Wood carver mallets

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Crow Choker

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Thanks everyone for all your suggestions and where to go. WOW, the blind guy working wood is impressive.
 

Flintlock Whiskey

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Where can the round wooden mallets used for wood work be purchased economically?
I see you want to purchase them, but consider making them. It is much more economical, you can make several in different sizes and weights. You can make the handle a custom fit for yourself. I use dried mesquite where I am at but there is probably some kind of dense hardwood where you are at or close by. Finally, you have the satisfaction of making your own tools.
 

Crow Choker

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I'm not against buying quality tools/expensive tools. My tool chests are filled with tools, alot of them specialty tools I've bought over the last 48 years, the majority from Brownells and alot them weren't cheap. I've been working and tinkering with about every type of action, type, etc of modern smokeless firearm's and black powder revolvers during that time, toss in a TC Hawken cap rifle I redid the stock and trigger guard. I'm finishing up right now a old CVA flint pistol kit I bought back in the late 70's and never did much with. Recently bought and received a Kibler SMR kit and plan on getting started on that pretty soon. Don't plan on doing any carving on it, just want a wood mallet to knock things such as barrel and stock apart when finishing and other mallet knocking needs. Have always used two weights of rubber mallets, but have seen the usefulness in the wooden mallets when viewing 'how to' video's in doing a rifle kit.

In the future I may tackle a 50 caliber flint kit and may do some minute carving on that, nothing complicated, just a few lines flowing with the stock curves. Carved stocks look nice, nothing wrong with them, but in my eyes, to much as in to much metal engraving on firearm receivers, barrels, and such is a bit to much. Like it simple and tasteful if any is done. Had a dealer at a gun show try to sell me a fully engraved Colt Python once as he knew I liked Pythons. Told him unless he sold it to me below value, in which I'd resell it, I wouldn't want that thing infecting my gun safe. I do have four Henkel wood chisels I bought back in the 70's from Brownells that at the time ran around $4.00 a piece I believe. Used them in in doing barrel channel work. Have a set of Craftsman straight chisels I bought in the early 70's. Was going to get more Henkels, but never did. Should have, one chisel now costs as much or more than the four I bought back in the day. But sometimes I am cheap and say won't spend $35-60 on a wooden mallet when I can redo a old ball bat or maybe form a chunk of wood into one if I get the urge. I'll keep up the search here and there, but won't do Ebay where the cost of shipping equals the price of the mallet.
 

Notchy Bob

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Where can the round wooden mallets used for wood work be purchased economically?
I like Lee Valley Tools for most of my shop tools. Everything they sell is good quality, prices are fair, and shipping is reasonable. They have a good selection of mallets. It will be hard to find a good one under $30 from anybody, but used properly, it ought to last your lifetime.

Being really cheap I balked at the price of wood carving mallets. I have two granddaughters and let them both play on my hobby lathe to make me a mallet from a piece of firewood out of the wood pile.

The both did a really good job, I use the smaller one the most.

View attachment 99329View attachment 99330
Wow, Eric, they did great! Maybe they would make one for @Crow Choker ! Seriously, those look like nice tools.

I don't own a nice one. I have an old rawhide mallet and several wood mallets all inherited from my dad. these are all "hammer shaped," and none are "potato masher" shaped, but they work all right for me.

I have made some crude hand mauls for use outdoors. I use these a lot more than you might think, for driving stakes, splitting with a froe, and even changing implements on my tractor (sometimes things need a little persuasion, if the three-point hitch isn't perfectly aligned). They wear out with the abuse I give them, but these are the ones I'm using currently:

NRS Froe 2.3 with Mauls.JPG


The head on the larger one is around 4-1/2" and the smaller one is about 3". I don't know what they weigh. These are both made of laurel oak, which is not as tough as live oak, but it was what I had available when I needed them. Yes, the handle of the small one is crooked. The chunk of wood it was made from was crooked, and it works fine. I've found the larger one is less tiring and transfers less shock to my arm and hand in doing heavy work, as with a froe.

NRS Froe 2.2 with Maul.JPG


These are easy to make. Cut a billet the length you want and of a diameter of the size head you need. measure back about six inches for the head, and make a circumferential saw cut all the way around the billet, of a depth that will leave a handle of the diameter you want. I like about 1-1/4" and taper it a little toward the end. Next, start splitting off thin slats, going all around your handle section until you get to a depth not quite even with the bottom of your saw cut. Finish the handle off with a drawknife, and smooth the knots with a rasp. It should be obvious that I don't spend a lot of time finishing these. They come in mighty handy around the place, though.

Good luck! I hope you get one that suits you.

Notchy Bob
 

Crow Choker

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Hi,
Here is his finished gun. Kind of makes folks humble considering Josh did about 75% of the work.
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New Post!!!!!!!!!!! (Messed up my posting somehow and this is how it ended up)

That is real impressive work. It is said that God Blesses everyone according to their needs and God has certainly Blessed Joshua with a skill and ability some with prefect eyesight and vision could only dream of. Dave please tell Joshua that his work is very impressive, beautiful, and well done. Thank you. Crow Choker
 
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Vaino

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When in the toolroom we used double ended plastic tipped mallets which worked quite well and that's what I use for chisel work. Not historically correct but seeing CNCed kits are very popular, who cares......Fred
 

Eric Krewson

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All this talk about carving mallets got me thinking about a sweet gum I cut a few weeks ago. I wanted to see if green sweetgum would split while drying as it is impossible to split the trunk when seasoned and pretty tough to split green.

All the wood had been on the ground cut in firewood lengths since I felled the tree.

So here goes, this wood was dripping with moisture and had already started spalting on the ends where it had been cut with a chainsaw.

Even with my el-cheapo lathe tools it literally cut like butter, ribbons of wood came off with my tools like nothing I had ever seen.

So the experiment begins, I will knock out a few more of these and try quick drying in my hot box and drying with a coat of shellac to prevent surface checking.

Come to think of it, I was clearing some shooting lanes down in the woods and came across a small 8" walnut sapling trunk that had been on the ground for at least 20 years, the bark and sapwood were long gone from the trunk. When I tried to cut it out of a path the wood was so hard my chainsaw had to struggle to get through it. I see a walnut mallet in my future.

carving mallet green sweetgum.JPG
 
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Notchy Bob

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That's great, @Eric Krewson ! Sweetgum is under-appreciated. I found years ago that it isn't good for firewood, as it pops and throws surprisingly large embers. I also found it is hard to split, and not very rot resistant. However, the wood has a very good ratio of strength to weight, and it is very tough. I used to work with an arborist, almost half a century ago, and he preferred thick sweetgum planks as loading ramps for his heavy equipment. Sweet gum saplings are the best for hiking sticks... Stiff and strong, with enough little kinks and crooks to make them interesting, but generally straight.

If you think you might be interested in selling one or two of those mallets, of sweet gum and/or walnut, please send me a PM.

I promise not to use it on my froe or tractor...

Notchy Bob
 

Eric Krewson

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I went down in the woods and cut a chunk out of the old walnut sapling on the ground that I mentioned, it dulled my chainsaw cutting it, it was hard.

I sliced it up on my bandsaw to get rid of the outer layer, this stuff was dry, well cured and solid.
walnut block.JPG


I made a quickie carving mallet out of the block, not the neatest job but it will work.
walnut mallet.JPG
 

sawyer04

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Just cut limb and draw knife the part you want for handle. If you can’t make that then maybe you should rethink stock work. 😬
I have had store bought mallets and not cheap. They weren't what I wanted, and didn't last long, even with care. I finally, several years back, made one out of Osage orange and it has suited my needs better than store bought.
 

Gunny5821

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Either the term mallet and maul are being used interchangeably, or I've been referring to my mallets and mauls wrong for years, and we use both tools everyday at the shop. I was always taught that a mallet has a straight handle with a wood block or cylindrical head made of wood, or a rawhide head mounted perpendicular to the handle. A maul is a straight handled tool with a cylindrical head, sometimes tapered in line with the handle. I would say the gentleman inletting the stock in post #18 is using a small brass maul. I have numerous manuals and catalogs stretching as far back as the mid 1800s which describe the tools as described above. One manual for the description and use of leather tools is a U.S. Army Saddler's Manual from the 1870s.
 

Notchy Bob

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Either the term mallet and maul are being used interchangeably, or I've been referring to my mallets and mauls wrong for years, and we use both tools everyday at the shop. I was always taught that a mallet has a straight handle with a wood block or cylindrical head made of wood, or a rawhide head mounted perpendicular to the handle. A maul is a straight handled tool with a cylindrical head, sometimes tapered in line with the handle. I would say the gentleman inletting the stock in post #18 is using a small brass maul. I have numerous manuals and catalogs stretching as far back as the mid 1800s which describe the tools as described above. One manual for the description and use of leather tools is a U.S. Army Saddler's Manual from the 1870s.
Nice post. Language interests me.

The word "maul" is derived from the Latin malleus, meaning a hammer. The affix "-et" or "-ette" is usually a diminutive. I always figured a "mallet" (maul-ette, as a "cigarette" is a "little cigar") was a "little hammer".

When I was a kid, my dad kept a maul made of hickory. It was probably 3-1/2 feet long, with a head 7" or 8" in diameter. We used it for driving wedges for splitting firewood. I called those crude, smaller creations of mine (post #28) "hand mauls" to distinguish them from the big mauls I remember seeing long ago. I guess a "mallet" would be somewhat smaller yet. Language evolves, and it appears to me that we generally now use the term "mallet" to mean a tool with a non-metallic head, or at least a head that is not iron or steel, to distinguish it from a hammer, with a steel or iron head. Just conjecture on my part.

That Saddler's Manual sounds like an nice reference. I think words are artifacts, just as surely as guns, knives and powder horns are artifacts. If we are interested in making and using the old-style guns and tools, I think we should take an interest in the words that were applied to them. It gives us a window into the past.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
 

ohio ramrod

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I make all of my mallets out of what ever hard wood I have. I usually will cover one end with raw hide.Here is one made from a maple table leg, and one from a walnut piece of fire wood I made for the grandson.. I put copper bands on them on one end and cover the other with raw hide. They are not round but they do the job.
 

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