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Thread: Bowling Pin Woodworker's Mallet

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Alexandria, Virginia
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    Bowling Pin Woodworker's Mallet

    Based on an idea from Larry Marley's Web Site I decided to see if I could turn a Carver's/Woodworker's Mallet from a Bowling Pin.


    I bought a couple of Bowling Pins from eBay, but was told later you may get them free from a local alley.


    I started out by driving a dowel into the bottom hole for my spur center, then made parallel cuts through the plastic shell with a parting tool.


    With face shield on, I used a roughing gouge to "flip" off the bands of plastic shell.


    Here are a number of plastic shell "rings". I held the roughing gouge tightly against the tool rest and they popped off rather quickly.


    This is what a bowling pin looks like beneath the plastic shell.


    As I turned a tenon for my chuck, I cut it deep enough to release the plastic foot.


    Here is the foot ring, it pops right off. Had I known simply removing enough wood to release the foot would create a nice tenon, I would have followed that path.


    Here is another photo of the foot ring. This picture also shows the dowel I drove into the hole at the bottom of the bowling pin so I could use my spur center.


    Here I have marked the bowling pin with one inch lines to aid layout of the mallet.


    Here it is in the chuck, ready to turn to shape.


    The mallet, starting to take shape.


    Shaping the handle.


    After getting the shape I was pleased with, I used my Ci1 Easy Rougher to prepare to part the mallet from the lathe.


    And here is the finished mallet, ready for some serious woodworking.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    North West Indiana
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    Frank that was very interesting to watch the progress!!! Excellent mallet in the end also!!! Very very neat. This is one project I will be showing the students tomorrow. Thanks for the idea and useful knowledge to get a finished project. Great work and great useful tool at the end.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  3. #3
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    Your comments are very thoughtful Jonathan, thank you.



  4. #4
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    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    Nice project and surprisingly attractive wood.
    Just stripped of the plastic, sanded and finished a pin might be an attractive display piece.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Nice project and surprisingly attractive wood.
    Just stripped of the plastic, sanded and finished a pin might be an attractive display piece.
    You are right about that. And a whole lot less work. Engraved, it would make a nice trophy.



  6. #6
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    I found Larry Marley to be of invaluable help.
    I'll add a couple of observations:
    • Some of the glue joints want to separate in the process of turning, I used CA glue and they seem to be holding together nicely.
    • Larry said a couple of pins he turned were "hollow", as is the case here. Not shown in the picture, and something I will fix later, is a two inch deep hollow 1/8" inside the bottom and about 1/4" inside from the sides.
    Worst case the striking body will be 2 1/2" long after I turn off the hollow. I could turn a plug, or even use lead, etc. for weight, but because this is a prototype, I may just turn it off.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Vernon, WI
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    Cool mallet Frank! That is a neat idea, and nice work. What kind of wood is the pin made out of?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    30,014
    Nicely done and nicely documented, Frank. The end result is not only good-looking, but will be very useful around the shop.

    Westley, I think most bowling pins are maple.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Pickles Gap, Arkansas
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    271
    Nice work, nice progress pics, and a great recycle job!
    If you have a pulse you have a purpose...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Alexandria, Virginia
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    Thank you Westley, Vaughn, and Mark. Maple it is, and great thought about recycling, thanks!



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