|Project by JasonD||posted 08-01-2010 05:02 PM||2426 views||5 times favorited||4 comments|
Late last night, I realized I was getting tired and didn’t want to keep working on my “main” project for fear of making a mistake while half asleep. But I was “in the zone” and didn’t want to stop working. I grabbed a handful of maple and red oak scraps and decided to make a new mallet.
The highlight of this project was that my son walked into the shop right as I was getting started and he and I got to hang out while making it. I let him make about half the cross cuts to get the pieces into their initial dimensioned sizes. He’d never used a backsaw or a bench hook before, so he had a lot of fun.
I started woodworking about 8 months ago and early on recognized that I needed a mallet since I primarily work with hand tools only. Using some maple and red oak scraps at the time, I built a small mallet which has served me well, but doesn’t have the heft I’d like for certain jobs. So, I grabbed some more scraps and got to work at around midnight last night.
My first mallet has a wedge in the handle’s through tenon at the top of the mallet head’s mortise. For this one, I wanted to try something different: the same through tenon, but pegged with a hand-made dowel instead of the wedge. To make the dowel, I cut a 3” long piece of red oak about 7/8” square. Then, I hand-planed it down to 3/4” square.
I drew intersecting lines on the end grain of each side to find the center and used a compass to draw a 3/4” circle around each end. I used these circles on each side of end grain as guides as I planed it down in a series of overlapping chamfers with my block plane. Planing such a small piece was a challenge. I held the plane in my right hand and drug the piece across it with my left hand. Doing this while tired was NOT a good idea, as I planed off a nice chunk (about 1/8” sq) out of my left pinky fingernail. Lesson learned! :)
Glue / clamped everything up and left it alone for about an hour. I planed the sides / top / faces of the head and dowel flat with my jack plane and chamfered the edges of the head and bottom of the handle with my block plane. I chamfered and rounded the sides of the handle with a paring chisel. Finally, I finished it with a coat of boiled linseed oil.
The 2nd picture is the tools I used to make the mallet and dowel; including my shop-made bench hook and the first mallet I made a few months ago. The 3rd picture (which unfortunately isn’t very clear thanks to the flash) shows the chunk missing out of the right side of my pinky fingernail.
I’m realize that I’m a VERY novice woodworker and welcome any and all critiques; good or bad that can help me in my journey. Thanks for reading.