Two Cultures - 2018 Mallet/Hammer Swap

  • Advertise with us
Project by ElroyD posted 07-20-2018 09:55 PM 1083 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Two Cultures - 2018 Mallet/Hammer Swap
Two Cultures - 2018 Mallet/Hammer Swap No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
Zoom Pictures

This project held a few firsts for me:

1) It was my first time participating in a Lumberjocks tool swap. I admit, I was a little anxious in joining, given my skill level vs. those of the other swap participants, but now that it’s done, I’m glad that I participated.

2) It was my first mallet made with all hand tools. The mallet on the left started out as a chunk of firewood from my basement. It was cut down to rough size with an axe and a couple of hand saws. The mortise was cut with a bit & brace and chisel, then final shaping and handle were done with plane, chisels and sandpaper. Originally I was going for something larger, but the wood kept taking me in a slightly different direction, so after a bit I stopped fighting it and went with what the wood wanted to be.

3) It was my first primitive hammer. While reading a book on home construction in Colonial America, I came across an engraving of a “hafted hammerstone” attributed to “prehistoric American Indians”, and I thought “Hm. I bet no one else it going to make one of those.” I decided to give it a try, and found that chipping and shaping stone salvaged from the back yard is oddly therapeutic. It took a long time, however, even when using a rotary tool to help score in some lines. Once finished, I was surprised how comfortable it felt to swing in my hand, though it slipped a bit in my palm. I dug up some leather scrap from around the house to help with that problem.

Finally, this was my first time sending out my “trade card”. In the 18th & 19th centuries, merchants and tradesmen would give out trade cards to advertise their business. These were the precursors to the modern day business card. A couple of years ago, I designed a trade card for myself, done in the style of the 1770s, as a sort of woodworking motivational poster for myself. Similar to hanging a photo of your dream car on the fridge, I sometimes look at my trade card as a reminder of where I want to someday with with my skill level.

-- Elroy

15 comments so far

View bobasaurus's profile


3633 posts in 3955 days

#1 posted 07-20-2018 10:15 PM

Those are some unique mallets for sure. Never seen anyone use a primitive hammer before (except for the primitive technology guy on youtube), but it looks solid. I like that you made the other mallet completely with hand tools, that’s always a fun experience. I’ve only done a few non-electric projects and it is always more work than you would think.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


14003 posts in 1909 days

#2 posted 07-20-2018 11:32 PM

Very nice work Elroy. Kudos for stepping outside your comfort zone and BIG bonus points for doing something no one else did with the primative hammer!

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

View duckmilk's profile


4179 posts in 2095 days

#3 posted 07-20-2018 11:42 PM

The primitive hammer is really interesting. What did you use to tie the handle to the stone? Nice job Elroy!

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7545 posts in 1483 days

#4 posted 07-20-2018 11:43 PM

your not a swap virgin anymore … I am glad you joined us …. the next one gets easier to join in on …. like the primitive hammer its different …. GREAT JOB :<))

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

View jeffswildwood's profile


4449 posts in 2748 days

#5 posted 07-21-2018 12:15 AM

Very nice! And all hand tools too! I like the idea of the trade card, I may have to talk to my Son who works for a printing company!

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

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5379 posts in 1353 days

#6 posted 07-21-2018 12:22 AM

Nice work, Elroy! I’m glad someone galooted it up for the swap, and then you threw in a bonus rock to put it over the top.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Woodknack's profile


13384 posts in 3151 days

#7 posted 07-21-2018 12:37 AM

The hammer is a real back to basics mallet. I think you win the creativity award.

-- Rick M,

View EarlS's profile


3731 posts in 3119 days

#8 posted 07-21-2018 12:57 AM

I especially like the “biblical” reference that was made to describe the primitive mallet. You came up with an idea no one else even came close to dreaming up and you executed it perfectly.

In case that wasn’t enough, you made the other mallet by hand. I would be totally clueless where to start and the finished product wouldn’t look like much more than a mis-arranged pile of kindling.

The icing on the cake is your “trade card”. What a unique and interesting way to introduce yourself. I definitely need a better mark with a lot more mojo than the standard hot iron with my name in block letters.

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

View ElroyD's profile


134 posts in 1359 days

#9 posted 07-21-2018 01:29 AM

Thanks for all the comments guys. It was fun to do.

The primitive hammer is really interesting. What did you use to tie the handle to the stone? Nice job Elroy!

- duckmilk

The lashing was done with artificial sinew. It’s basically thin nylon threads covered with some sort of wax. It dries out just like natural sinew. Same stuff I used to lash my kayak together:

-- Elroy

View Oldtool's profile


2955 posts in 2962 days

#10 posted 07-21-2018 11:05 AM

Nice work on the mallot, and the stone hammer and the Trade Card are very interesting.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View mikeacg's profile


1532 posts in 1828 days

#11 posted 07-21-2018 12:28 PM


Glad you joined us and thanks for your unusual take with the primitive mallet! The variety in this swap was outstanding! Hope we see you for the next swap…

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

View builtinbkyn's profile


3009 posts in 1711 days

#12 posted 07-21-2018 12:58 PM

Two interesting and traditional wompers Elroy. Love the trade card too. “Reasonable rates in the most agreeable manner.” Man that’s a long lost trade credo. Nice work!

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

View ToddJB's profile


8670 posts in 2901 days

#13 posted 07-21-2018 03:09 PM

So cool!

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

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3637 days

#14 posted 07-21-2018 07:21 PM

Both of these are very nice tools. Congratulations!

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Tom Regnier's profile

Tom Regnier

455 posts in 3318 days

#15 posted 07-24-2018 12:16 AM

Totally unique!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics