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Forum topic by Karda posted 04-18-2017 01:02 AM 561 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Karda

814 posts in 391 days


04-18-2017 01:02 AM

Hi i made a carvers mallet out of a chunk of maple I had, what can I seal it with so it will not crack to much, I have found a wealth of information on how to seal end grain for storage, but not a finished project thanks Mike


17 replies so far

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LDO2802

130 posts in 267 days


#1 posted 04-18-2017 01:50 AM

The problem is that it doesn’t matter what you seal it with, the impacts will affect it regardless what you sealed it with. That’s why I always make mallets with properly pegged wood, or kiln dried wood. I recommend letting the mallet sit for a while. If it splits slightly, fill it with wood filler, if it cracks huge, the wood was too green.

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sawdustdad

334 posts in 722 days


#2 posted 04-18-2017 02:18 AM

Depending on how the grain runs through you mallet head, you may or may not have a cracking issue. If it was cut from the outside of a log (rather than the center) it may simply shrink as it dries. If your mallet head includes the pith (center of the log) then it will surely crack and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that will prevent it. Well, maybe if it’s immersed in PEG for an extended period of time. But, normally, there is nothing you can do about it.

The best you can probably do is soak it in hot paraffin.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

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Karda

814 posts in 391 days


#3 posted 04-18-2017 04:06 AM

the mallet was turned from a about 6 inch log so it is the center half

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Rick_M

10630 posts in 2217 days


#4 posted 04-18-2017 05:13 AM

Wood shrinks most from the pith (center) outward. If the mallet has the pith running through it, it’s going to crack and there isn’t anything you can do except maybe soak in pentacryl. You could try boiling in water but it’s a long shot.

If you process wood like the image below you will get 2 bowl blanks, 2 spindle blanks, and a piece of firewood (pith).

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Karda

814 posts in 391 days


#5 posted 04-18-2017 05:38 AM

thanks for the diagram that is good to know. Is the heart wood all pith, that is the prettiest part of some woods

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Carloz

976 posts in 429 days


#6 posted 04-18-2017 11:14 AM

Dont let anyone tell that nothing can be done. There is always a way. In your case metal hoops will reduse or eliminate cracking. Make sure the shappe is slightly barrel so you can retention it as the wood dries.

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Nubsnstubs

1207 posts in 1567 days


#7 posted 04-18-2017 02:54 PM



Dont let anyone tell that nothing can be done. There is always a way. In your case metal hoops will reduse or eliminate cracking. Make sure the shappe is slightly barrel so you can retention it as the wood dries.

- Carloz

Carloz, what’s holding the rings on besides the pressure from the tension of the barrel shape?? .............. Jerry(in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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Wildwood

2186 posts in 1972 days


#8 posted 04-18-2017 03:09 PM

Unless you completely encase it in plastic film of some kind and never use there is no finishing product that will prevent cracks. Best advice, “use it like you stole and don’t worry about cracks.” Use a mallet to mark centers with an awl and pound my drive center into blanks.

Cannot tell you how many mallets have turned over the years for myself, give away, or sell, when they wear out just turn more.

Soaking in liquids like Pentacryl, PEG, or Cedar-Cide requires pretty steep learning curve and bit expensive for something like a mallet. Although Pentacryl & Cedar-Cide say just brush on wet wood results not guaranteed.

-- Bill

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Karda

814 posts in 391 days


#9 posted 04-18-2017 07:08 PM

thanks for the advice, I guess I will have to be more selective of the wood I choose

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Carloz

976 posts in 429 days


#10 posted 04-18-2017 07:20 PM


Dont let anyone tell that nothing can be done. There is always a way. In your case metal hoops will reduse or eliminate cracking. Make sure the shappe is slightly barrel so you can retention it as the wood dries.

- Carloz

Carloz, what s holding the rings on besides the pressure from the tension of the barrel shape?? .............. Jerry(in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs


Don’t know. I guess a few screws would do a good job.

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Rick_M

10630 posts in 2217 days


#11 posted 04-19-2017 02:06 AM


metal hoops will reduse or eliminate cracking.

- Carloz


Probably not. It doesn’t appear the mallet in your photo has pith. I have heard of people using steel bands to minimize checking but that is in normal wood. Wood movement is a hydraulic action and is very powerful. I’m not saying it would break metal bands but it doesn’t need to. His green wood mallet will shrink, the bands will not. The center will shrink the most followed by the outside. The cracking will begin in the pith as the wood separates from itself and then radiate outward.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Karda

814 posts in 391 days


#12 posted 04-19-2017 02:36 AM

how large is the pith compared to thr rest of the core. I have noticed that it is frequently off center

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Lazyman

1504 posts in 1225 days


#13 posted 04-19-2017 12:51 PM


how large is the pith compared to thr rest of the core. I have noticed that it is frequently off center

- Karda

The pith is basically the very center that was formed when the shoot was green. If you cut open a green shoot in its first year for growth, the inside is basically the pith. On some trees, the pith may actually be hollow at first but is often filled with something about as dense as Styrofoam and usually gets compressed as the outer rings grow. For various reason, the rings do not always grow in even circles and may be thicker on one side of the log than on another, making it off-center, but the pith is always in the middle of the smallest ring.

To clarify just a bit, the cracking just appears to radiate from the pith. It is not caused by it. The reason wood cracks like this is that for the first several years of the growth on a tree (or a branch for that matter), the wood grows much less densely than in later years. This early growth is sometimes referred to as immature wood and is often the cause of not just cracking but is also is a significant cause of cupping and warping in general of cheap lumber. If you think about how young trees and branches can whip around in the wind, it makes sense that this wood is going to be much weaker than later when the trunk becomes rigid as it gets thicker. So in general, pick wood, green or otherwise, that does not include the first several years (rings) of growth and you will have fewer problems with cracks and warping

As for using metal rings to reinforce a mallet. I don’t see how that would help in your situation. As the wood dries (and cracks) it is going to shrink which would just make the rings become loose and fall off.

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

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Nubsnstubs

1207 posts in 1567 days


#14 posted 04-19-2017 02:43 PM


As for using metal rings to reinforce a mallet. I don t see how that would help in your situation. As the wood dries (and cracks) it is going to shrink which would just make the rings become loose and fall off.

- Lazyman

Even if the wood didn’t shrink, just the sudden impact would cause the rings to slide in the direction of the blow. They might survive several blows, but they will come off. Screws would hold the rings on for awhile. ............... Jerry (in Tucson).

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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Karda

814 posts in 391 days


#15 posted 04-19-2017 05:25 PM

Thanks for you explanations, I am learning alot from you guys.

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