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H. O. Studley Infill Mallet

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Project by EarlS posted 11-16-2019 10:21 PM 460 views 3 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Initially, I wasn’t going to participate in the Mallet Swap. However, I came across a picture of the H.O. Studley infill mallet and decided I wanted to try and replicate it.

The first question that came to mind is who is Henry O. Studley and why is he so important? It turns out that he was an organ and piano maker, carpenter, and Mason who worked for the Smith Organ Co. and later for the Poole Piano Company of Quincy, Massachusetts. Studley is best known for creating the so-called Studley Tool Chest, a wall hanging tool chest that cunningly holds 218 tools in a space that takes up about 40 by 20 inches of wall space when closed. To me, the more important aspect is the amazing quality and beauty of his tools and work bench.

Studley gave the tool chest to a friend. That man’s grandson, Peter Hardwick, loaned the chest to the Smithsonian in the late 1980s as part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, until it was purchased by a private collector for an undisclosed amount of money. The current owner continues to lend the chest to the Smithsonian and other venues. It has been featured on an episode of The New Yankee Workshop and is the subject of a May 1993 article in Taunton’s Fine Woodworking and a popular wall poster.

The mallet caught my eye:

The brass details are exquisite:

I had no idea how to do the brass work, but some conversations with HokieKen and a lot of looking for square stock on line provided the answer. I was able to find some 1/8” thick, 1-1/2” square brass tubing. Kenny cut the angled ends for the head, bored out the handle opening, and as a bonus, put the beveled finials on as well. The finials make the mallet as far as I’m concerned. I owe a HUGE thanks to him for the work he put into this mallet.

The brass work was the hard part – THANK YOU KENNY!!!

The wood section of the mallet is a piece of Brazilian Ebony with a 3/4” mortise and beveled edges.

From there, I inset some brass triangles into the handle and pinned them with silver nickel pins

Some shaping on the handle and mallet was ready for finishing. The brass was polished and the handle was finished with Watco and wax.

Specifics:

The handle is Bocote with a brass inlay, pinned with silver nickel pins.
The wooden portion of the mallet head is Brazilian Ebony.

As a bonus item, I also sent along Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley

Kenny sent me an extra brass head piece so I can make one for myself. I will need to learn how to work with brass better before I try to finish it.

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





20 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4306 posts in 1144 days


#1 posted 11-16-2019 10:26 PM

Awesome bit of history (I bet they have the reproduction of Studley’s cabinet at Handworks again this year) and great reproduction Earl and Kenny. Corntastic work, boys!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

1883 posts in 2128 days


#2 posted 11-16-2019 10:28 PM

I was unaware, thanks for sharing.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

966 posts in 950 days


#3 posted 11-16-2019 10:39 PM

As always l’m humbled and awed by your work. Superb!

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

3894 posts in 1886 days


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

Awesome work Earl and Kenny! It looks stunning! Great inspiration for a beautiful mallet.

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

View hairy's profile

hairy

3004 posts in 4094 days


#5 posted 11-16-2019 11:28 PM

Excellent work!!

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View pottz's profile

pottz

7034 posts in 1546 days


#6 posted 11-16-2019 11:41 PM

exquisite work my friend,that is the work of a master.studley i know him well,i have a poster of his tool chest in my shop.anyone that that takes that much pride in their tool chest is a master in my opinion.id would love to have seen his work.earl do you have the hard bound book on the tool chest,it’s very detailed going into depth the tools and the chest and workbench.once again beautiful work.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View EarlS's profile (online now)

EarlS

3309 posts in 2910 days


#7 posted 11-17-2019 12:18 AM

pottz – I ordered the book as a bonus item for Keebler – my swap recipient. I glanced through the book and it is on my Christmas list.

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

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

4056 posts in 1301 days


#8 posted 11-17-2019 12:30 AM

The book is phenomenal. I definitely want one. Now that we got some better pics of this mallet it’s my favorite of the swap. I heard ahead of time you were making this and was super excited to see it. You didn’t disappoint!! Beautiful!

Good job friend!

-- Dave - http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

1545 posts in 1672 days


#9 posted 11-17-2019 12:39 AM

Morning Earl,
I just woke up, 8 am here in Hong Kong, and your mallet swap project post was the one I was really waiting to see. As i pressed the ZOOM PICS button I found myself subconsciously whispering words under my breath. I caught myself towards the end and listened to what I was saying which was “THAT IS ABSOLUTELY HEAVENLY, ABSOLUTELY HEAVENLY” That is was what the subconscious brain was saying , now I type conscientiously and I realize those words where an understatement. Honestly speaking those ,especially the brass one is a true work of art, and further to that an extreme act of kindness to give such a beautiful piece away to another Lumberjock.
Well done Earl, Superb. Also a shout to Kenny for helping with the brass, hes number one on the metal work around here.
Great project.
Kind regards
Anthony

EDIT oh and topped off with the History you shared with us all.

-- Hand Skills provide freedom.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

11541 posts in 1700 days


#10 posted 11-17-2019 12:57 AM

It’s a winner for sure Earl! I love how you did the inlay in the handle. I can handle machining but that inlay stuff is too artsy for my brute force. Glad I could help and thanks for the shout out and the extra material to make my own head :-)

If you send me your head back, I’ll add the finials to it.. i really didn’t realize how much it adds until I saw the finished piece.

As far as I’m concerned, you and Dave are neck and neck for the “winner” of this swap. I’ll reserve final judgement on who is ultimately the winner until y’all’s bribes are in.

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

View pottz's profile

pottz

7034 posts in 1546 days


#11 posted 11-17-2019 01:21 AM

hey guys seeing all this amazing work you do really inspires me everytime i come on line here,and im not just blowin smoke im very sincere when i talk about the talent we have here on lj’s,except kenny who has super powers and doesn’t count among mortals….....just kidding,he inspires me everyday.congrats to al that make this a place we can all come and learn and grow our passion,thank you all.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

4187 posts in 2539 days


#12 posted 11-17-2019 01:30 AM

So nice. I have got to start using brass. Buddy, I can tell you did a lot of work on this one!

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

View swirt's profile

swirt

4394 posts in 3534 days


#13 posted 11-17-2019 03:22 AM

Wow. Incredible workmanship on that. Well done.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4318 posts in 1136 days


#14 posted 11-17-2019 03:24 AM

Nice work Earl. That has a look of authority about it.

-- Think safe, be safe

View JohnMcClure's profile

JohnMcClure

815 posts in 1202 days


#15 posted 11-18-2019 08:22 PM

That thing is a work of art.
It’s no clock-mallet-combo, but it comes close!
Is the design intended to allow replacing the head periodically?

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

showing 1 through 15 of 20 comments

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