Yesterday I took a small cutt-off of the oak I had leftover from making Laszlo’s food and water dish and made a round mallet head from it on the lathe. Then I took a strip of hard maple that had been milled from a quarter split of 30 year old firewood and made a handle from it, also on the lathe. The maple stock wasn’t square in cross-section, giving me a rectangular shaped grip. I used sandpaper to soften the edges and give the handle a more comfortable shape.
Because the handle’s cross-section isn’t round, nor rectangular for that matter (more like a D-shape), mating it to the mallet head was a lot more work than I had planned for. I first used a 3/8” forstner bit to bore two holes at opposite ends of the “D”, then chopped out with a chisel the irregular shaped required by the handle. I did okay. Let’s say I’m thankful that 5-minute epoxy is gap filling.
After a final sanding, and a clean-up with denatured alcohol, I gave it a twice applied rub with Walnut-flavored Watco Danish Oil.
This was a good skill builder project.
While I was in woodturning mode, I figured I had put off long enough the making of a new handle for the end vise on my Harbor Freight “Windsor Design” workbench. There is a large drainage hole underneath the vise, which leads to a deep hollow under the concrete. About a week ago the handle (which was missing one of the plastic end caps that were suppose to keep the handle on the vise) had fallen off, down that rabbit hole. The missing end cap had preceded it days before.
The replacement handle was turned from a rectangular cross-section piece of oak pallet runner, a cut-off that was in my scrap bin. As you can see, the stock wasn’t thick enough to be round at the diameter needed. Fortunately, it didn’t matter.
The 1/2” dowel was an extremely tight fit. I would need pliers to remove it, so I saw no point in gluing it in. This new handle is almost half again longer than the original, and no way will it be following its predecessor down the rabbit hole.
Now…for those cabinet door knobs…
-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA