Wood carver mallets

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oldwood

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Back in the 1970's I needed a wood chisel mallet for m/l stock inletting. Was visiting a souviner shop at Pigeon Forge , Tn.. and they had a number of home made wooden mallets under the sign , "Hillbilly Hammers". I think I paid about $2 for one. Used it for ten years or more ,still have it , somewhere.
 

Gunny5821

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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
I've never had a need to check out carpenter tool terminology, as both grandfathers were master carpenters/cabinet makers and I worked with one during the Summer as a kid. I found that many of the same tools are used in both wood and the leather trades, especially in saddle making/repair. I was fortunate to have inherited my father's wood working shop (darn good carpenter as well), and both of my grandfathers carpentry tools. As to the Mallet/Maul subject, I found in poking around the net, outfits like Woodcraft and Garrett Wade, along with many others, call any tool with a wood, rawhide, or synthetic face designed to strike a wood chisel, punch, or metal stamp a mallet. Maybe referring to a maul as a maul has fallen by the wayside over the years and is now classed as a mallet. As for flintlocks, I always enjoy watching the hornets descend when someone refers to a cock as a hammer.

By the way, I enjoy reading your post.

Regards,

Richard
 

EC121

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I have used a piece of sledgehammer handle or a mold tapping mallet so long that both have flat spots beat into them.
 

Eric Krewson

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The green sweetgum cracked as it dried, could be because the handle is spalted, the dried mallet is as light as a feather, I used it for detail carving yesterday.
mallet sweetgum crack.JPG
 
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Not exactly the type of mallets your discussing but Paul Sellers has a video series on building a english style joiners mallet, large square head. Been meaning to build myself one but I just use a rubber soft faced hammer for my chisel hammer.
 

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