’ll do a couple of handles, and try various methods, as soon as I finish the two desks I’m working on. It has been the way to get to the final product that has me interested & curious about woodworking, so many ways to “skin the cat”.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2427 posts in 1871 days


#11 posted 06-26-2016 03:27 AM

Thanks for the tip on how you make the starting edge, wondered about that.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View fatman51's profile

fatman51

335 posts in 1299 days


#12 posted 06-26-2016 08:34 AM

Just glad to read that I typed something relevant, woodbutcher. A point I meant to make about forming the starting edge with a hand plane, or the entire octagon for that matter, is that it is easier to be precise with a chamfering plane, a combination plane with a 45 degree block on the fence, or any kind of a plane with a beveled block clamped to it.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View fatman51's profile

fatman51

335 posts in 1299 days


#13 posted 06-26-2016 09:39 PM

Or Like Old tool said, you can simply set the table saw blade to 45 degrees and run your square stalk through.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2427 posts in 1871 days


#14 posted 06-28-2016 04:06 AM

Definitely put leather on the ends, I use mine often and that has been a life saver at times.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View fatman51's profile

fatman51

335 posts in 1299 days


#15 posted 06-29-2016 04:43 AM

Thanks for the input Wood Butcher, I have gone so far as to dig a scrap of leather out of the box that should do, but that is all. I am thinking about making another mallet for the purpose though.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

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