Cracked Lignum Vitae Mallet help

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Forum topic by fumehappy posted 01-09-2013 05:31 AM 1661 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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137 posts in 1345 days

01-09-2013 05:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: mallet lignum vitae restoration

I was going to post in the “mallet of your dreams thread, but I figured i’d just get buried…
I found this guy two summers ago at a flea market. My goal is to restore it to a usable tool by just about any means necessary. The wood doesn’t have much spring in it as is and based on the weight i’m almost positive it’s lignum. So far my two thoughts to repair the large crack are either

A: soak in linseed oil then try to glue/vise it shut,
B: soak in linseed oil, then chisel out break slightly and mortise in a piece of laurel.

I haven’t worked much with Lignum, so I was hoping some experts would be kind enough to chime in before I broke it completely :)

Handle feels perfect in your hand, and with the weight, it’s a delight to heft.

3 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


113840 posts in 2670 days

#1 posted 01-09-2013 05:41 AM

You won’t get it to close up and soaking it in linseed oil will make it so glue won’t hold. I would either cut a wedge of wood and epoxy it in or just file the crack with epoxy.

-- Custom furniture

View John's profile


47 posts in 1166 days

#2 posted 01-09-2013 06:51 AM

I second cutting a wood patch and epoxying it in. I think I would do a little surgery on the crack first so the patch is more rectangular than wedge-shaped, and so that you’re bonding to clean wood. I don’t think I’d just fill the gap with epoxy, unless it’s a really tough type that can take the beating on the face. A wood patch will look better IMO, behave better as a striking surface, and you can use whatever epoxy you want. Then clean it up and give it a coat of linseed oil.

Soaking LV in linseed oil won’t do much. It’s not the most porous stuff…

View fumehappy's profile


137 posts in 1345 days

#3 posted 01-10-2013 01:04 AM

Yeah thats true that if i soak in linseed oil first the glue may not stick. Thanks guys!

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