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Wood for a mallet?

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Forum topic by nordichomey posted 11-29-2010 04:25 AM 1299 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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nordichomey

100 posts in 2562 days


11-29-2010 04:25 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut chisel

I want to make a mallet to use with my bench chisels. Would rather not laminate the head. I have a piece of 12/4 black walnut that I was considering to use for the head of mallet. I am concerned it may be a bit light and have considered finding some maple or oak instead.

Any experience with black walnut on a mallet?

-- nordichomey


6 replies so far

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2535 days


#1 posted 11-29-2010 05:58 AM

My mallet is maple and I would not consider walnut (too soft and light). I’m a little indifferent about oak, but I would prefer white oak to red oak.

The next time I make a mallet I will use ipe, iroto or some other similar (very hard) wood. In fact, I have a nice piece of osage orange that is begging to be a mallet. Ligum Vitae is the ultimate hard wood but I don’t feel a need to spend that much money.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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nordichomey

100 posts in 2562 days


#2 posted 11-30-2010 02:43 AM

Rich / Autumn – you echo my concerns about walnut! I will find another use for that wood. I have some spare Jatoba that is dense and heavy. Only challenge is that it is only 4/4 material so I would have to laminate it. So either I have to laminate for go buy some new material.

Appreciate your insight!

-- nordichomey

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2535 days


#3 posted 11-30-2010 03:05 AM

Jatoba (aka “Brazilian Cherry”) is a good hard wood and an excellent choice for a mallet. Don’t be afraid to glue a couple of pieces up. If you have flat, clean surfaces and you clamp it up properly the glue bond will be stronger than the wood around it.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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shipwright

7164 posts in 2258 days


#4 posted 11-30-2010 03:49 AM

Wood boatyards use a lot of gumwood. Mine’s made of a scrap. It’s heavy and hard as nails but it’s one piece. It is a turned one, carver’s style. There’s just something I like about the balance of a round mallet.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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YoungestSon

93 posts in 2517 days


#5 posted 11-30-2010 04:16 AM

My large mallet is Birdseye maple that I inherited from my father in law. It’s close to 100 years old and is still going strong. I also have a small mallet that is maple. It was a gavel that I found at a garage sale and it has worked well also. Some times I just don’t want to use the large mallet either because I am not removing a lot of material or I am easing up to a scribe line and need to be careful.

-- Don - Rochester, NY

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nordichomey

100 posts in 2562 days


#6 posted 11-30-2010 04:24 AM

Don – the inherited mallet is priceless! I love the old tools with history.

Rich – I have a few different pieces of the Jatoba. I bought it at household moving sale a retired hardwood dealer was having. Some of the pieces are much heavier. I will have to sort through the different peice to find the right weight I am looking for.

Paul – I hear you on the balance issue of the round mallet. However, I am not a turner yet…

-- nordichomey

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