|Project by Bagtown||posted 12-26-2012 10:49 PM||1810 views||9 times favorited||15 comments|
This mallet swap has been one of the best things I’ve gotten to do in a long time.
I made this mallet for Gmatheson. As we were the only two Canadians in the swap, we exchanged mallets with each other. I’m glad we did, cause the one I received is a beauty.
I turned this mallet from a piece of tiger maple that came from a pallet were I worked 12 or 15 years ago, I’ve been hoarding it for too long.
After I got the block turned round on the lathe, I started to shape it.
There were these holes in the side from the board that was stapled to this piece on the pallet.
I left them and thought they just added to the character of the mallet.
I got the shape finished but I was a little disappointed in how light it was.
So I hunted around my shop for something to weight it with. All I could find was a piece of hex brass that I sometimes use as a mallet myself. I didn’t want to use that so I headed over to a buddy’s place to see what he had. When I told him about the mallet swap he thought that was pretty cool. He thought for a few minutes and said come with me. So we headed out to his shop, and from out of the clutter he pulled a 1.0” diameter piece of brass that was 6” long. It was pointed on one end and had a loop cast into it on the other end. It was graduated in inches up the side and had “Lufkin” cast into the side of it.
About 30 years ago he worked in Port Hawksbury, Cape Breton (Nova Scotia), and one of the things he did when ships came in was to dip the tanks to see how much fuel was in the bottom of the almost empty tanks. Somehow this piece of brass ended up in his shop 30 years later. So he gave it to me as he hadn’t had any use for it all this time. So I cut 2” off of it and bored a hole in the end of the mallet, and epoxied the brass into the head of the mallet.
Then I went hunting for a piece of wood to turn for a plug.
I don’t know what this wood is or where it came from.
It’s fairly heavy and maybe a little oily.
So I turned a plug to fit the 1.0” hole and epoxied that in above the brass.
After the epoxy set up I put the newly weighted mallet back in the lathe. The spur drive marks were just about on centre so it was pretty easy to just carry on using those drive marks.
After that it was finishing with a couple of coats of BLO, allowing each coat to soak in for a day, and then some beeswax put on and buffed out with 0000 steel wool. There must be 3 or 4 coats of wax on it.
I turned the ends down as small as I dared.
After that, they were cut off with a handsaw and the lumps pared off with a chisel.
I had hoped to get the top dead flat, but I’m afraid there is a slight hump in the middle. It does still stand up on end on the bench though.
So that’s the mallet I made.
I shipped it off as fast as I could and forgot to include a card or anything. I was just excited to get it done and in the mail soon enough to make it for the drop dead date of Dec 25th.
I hope Mr. Matheson puts it to good use and beats some chisels with it real soon and puts a few dents in it.
I did weigh it before it left and it was 22.6 ounces if I remember correctly.
I would highly reccommend that if any of you get a chance to get in on one of these swaps, then you should do it.
Thanks for looking, and feel free to comment.
-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta