2018 Mallet Swap - A bunch of firsts.

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Project by RichBolduc posted 07-19-2018 02:10 PM 838 views 1 time favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I’m a new woodworking, only been trying this hobby for about 6 months and pretty much the extent of stuff I’ve done is raised gardens, a gardening workbench and a dog house. Nothing fancy at all. Well the fine delinquents we have here talked me in to joining the mallet swap even though I assured them that I’m below even a novice. It was a ton of fun and JeffsWildWood was my recipient. For a bonus item(s), I sent him a bunch of box elder and 6 various hot sauces that I made. This definitely took me out of my comfort zone, but everyone here has been beyond help and encouraging.

This challenge was nothing but firsts for me.
First time doing a swap
First time building something handheld
First time using exotic woods
First time combining various woods and materials
First time using a lathe (I bought a Nova Comet II for this swap)
First time using a mortising machine (I won one in an auction in the middle of this swap)
First time making a mallet
First time making hot sauces
First time working with hardwoods. I tried to keep as much as possible about 2250 on the Janka scale.

Now, on to the mallets

I ended up making at least a dozen mallets, or attempts, which resulted in several candle holders, bottle stoppers and scrap blanks floating around my shop.

The gavel style is a Marblewood head with a Leopardwood handle. I found out Jeff was in both the Navy and the Army, so I recessed a coin from each branch on each end (I could only upload 6 pics so one got left out).

The Tall Boy is a Bocote head with a Bloodwood trim ring. I forgot what the handle was unfortunately.|

The Traditional is all Tigerwood (Goncalo Alves)

The Sledge is Katalox that sandwiches some Bloodwood. The handle for this is also Bloodwood that it mortised in the head. All layers are glued together and then pinned together with copper rods. The ends have a 5 degree angle on them and coves cut and sanded in to help reduce the weight a little.

Thanks for your service Jeff…You were one of the people encouraging me to join so thanks for helping me get out of my comfort zone.


22 comments so far

View mikeacg's profile


677 posts in 1207 days

#1 posted 07-19-2018 02:31 PM


Hard to believe you a such a newbie in woodworking! I would say you were up to the challenge with all these beautiful pieces!

‘fine deliquents’?? Yup! I’d say that pretty well describes us all!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

View EarlS's profile


1634 posts in 2497 days

#2 posted 07-19-2018 02:45 PM

Rich, glad you decided to join the “fine delinquents” on LJ. You certainly made some nice mallets and learned a lot in the process from the sounds of it. That is the reason most of us do these swaps is to try something different. Hope you keep participating in the swaps.

BTW – I think I’m going to need a lathe before the next mallet swap. Looks like I’m missing out.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View jeffswildwood's profile


3513 posts in 2127 days

#3 posted 07-19-2018 02:54 PM

Rich, love the set. First time? everything looks and feels like it was done by a pro who has been doing this for years! From the wood turning to the individually bottled hot sauce it’s all perfect. By the way, the pineapple ghost sauce is amazing! Thanks for everything and I hope you had fun in the swap!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View torus's profile


163 posts in 562 days

#4 posted 07-19-2018 03:11 PM

“I could only upload 6 pics so one got left out”

Rich, you can always add more pictures inside the post Please do!
Beautiful set of mallets.

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

View HokieKen's profile


6300 posts in 1288 days

#5 posted 07-19-2018 03:14 PM

This a fantastic package Rich and honestly, for a “newb” this is incredible work! Kudos to you buddy. They all look great and the gavel is extremely thoughtful and I’m sure will be prized and proudly displayed by Jeff! I gotta say my favorite is the bloodwood/katalox. Love the wood combination but the pins make it unique and putting the coves in not only reduces weight but looks really nice. Well done man! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for the Beer Swap! :-))

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View GR8HUNTER's profile


4740 posts in 862 days

#6 posted 07-19-2018 03:15 PM

Here’s another first for you Rich … First time Tony told you your mallets are awesome …. love them all BUT the Army Navy one is TOP NOTCH WORK …. Jeff is one lucky recipient …. GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View RichBolduc's profile


415 posts in 266 days

#7 posted 07-19-2018 03:28 PM

These are the pics Jeff’s son took. He’s supposed to send more to me tonight.


The hot sauces were 4 ghost pepper ones and 2 habenaro ones. Between the 6 flavors, I went through over 100 of each pepper.

Looks like the writing came off the labels some, but they’re from left to right

Pineapple Ghost, Mango Habanero, Mango Ghost, Cilanto Lime Habanero, Straight Ghost (tomato based) and then a Garlic Ghost.



View Woodknack's profile


12373 posts in 2529 days

#8 posted 07-19-2018 04:18 PM

Great looking mallets Rich.

-- Rick M,

View Lazyman's profile


2528 posts in 1537 days

#9 posted 07-19-2018 04:25 PM

Fantastic work….and a dozen mallets? You should post more of them.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View RichBolduc's profile


415 posts in 266 days

#10 posted 07-19-2018 04:46 PM

Fantastic work….and a dozen mallets? You should post more of them.

- Lazyman

I posted the only other one that stayed a mallet. That’s the red mallee and african blackwood one. All of the other attempts became scrap blank, bottle stoppers or candle holders it seems.


View palaswood's profile


1055 posts in 1901 days

#11 posted 07-19-2018 06:06 PM

Wow you’re not a noob no more after this production run.

you really grabbed the bull by the horns and produced some nice tool porn

the Katalox/Bloodwood sledge looks awesome! I love the copper pins and the shaping.

That Goncalo Alves is gonna get a lot of use I’d wager. Great profile on that.

All wonderful executions of fine craftsmanship. Bravo!

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

2667 posts in 731 days

#12 posted 07-19-2018 08:20 PM

Newbie no more, Rich. Nice work!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View johnstoneb's profile


3014 posts in 2322 days

#13 posted 07-19-2018 08:46 PM

All of them are nice looking mallets. I would be very proud to have one or all in my shop.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View ToddJB's profile


8228 posts in 2280 days

#14 posted 07-20-2018 06:31 AM

6 months and your already embarrassing most of us! Fine job, Sir!

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View bobasaurus's profile


3531 posts in 3333 days

#15 posted 07-20-2018 10:12 PM

Some serious mallet action there, great progress in your new hobby too. Well done.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

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