2018 Mallet Swap - What do you call an assortment of Mallets?

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Project by EarlS posted 07-20-2018 02:34 AM 2889 views 4 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After finishing the box swap, my first swap, I decided to participate in the mallet swap. It was a lot of fun. BeardedDog was my recipient. Since he hasn’t been on LJ long I figured I might as well make an assortment of mallets.

A couple of orders to Bell Forest Products provided a great assortment of exotic woods (katalox, brown ebony, african blackwood, bloodwood, cocbolo, ziricote, granadillo, yellow heart, redheart, bubing, and some curly maple and flame birch). My experience with exotics was limited to using them as accents so this was a first for me. In fact I had to ask what was the best way to get the wax off the blanks. I now own a veritas scraper.

The dice mallets were first. Humming “Living in Paradise” by David Lee Roth, two mallets came together in no time. The heads are African Blackwood with brown ebony and ziricote handles. Unfortunately, a chunk came off the head of the ziricote one so it was relegated to a second.

Corn is kind of an IA thing. A corn cob mallet was a no-brainer. Yellowheart makes perfect corn and walnut is the same color as the silk. The first mallet has a walnut and maple handle. That was ear-marked for Poohbah (the swap leader and the creator of the box I received in the box swap) since he is an IN farmer and his shop sits in the middle of the corn fields.

The second corn cob mallet was made as a heavier carvers mallet with a different head shape and beefier flame birch handle.

There was still plenty of time to make more traditional joiner’s mallets. They needed to have a Greene and Greene and Craftsman look to them since nearly everything I make is based on those styles. The smaller head is solid bloodwood with a cocbolo handle. The larger one is Katalox and Bloodwood.

The last mallet was a complete direction change using Katalox and maple. It wound up looking like a double bladed axe. The accents are copper rings (pipe) and walnut dowels.

There was still time to make a couple of solid boxes with box joint corners. The walnut box has a slide off lid and the american chestnut box has a traditional lid. I did forget to put a chain on it to keep from springing the hinge.

In order to keep the mallets from rattling around, I cut some kaizen foam to hold them.

Firsts included using a rasp to smooth the handle edges, using exotics, and making mallets in general. Since I don’t have a lathe (yet) the edge profiles were created on the router with various bits and a lot of sanding. There were a couple of mallets that didn’t quite make the cut (granadillo mallet had big cracks develop in it, ziricote mallet had tear out, and dice mallet did as well) so I will keep them and use them.

I call an assortment of mallets a Mallet Swap.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

26 comments so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7538 posts in 1482 days

#1 posted 07-20-2018 02:43 AM

WOW Earl looks to me like you went above and far beyond just 1 mallet and with custom cases also …. all mallets are beautiful and well crafted …. GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Woodknack's profile


13383 posts in 3150 days

#2 posted 07-20-2018 03:47 AM

Wow! All those mallets are exceptional, as are the boxes, but ear of corn mallets are on another level.

-- Rick M,

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4218 posts in 1509 days

#3 posted 07-20-2018 05:32 AM

Well done sir. You went way too far on this one. Very very kind of you.

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

View ToddJB's profile


8670 posts in 2900 days

#4 posted 07-20-2018 05:33 AM

Earl, you really out did yourself. I’m beyond impressed man.

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

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5372 posts in 1352 days

#5 posted 07-20-2018 10:06 AM

Gosh, Earl! Any one of those would have been a great haul, let alone an assortment. Nice work, buddy!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Peteybadboy's profile


1953 posts in 2719 days

#6 posted 07-20-2018 11:11 AM


-- Petey

View AandCstyle's profile


3283 posts in 3027 days

#7 posted 07-20-2018 11:16 AM

Earl, it looks like you hammered out a flock of mallets.

-- Art

View JayT's profile


6402 posts in 2981 days

#8 posted 07-20-2018 11:34 AM

Not sure what you call an assortment of mallets, but I do know what you call that assortment of mallets.

AWESOME!!!! That’s what you call it.

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

View ronstar's profile


598 posts in 4480 days

#9 posted 07-20-2018 11:42 AM

Nice mallets!

-- Ron, Northern Illinois

View jeffswildwood's profile


4449 posts in 2747 days

#10 posted 07-20-2018 12:06 PM

Just WOW! The detail put into these mallets is off the charts! Even the boxes they came in are awesome.

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

View johnstoneb's profile


3144 posts in 2943 days

#11 posted 07-20-2018 12:17 PM

That is the problem with making mallets. You can’t stop. Those are some fine looking mallets.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View mikeacg's profile


1532 posts in 1827 days

#12 posted 07-20-2018 12:45 PM

Outstanding Earl! You set the bar pretty high this time around!!!

I love the variety of pieces you created!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

View HokieKen's profile


14002 posts in 1908 days

#13 posted 07-20-2018 12:57 PM

In-friggin-credible Earl. This is one of the most impressive packages I’ve seen in any of our swaps. You made some of us look downright lazy! Not only is the quantity impressive but they are, EVERY ONE, superbly designed and well executed. The corn mallets are probably the most creative but, I gotta say, the dice is my favorite :-)) You’re craftsmanship is truly admirable.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View EarlS's profile


3730 posts in 3118 days

#14 posted 07-20-2018 01:02 PM

Bruce – I think you have it right. Making mallets is addictive. Before you know it you have a baker’s dozen laying on the bench.

Kenny – the dice are my favorite as well.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View pottz's profile


9847 posts in 1754 days

#15 posted 07-20-2018 01:18 PM

now thats a box of beauties,what a swap.great job earl.

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

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