The Why Thread

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Forum topic by papadan posted 01-07-2012 04:33 AM 2354 views 0 times favorited 57 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3584 posts in 3569 days

01-07-2012 04:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource

Anything you wonder why, post here and we’ll see if someone can answer. I would like to know WHY carving mallets are round and tapered?

57 replies so far

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3902 posts in 3898 days

#1 posted 01-07-2012 04:37 AM

Very good question papa

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3902 posts in 3898 days

#2 posted 01-07-2012 04:42 AM

kolwdwrkrsgirl is a carver.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3199 days

#3 posted 01-07-2012 05:54 AM

Easy answers.

The taper is ergonomic. If it were parallel, you would have to hyper-extend your wrist to hit something.

Round is so you don’t have to keep turning it in your hand as you are carving to keep the face oriented to the tool. Carving changes direction often.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View lew's profile


12428 posts in 3956 days

#4 posted 01-07-2012 07:00 AM

David’d answers sound reasonable.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Rick Dennington

6301 posts in 3395 days

#5 posted 01-07-2012 07:10 AM

I’d like to know why A1Jim has 30 routers…..? Does he just grab another one if the bit goes dull on the one he’s using?

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

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3584 posts in 3569 days

#6 posted 01-07-2012 07:15 AM

Those answers make complete since to me. I’m just getting started in carving and haven’t turned my mallet yet. Rick, Jim keeps a different bit in each one so he doesn’t have to waste time changing them during his jobs. Next WHY?

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Rick Dennington

6301 posts in 3395 days

#7 posted 01-07-2012 07:31 AM

Why can you only buy dowel rods in 3 foot lengths ?

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2555 days

#8 posted 01-07-2012 07:49 AM

why jobs never go as planned…

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3014 days

#9 posted 01-07-2012 07:55 AM

Why don’t hollow chisel mortisers index the chisel square to the fence? Honestly if my sonicare toothbrush can index square, why can’t my Delta mortiser?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View SalvageCraft's profile


274 posts in 2727 days

#10 posted 01-07-2012 08:17 AM

Why do I always chip a blade right after I change or sharpen it?

Why does a 12 foot long 2×8 measure 145”x1.5”x7.25”?

Why do I build or buy more stuff for the shop than for everything else combined?

-- Jesse --

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3199 days

#11 posted 01-07-2012 08:18 AM

30 routers is not excessive if you are making a living at woodworking. Nobody is paying you for changing bits and readjusting depths. You have to be spending your time cutting wood. Adding another router is cheap and can save many times its purchase price in short order. Have a dovetail jig all dialed in? One dedicated router for the pins, another for the tails that just live with the jig and they are not messed with other than changing to a sharper bit when needed. Maybe another one for a box joint jig. Another two for making drawers with dadoes for the back and groove for bottom. Several different rabbeting, radius and chamfer bits. Another set up for mortising hinges. or other cabinet hardware. One with a pattern bit for copying pieces or following templates. Others dedicated to other jigs and tables for different operations. They add up really quickly.

I have 6 and I am mainly a hand tool person. Technically 10 if you count the small rotary tools.

One big Triton dedicated to big router table with Incra Fence. It handles knots much better than my plow.
One little one dedicated to a small router table—second operation without changing setup. Usually grooving.
2 laminate trimmers- one dedicated to the threading jig, one to use for actually trimming stuff.
1 rotozip soon to be the spindle for a CNC router.
One plunge router with template guide (But that may change to a horizontal router table)

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3309 days

#12 posted 01-07-2012 09:22 AM

Another reason why carver’s mallets are round is to allow the carver to eye their piece while making the cuts and not rely on eye/hand coordination between the mallet head and the chisel. Since the mallet is round, the carver can safely hammer on the chisel and not miss the “sweet spot” that a hammer head mallet would require. His/her eyes never have to drift away from the cutting edge.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3596 days

#13 posted 01-07-2012 01:42 PM

Why do we say, “Left, right, left, right” (example: marching)?
Why couldn’t it be “Right, left, right, left”?
Sure, it’s a standard meant to keep everyone on the same page, so to speak.
But who decided it would be “Left right”, and not “Right, left”?

Inquiring minds want to know.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 2794 days

#14 posted 01-07-2012 02:57 PM

Don….Actually a little known fact that the “left right”concept was invented by Orville Wright.One day Orville said to Wilbur do have any ideas left on this problem of weather it should be “right left” or “left right”? Wilbur said the right way to march would be “left right” right, Wright….because if you started marching with your right instead of your left it would be just wrong right,Wright?

View flintbone's profile


202 posts in 3357 days

#15 posted 01-07-2012 03:15 PM

What do you call the little button on top of a ball cap?
I know this isn’t a “why” question but it causes me to lose sleep.


-- If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. - Albert Einstein

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