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What kinda wood should I use?

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Forum topic by Raftermonkey posted 1171 days ago 846 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 1418 days


1171 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question tip carving tool lathe mallet burl carving

Hey folks, I am in need of a wood mallet to use while hand carving with chisels and gouges. I plan on doing a few “markets” this year and I would like to be working on something while I’m sitting around trying to make a sell. I will be hand carving bowls. I would like to “turn” a mallet on the lathe to assist me with some of the hand gouging but I’m unsure of what type of wood I want to use. I would like for it to be something visually pleasing as well as hard and heavy. Preferably some type of burl wood, since most of my work is done using burls. What are some good candidates of hard, heavy burl woods that will stand up to years of use?

Thanks,

Zeke

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"


9 replies so far

View degoose's profile

degoose

6883 posts in 1860 days


#1 posted 1171 days ago

I have one of these mallets made by Kent… it is Bubinga and Maple…

You could try this.....

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

5979 posts in 1306 days


#2 posted 1171 days ago

It depends on how heavy you want it, and how nice you want it to look. Use ash or some other domestic hardwood for a durable, not too heavy one. Maple and Walnut look nice together too. If you want something heavy and pretty, consider a mixture of exoctics. Sorry to be so vague, but it’s hard to choose just one wood!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View brianinpa's profile

brianinpa

1809 posts in 2228 days


#3 posted 1171 days ago

Maple or Ash gets my vote for the head. For the handle use something that adds color.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4521 posts in 1580 days


#4 posted 1171 days ago

I would discourage you on burls. The internal integrity of burl wood is often questionable. It may not stand up to the force of being used as a mallet. With burl you never know.

I’m a exotic wood fan and I would seriously consider Lignum Vitae. Be advised that it is very heavy and you may want to mix it with another wood to keep the weight down. It is also the hardest wood around with a Janda Index of 4000. It is also very pretty when properly finished. Finally, the aroma it releases when being cut or turned is amazingly nice.

FYI – Lignum Vitae was, at one time, the wood of choice for the clubs used by British Bobbies (policemen).

Other exotic options – Cocobolo, Bubinga or Goncala Alves (tiger wood). All are solid, hard and pretty.

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

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StumpyNubs

5979 posts in 1306 days


#5 posted 1171 days ago

If it’s good enough for a Brit to use as a club to beat on some hooligan’s head, it’s good enough to tap on your chisels!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

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Pop

419 posts in 2451 days


#6 posted 1171 days ago

Wack A hooligan for me. Lignum Vitae sounds like a winner.

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3196 posts in 2465 days


#7 posted 1168 days ago

Though not a dramatic wood, dogwood is my wood of choice for mallets, gluts, mauls and chisel handles. VERY tough. It will take a heck of a lot of pounding.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Raftermonkey's profile

Raftermonkey

560 posts in 1418 days


#8 posted 1168 days ago

Hey, thanks for all of the suggestions everybody. I will definitly keep all of these choices in mind for future use. I think I am going to try to find a nice solid piece of Maple burl. I won’t have too much money in it so if it does end up breaking one day I will return here and pick from the list you guys have given me. I apologize for maybe wasting ya’lls time by doing what I was gonna do anyway. I guess I was just wanting “confirmation” from ya’ll. Again, I apologize, but hey, I did learn of more superior woods to use for this application, and for that I am truly thankful.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View Gofor's profile

Gofor

470 posts in 2292 days


#9 posted 1168 days ago

If you want a tough, attractive and also traditional mallet, use the bottom end of a dogwood, the head being turned from the root ball. Because dogwood is slow growing and hard, the intertwined grains of the root ball make it very wear resistant and shock proof.

The mallet in my avatar is one I carved from a dogwood tree (couldn’t get the root as it was intertwined in the oak it was growing next to). Just used a saw and a draw knife. Don’t have a lathe. It is some hard tough wood!!

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

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