Gavels or shop mallets?

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Project by FoolsLairWoodworks posted 02-20-2011 07:38 PM 1608 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently, I made a few gavels to present to the leaders of the IOOF Lodge we belong to. After I got the ones that I needed done, I just kept going and made ten of fifteen more. They are fun and easy to turn. They all turn out different. The wood tells me what to do.

I turned these two as gavels. They turned out to be pretty hefty. Actually, a little too hefty for most people to use as gavels. I really like them so I have kept them as shop mallets. We all need something for a little persuasion now and then.

One is laminated walnut. One side of the handle has a nice open knot. I personally like knots, burls, and wild grain. The other one is hickory firewood. I always keep the firewood that looks like it might be good to turn. I am getting quite a pile that I cannot burn… It sure is fun to turn a piece and see what kind of colors, worm holes, bark inclusions, and such you can find.

These were turned on my old Harbor Freight lathe. I turn them as spindles. While on the lathe, I sand through 220, steel wool, and then burnish with shavings. The tenons do not go through the head. I use a little epoxy to secure everything. Rattle can Minwax lacquer finishes it off.

-- Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose, Refurbish.... Yeah, I run one of the local No Kill Wood Shelters. Thanks, Jim Root, Bolivar MO

5 comments so far

View learnin2do's profile


889 posts in 2876 days

#1 posted 02-20-2011 08:12 PM

Those are beautiful!! I love the wood! You did such a great job of using pretty pieces and maintaining strength!

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View MasterSergeant's profile


1364 posts in 2713 days

#2 posted 02-20-2011 08:30 PM

Using the lathe is instant gratification, I love it when the blade first touches the wood!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20594 posts in 3130 days

#3 posted 02-20-2011 09:28 PM

Very nice job on the gavels. I too have just turned some on my harbor Freight lathe, but out here in the desert, I don’t have a drill press to install the handles.
I really like your wood selection and head detail. Thanks for sharing!!

ps. If you want a challenge for the next one, put in three centers on the bottom end- one on center and two 1/4” either side of it. Then turn the handle to the major diameter for the hand grip and turn the sides off using the two other centers to make an oval handle. it is easy and comes out so neat!! Have fun…....Jim

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

View manzanitaman's profile


35 posts in 2690 days

#4 posted 02-21-2011 12:43 AM

hello from oregon great job,,what do you mean by burnishing with shavings, quess they could make good shop mallet to hu. have you ever used madrone burl,
take care and have fun

-- Chad Manzanitaman

View FoolsLairWoodworks's profile


22 posts in 2715 days

#5 posted 02-21-2011 01:15 AM

Jim, I will try the three center trick sometime soon. That sounds really good!

Chad, About the burnishing…. I sand and steel wool the turning while still on the lathe and running at a pretty high speed. Then, leaving it running the same speed, I grab up a handful of shaving off the floor and hold it against the piece and it will burnish it better than 0000 steel wool. It is kind of like using a strap of leather to finish sharpening a fine blade…

No, I have not used any madrone burl. Actually had never heard of it till I found LJ. Looks like beautiful stuff! Closest I have come to that is some burly oak or walnut. Gotta keep stuff sharp but it sure is fun to work with. Other wise I use woods local to southwest Missouri and I do have a stash of old mahogany that I sometimes use.

-- Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose, Refurbish.... Yeah, I run one of the local No Kill Wood Shelters. Thanks, Jim Root, Bolivar MO

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