2018 Mallet Swap - A Pair of Brass Joiner/Carver Mallets

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Project by builtinbkyn posted 07-20-2018 01:14 PM 2686 views 2 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I took myself a bit out of my comfort zone with these. Though new to turning, I figured I’d be able to turn something acceptable in wood, but wanted to try my hand at turning metal to create small mallets as a set. Working the brass on a wood lathe took a little ingenuity, a lot of patience and some trial error.

The mallet handles are Yellow and Purple Heart. The inlays are epoxy tinted with black Transtint dye. And the box is finger jointed pine and hardboard. All are finished with my mix of BLO/mineral spirits and bees wax.

I got a lot of enjoyment out of making this set for my unknown recipient. Woodcox was my eventual recipient. He took some nice pics that show off the mallets better than the pics I took. Hope he enjoys using them.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

27 comments so far

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 3458 days

#1 posted 07-20-2018 01:19 PM

WoW !!! Bill those are a piece of art each buddy… !!!!!!!!
Fantastic work you did on them… Kudos my friend !!!

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)


7542 posts in 1482 days

#2 posted 07-20-2018 01:27 PM

WOW Bill by far the best ones I’ve seen so far … almost to pretty to use thou LOL….GREAT JOB :<))

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

View JayT's profile


6402 posts in 2981 days

#3 posted 07-20-2018 01:28 PM

Bill, I saw those in the swap thread and was just waiting for your project post to comment.

Absolutely amazing work, love the shape and style. The ring of black epoxy adds such a great touch that elevates the already classy look. Woodcox is a fortunate guy and I’m sure he’ll treasure them.

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

View mikeacg's profile


1532 posts in 1827 days

#4 posted 07-20-2018 01:45 PM

Stellar job Bill! Love the colors and the carrying case was a nice touch! I’d like to hear more about how you turned that brass…

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4218 posts in 1509 days

#5 posted 07-20-2018 02:55 PM

Amazing job Bill. The black ring sets them apart. Wood choices are perfect and the job is well done for sure. Very nice finish on those as well to keep the purple heart, well, purple. I seem to always turn it brown.

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

View jeffswildwood's profile


4449 posts in 2747 days

#6 posted 07-20-2018 02:55 PM

Bill, wonderful job! By far one of the best! Making a box for the set was a nice touch!

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

View HokieKen's profile


14002 posts in 1908 days

#7 posted 07-20-2018 02:58 PM

Excellent as always Bill! I really do love this set. Not only are they beautiful but also highly functional tools. The box to house them is an excellent addition.

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

View EarlS's profile


3730 posts in 3118 days

#8 posted 07-20-2018 03:10 PM

Bill – your mallets are works of art but still totally functional. I’ll bet they look this good after a year of using them. Very well done!!!

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

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3637 days

#9 posted 07-20-2018 04:31 PM

Wow! These are beautiful shop made mallets and are so nicely done.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View builtinbkyn's profile


3009 posts in 1710 days

#10 posted 07-20-2018 04:50 PM

Thanks everyone. I like how they turned out and will probably make another set for myself one day.

Mike I set my Jet lathe to it’s slowest speed, which really isn’t slow enough or have enough torque for turning metal, and used a combination of files and carbide tools to profile the head and to cut the groove for the inlay band. I had to go back and forth between files and carbide tools. The carbide removed material fasted but left a rough finish. The files left a much better finish, but was very slow in removing material. In the end, it required sanding with increasingly finer grits, to get a nice brushed finish on the brass. The head is slightly tapered to provide a good angle for striking with the mallet.

Just some pics of how it went.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View ToddJB's profile


8670 posts in 2900 days

#11 posted 07-20-2018 04:55 PM


So clean. Great eye for design and presentation, Bill

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

View mikeacg's profile


1532 posts in 1827 days

#12 posted 07-20-2018 05:15 PM

Thanks for the explanation Bill! I do have a nice little Atlas lathe kicking around here somewhere. Maybe it’s time to get it out and running for stuff like this! The wood/metal combo it amazing…

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

View tyvekboy's profile


2004 posts in 3783 days

#13 posted 07-20-2018 05:19 PM


-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View woodcox's profile


2386 posts in 2782 days

#14 posted 07-20-2018 05:52 PM

Thank you again, Bill. They are so nice and will always have a home a top my bench! They look like they have been traditionally machined, the subtle taper is a nice touch. I like sparky tape for protection there, I’ll definitely try that.

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

View Northwest29's profile


1700 posts in 3260 days

#15 posted 07-20-2018 06:01 PM

Great looking mallets. 10++ Thanks for the sharing of your technique. Would like to give that a try.

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

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