A set of swingers for surprise swap

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Project by ToddJB posted 02-16-2017 04:34 PM 3137 views 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Greetings all,

Here is a set of mallets that I recently made for LJ clieb91 for the Shop Made SURPRISE Tool Swap - Fall/Winter 2016.

All the handles are made out of some walnut that was a left over from my countertops, but the heads are all made of different materials.

The small one – weighing in at 24oz is a slug of 1 5/8” brass
The medium one – weighs in at the waif weight of 9oz of Osage Orange
The big clobberer – weighs in at a hefty 25oz – of veg tan leather discs sandwitched between two discs of Osage.

All mallets have a lag bolt with the head cut off attaching handles to the heads. The bolts in the handles go at least halfway down to help with balance and strength.

The bolt in the brass only goes up about an inch, in the wood about 2”, and it goes all the way through the leather mallet.

There were a few questions about the leather mallet over on the swap forum that I’ll address here.

The leather is the thickest veg tan I could find at the local leather shop. I used a 3” hole saw on my drill press to drill out the discs. I will say my crappy hole saw and 1/3hp drill press made this a challenging job and some had to be finished off with a utility knife.

Here’s a shot of the discs loosely stacked.

Here’s a shot after gluing up with Weldwood

After the glue cured for a couple days I assembled all the rough pieces and epoxied them together. Note: the bolt is standing proud of the head.

I mounted the bolt into a drill chuck in my lathe. Everything rounded

Final shape

I had never tried to turn leather before, but to my surprise it turned fairly easily. I used my carbide tools. High speed. But the stock removal was slow. You can’t lean into it like you can with wood to hog off a bunch quickly – it’s slow going, but works fine.

Once that was all done I cut the bolt off and smoothed the top out.

I hope that helps with any construction questions.

TerryR recieved my name for the swap and he had a very similar idea for the swap that I did. I was lucky enough to get three mallets from him as well. A bass, wood, and plane adjuster. The fit and finish of these tools are paramount. Thanks Terry!

It was a fun swap. A big thanks to Dave for putting this shindig on.

Any questions and/or comments welcome.

Thanks for reading.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

24 comments so far

View woodcox's profile


2386 posts in 3509 days

#1 posted 02-16-2017 04:47 PM

Awesome work Todd. Your leather mallet is very cool, I want to try that now.

Congrats with the nice set of swingers clieb! Not changing it.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View JayT's profile


6460 posts in 3708 days

#2 posted 02-16-2017 04:55 PM

Nicely done, Todd. The leather mallet looks like good alternative to a polyurethane carving mallet. I’m also surprised the Osage didn’t weigh more.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View KelleyCrafts's profile


5361 posts in 2236 days

#3 posted 02-16-2017 04:57 PM

Great write up on the leather mallet. Thank you sir. Great looking set leaving and coming to your shop.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View bobasaurus's profile


3749 posts in 4681 days

#4 posted 02-16-2017 05:39 PM

Mallets are raining from the sky. Well done, those look really nice. Great handle duplication skills.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View jeffswildwood's profile


5159 posts in 3474 days

#5 posted 02-16-2017 05:51 PM

Great set Todd. I had really wondered how you did the leather mallet. All are beautiful and I’m sure will last for years.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View pottz's profile


26617 posts in 2481 days

#6 posted 02-16-2017 05:54 PM

great job anyone would be proud to get those.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4363 days

#7 posted 02-16-2017 06:15 PM

This is a very nice group of mallets.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View terryR's profile


7733 posts in 3805 days

#8 posted 02-16-2017 06:18 PM

Thanks, Todd.
Love your stuff, Thanks for the tutorial on stacking leather. Gotta try that one.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View HokieKen's profile


22022 posts in 2635 days

#9 posted 02-16-2017 06:27 PM

Great stuff Todd. I like that handle style and the leather looks like a versatile tool. Definitely be copying that one!

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View ralbuck's profile


6808 posts in 3763 days

#10 posted 02-16-2017 07:03 PM

Beautiful work




-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 4095 days

#11 posted 02-16-2017 07:12 PM

Very nice sir. I imagine all those will be very useful tools.

View AnthonyReed's profile


10196 posts in 3937 days

#12 posted 02-16-2017 07:43 PM


-- ~Tony

View waho6o9's profile


9203 posts in 4074 days

#13 posted 02-16-2017 08:51 PM

Great mallets Todd, Good job!

View bigblockyeti's profile


8594 posts in 3217 days

#14 posted 02-16-2017 10:37 PM

Todd your’s and Terry’s mallets inspired me to turn a couple far less fancy users for myself despite the fact I don’t do any carving nor do I have any carving chisels. The shape is just so appealing and for the most part uncomplicated, I ended up just grabbing a couple branch chunks of unknown wood and went to town. The second turned out much better than the first. The craftsmanship you have put into these is amazing and the leather is very unique even though it looks like it was fairly labor intensive, I’m sure it’ll be great to use.

-- “I never in my life thought I would have to say this, but the proper role of government is not to fund the distribution of crack pipes,” Lauren Boebert

View ToddJB's profile


8886 posts in 3627 days

#15 posted 02-16-2017 10:47 PM

Thanks gang!

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

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