Monday, May 12, 2008

The Carver's Mallet Part 1

I decided to do something semi-serious on the lathe for once, instead of turning 2x4 pine into a pile of shavings.

I got tired of using a rubber mallet to strike my chisels when I needed to use them. The balance was horrible, and the thing had too much weight and mass to be easily controlled.

What a perfect project then, to make a carver's mallet from the scraps I had around the garage/shop.

First I face jointed a pair of 1x3" (3/4 x 2 1/2") scraps of curly maple. Beautiful figure on this wood! I glued and clamped them into a 2 1/2" x 9" turning blank.

On the lathe I roughed out the shape with my Harbor Freight turning tools. I had a good idea in my head of what shape I wanted, and as I was turning I kept grabbing the handle to fit it to my hand.

Once done, I mounted it into 3 laminated pieces of 1/4" wood: one of padauk and 2 of oak, all with alternating grain directions. I mounted it by cutting a hole in the laminated wood so the handle taper is a press-fit. I cut a kerf in the end of the maple handle so it could be wedged into place. I used a scrap of purpleheart I had for the wedge.

I flush cut the wedge, jointed the face of the laminated wood/handle assembly and moved on to building up the rest of the head.

More next time!

(The Carver's Mallet Part 2)

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