Chuck Thoits - How I make Mallets

Chuck Thoits

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Messages
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NH
[Original thread and discussion are at http://familywoodworking.org/forums/showthread.php?t=22621 - VM]

First off I start with some good green Hickory

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Than cut out the head mine is 2.75 wide by 3.75 tall by 5 inches

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It is hard to see in the pic but each end is cut at a 5drege angle.
Now that the head is cut to size it's time to drill it. I am using a 1.25 bit for this.

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Now to bevel the top. i whipped up this quick sled for the job of putting a 5 degree bevel on the top of the head.

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A quick trip around the head with a .25 inch round over bit.


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Now it's time to set the head aside in some DNA for a spell.

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You can see one laying on it's side with a .75 by .5 slot cut into it. I did that with a plunge router. That slot will be 1/2 to 3/4 filled with steel shot. To make a dead blow mallet.

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Chuck Thoits

Member
Messages
4,045
Location
NH
While we wait for the DNA to work. It's time to make the handle. I need to add that for making an oval handle like this you will want either a large heavy lathe like mine or your mindy bolted down to something big. There is a lot of vibration with the out of balance spin.
First off I mark out the handle center and a mark 3/16 to each side of center.

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Than I put it on the lathe on the center marks and rough it round to 1.5 inches.

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I than lay out the handle and the head tenon.

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Now I move it to the first off center mark.

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Turn off 3/16 of an inch I marked it with a black marker so it could be seen better.

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Now move it to the other off center mark and take off 3/16.

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Again marked for better viewing

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You can see that by taking 3/16 off each side has left a line in the middle where they come together. I marked it for better viewing.

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I return it back to the center mark and set the bench mark for the tenon. And finish shaping the handle.

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I take the extra off for the tenon.


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Chuck Thoits

Member
Messages
4,045
Location
NH
I take it off and check the fit. Looks like a winner.

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Return it to the lathe and part the ends off.

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Handle end all cleaned up. As you can see this handle is an oval.

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Cut a grove in the head end and make a wedge.

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Now set it aside and wait for the DNA to do it's trick. Once that has worked and all is dry I'll up date this with the assembled mallet.
The tool I use to get things round.
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The tool I use to take things to the size I want them.
Some may ask why and the only answer I can give is this is what works for me.
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The tool I use to part things. as you can see I use it a bit different than most. But again this is what works for me.

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The tool I use for some shape.

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The rest of the pics are just shots at different times.
 

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Chuck Thoits

Member
Messages
4,045
Location
NH
Ok it's time to finish up these mallets.
First off they all get up wrapped from the DNA drying.
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All unwrapped
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This one dried funny
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Same one. I will have to re-cut the end to square it back up. I had to do that to 3 of them all together. You can see a small amount of checking. that trimmed off with the re-squaring.
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First handle glued in place. I had to do a bit of rework on the handles. The hole in the head shrunk up and they no longer fit in.
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This one did not like it when I drove the wedge in the handle. I had 2 of them that chose to be the new 2 piece head design.

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All handled up and ready for finish.
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A shot of one with a wooden wedge.
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A shot of one with a steel wedge. Note that the wedge is going with the grain. I did that so that the wedge would split the handle in the head to help lock it in place.
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A shot of the side cover for the dead blow mallet.
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Chuck Thoits

Member
Messages
4,045
Location
NH
Updated

Time to finish them.

These are getting a 2 part epoxy finish. This is the mixing tub and the measuring tools.
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One dixie cup of each part.
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All laid out on the drying wires. The wires keep them up off the bench so they don't stick to it.
I set them up where they are going to dry before I coat them. That way I don't have to fiddle around with the wires while I'm applying the coat.
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Gloves on and the coating begins. I find that the fastest way to get the coat on is to just plan get down and dirty. You only have around 30 minutes to apply so I have no time to wast with trying to apply with a paint brush.
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All slimy now I rub a good coat all over the piece. Working it into the wood as I go.

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All have been coated.

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A shot of the soft face one of them is going to have.
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Now a quick trip past all of the with the torch. This does 2 things one it removes the bubbles in the finish. Two it warms the epoxy up which makes it thin out. By thinning it it soaks into the wood better.
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Now I wipe them all down to remove the extra epoxy. they will get a light sanding to knock the grain down and another coat of the epoxy.
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You can see in the back ground one of the new 2 piece heads being glued up. I'm going to try and save it so we shall see how it comes out.
 

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