2019 Mallet Swap Entry

  • Advertise with us
Project by JD77 posted 11-15-2019 11:10 PM 794 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The 2019 Mallet Swap was my first swap and I highly recommend it to those who haven’t tried it out yet.

As I told my recipient Hairy, I probably would not have joined if I hadn’t decided about a week prior that I really needed to make myself a new mallet. When I visited my local crack dealer, I mean wood supplier, I found some purpleheart. Since they only supply local wood normally, they made sure everyone got a couple of board feet. I grabbed some persimmon and made a plan. And then this swap came up.

The head of the mallet is a glue-up of persimmon with purpleheart accents running lengthwise that I turned until it was about 1 lb. After trimming off the corners on the saw, I rounded the persimmon blank.

I rigged up what I can only call a spit on my small crosscut sled. I used the marks on the lathe screw drive to index the cuts. Low-tech, but it was actually pretty secure. I think I may eventually make up a jig specifically for this.

The mallet handle is some white oak scraps that I ended up burning to give it a nice toasted look. I initially left it natural, but I didn’t care for the oak against persimmon. After burning the surface, I wire-brushed the darkest spots to even the tone, sanded a little, then friction-finished with blonde shellac followed by wax.

The bonus gift is a bottle opener that I made with the offcuts from the mallet. Unfortunately, I guess I didn’t take any pics while making it. I took the four corners I had trimmed from the persimmon glue-up and some left-over purpleheart strips and glued them together. Same turning and finishing techniques as the mallet. Forstner bits were used to make the cap recess after turning, glued in a magnet and screwed in a brass washer. I did stick a brass finial on the end to cover up the center-mark from the turning.

The truth of the matter is that I had intended this mallet to be the prototype that I would keep for myself, but I ran out of time. Fortunately, it came out better than I expected, so it’ll probably be better than the one I do make for myself!

15 comments so far

View EarlS's profile


4973 posts in 3680 days

#1 posted 11-15-2019 11:31 PM

You nailed it!!! Great first swap. Hairy is a lucky guy. It looks like it “turned” out great.

I think we all start out making prototypes and run out of time with the intention of making another one for ourselves. Sometimes it works out and sometimes not. Still, the fun is in making something for a fellow woodworker and pushing to try something new. I sincerely hope you continue participating in swaps.

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

View anthm27's profile


1851 posts in 2442 days

#2 posted 11-16-2019 12:42 AM

wow, that is truly something, Great the effort you’ve put into that generous swap item.
Truly superb.

-- There is no hope for any of us if we keep apologizing for telling the truth.

View jeffswildwood's profile


4986 posts in 3309 days

#3 posted 11-16-2019 01:03 AM

No question, that is one beautiful mallet! Nice work buddy!

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

View therealSteveN's profile


9383 posts in 1906 days

#4 posted 11-16-2019 01:06 AM

I like Persimmon a lot, but sometimes it’s got a little wild in it, and then I call it banana wood, or sometimes dogs hind leg wood. Once you get it straightened out, it’s kinda nice.

Would appear you got yours straight, nice job.

-- Think safe, be safe

View hairy's profile


3358 posts in 4864 days

#5 posted 11-16-2019 02:53 AM

It’s much better than he says it is.

You know I’m stealing that trick about cutting slots , thanks.

-- there's someone in my head but it's not me...

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4776 posts in 2071 days

#6 posted 11-16-2019 06:49 AM

Well done! Interesting idea for the segmented look alike parts. Awesome.

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

View mikeacg's profile


2084 posts in 2389 days

#7 posted 11-16-2019 11:45 AM

Very nice – and I too will be stealing the slot-cutting trick! Way to shine on your first swap… Here’s to many more!!!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl,

View sras's profile


6515 posts in 4461 days

#8 posted 11-16-2019 01:44 PM

Nice looking mallet!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9297 posts in 1914 days

#9 posted 11-16-2019 01:44 PM

Very nice way to challenge yourself on your first swap!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1243 posts in 1720 days

#10 posted 11-16-2019 01:45 PM

Nicely done and thanks for sharing your slotting method.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View JD77's profile


148 posts in 1021 days

#11 posted 11-16-2019 02:07 PM

You know I m stealing that trick about cutting slots, thanks.

- hairy

Well done! Interesting idea for the segmented look-alike parts. Awesome.

- KelleyCrafts

Thanks, guys, I definitely learned a few new tricks on this project. The idea came from all those tablesaw-dowelmaker jigs. I originally envisioned cutting the slots at an angle so they would curve around the circumference, but I wasn’t brave enough to try that first. I would say segments would be just as easy if the straight axial slot inlay were your goal. The temporary jig I made worked but was limited to a single pass for each cut. After cutting the slots, I made the strips to fit. I should have used a dado stack because the bottom of the slot wasn’t as clean as it needed to be.

I do think I will pursue making a more capable jig for smaller bowls and vases, but I may go for the router table instead.

View HokieKen's profile


20620 posts in 2470 days

#12 posted 11-16-2019 02:53 PM

So that’s how you did that!! I love these JD. Really glad you joined this swap and hope to see you in future ones. I really like making unique bottle openers too so kudos on that design. Great designs and excellent execution!!

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

View doubleDD's profile


10913 posts in 3375 days

#13 posted 11-16-2019 10:03 PM

Awesome mallet. That’s some nice craftsmanship there.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9305 posts in 2044 days

#14 posted 11-17-2019 06:48 PM

this is what makes these swaps so fun your not a new guy you fit right into the veteran class GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View duckmilk's profile


4936 posts in 2656 days

#15 posted 11-18-2019 10:14 PM

Great looking mallet. 1 pound? That’s a heafty one.

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

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