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Roy Underhill's "Mystery Mallet"

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Project by DouginVa posted 605 days ago 3263 views 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just took Roy Underhill’s “Mystery Mallet” class at his Woodwright’s Shop School in Pittsboro, NC. Very informative class and a great experience to learn from a legendary master. The mallet, you see, can’t go come apart. Yet it can’t go together either. Can you figure out how? The 4th pic is your only clue. The mallet head is walnut and the handle is hickory. And the “master” boring some holes while the class worked away. The corner cupboard that you may have seen him working on during his show is over his left shoulder.

If you ever have the oppurtunity to take one of Roy’s classes you’ll be glad you did.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........





11 comments so far

View jap's profile

jap

1224 posts in 639 days


#1 posted 605 days ago

very well executed

-- Joel

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2162 days


#2 posted 605 days ago

I believe Roy uses a pair of rising dovetailed wedges on the handle that is under cut on the bottom to make it appear it’s impossible to put together or take apart.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

12932 posts in 923 days


#3 posted 605 days ago

Very cool. Wish I could have taken class with you.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Arminius's profile

Arminius

304 posts in 2388 days


#4 posted 605 days ago

One thing I was not clear on from his article – is there enough left of the shaft piece that the mallet is actually usable?

View DouginVa's profile

DouginVa

486 posts in 858 days


#5 posted 605 days ago

@ Arminius; Yes, sort of. It’s useable but he cautions not to use it in situations where you have to deliver a hard blow. And I’m pretty certain it’s not the handle that is in danger of breaking. It’s the head. There is a rising dovetail that the outside dovetails slide in to that takes a lot of the bulk of wood away from the head. I’m using this strictly as a show piece to be on the safe side. I didn’t want to put this much careful and precise work in to this to have it blow up on me.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View prattman's profile

prattman

440 posts in 703 days


#6 posted 605 days ago

A1 Jim nailed it.

-- Everyone calls me Ed or Eddie , mom still calls me Edward if she is mad at me.

View DouginVa's profile

DouginVa

486 posts in 858 days


#7 posted 605 days ago

A1 Jim did nail it. Sounds simple…but it’s not.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

View redsox9's profile

redsox9

82 posts in 871 days


#8 posted 604 days ago

Would love to take one of Mr. Underhill’s classes—a true master of woodworking. Thanks for sharing!

-- Jeff, North Andover, MA

View Fishinbo's profile

Fishinbo

11210 posts in 761 days


#9 posted 604 days ago

Radiant beauty.

View Woodbridge's profile

Woodbridge

2546 posts in 1003 days


#10 posted 603 days ago

Very nice job. This ones on my to do list.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View DouginVa's profile

DouginVa

486 posts in 858 days


#11 posted 603 days ago

Not that I didn’t already have an appreciation for hand tools, but now I truly see the benifits of them.

-- Just a man with his chisel.........

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