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Project by Roz posted 09-23-2012 03:20 PM 2847 views 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had an interesting opportunity to work with a little piece of history recently. My brother is a Master Chief Petty Officer Retired and his last ship was the USS Missouri. He produced a mallet head needing a handle. As it turned out the mallet head is teak and was especially for driving pegs into the teak decks of the battle ship which hold the deck boards in place. Apparently these pegs would vibrate out because of the tremendous shock of the 16 inch guns on her main deck.
The replacement handle I used was hickory and intended for a maul. It was the only thing I could find that was large enough to fit the mallet head. I used a Poplar wedge and a lead split with Urethane glue to lock it all together.
I know it’s not much of a project, but a cool bit of history. You never know what may come into your shop. If I had not been a woodworker I probably would never have seen one of these.


-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

17 comments so far

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3508 days

#1 posted 09-23-2012 03:43 PM

Thanks for sharing, that is a cool project!

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2496 days

#2 posted 09-23-2012 03:47 PM

How cool to think something you made will be pounding pegs into the deck of a USN ship off in some exotic seas!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View johnstoneb's profile


3080 posts in 2444 days

#3 posted 09-23-2012 04:11 PM

The USS Missouri is on display at Pearl Harbor near the USS Arizona Memorial. It is open for self guided tours. very interesting ship.
That mallet is a neat project.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2462 days

#4 posted 09-23-2012 04:21 PM

good job on the fix.thats a cool story to tell and a unique piece of history.thanks for sharing with us.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View stefang's profile


16394 posts in 3606 days

#5 posted 09-23-2012 04:39 PM

Good project and well appreciated by an ex Navy man. I was never lucky enough to be stationed on a ship with wooden decks, so this was very interesting.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jack1's profile


2121 posts in 4299 days

#6 posted 09-23-2012 06:35 PM

Nice job on a cool project! Looks like the original probably did.


-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View SawdustTX's profile


295 posts in 2595 days

#7 posted 09-23-2012 08:00 PM

Glad you posted this – neat bit of history! Imagine how old that mallet is and what it’s been through.

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3094 days

#8 posted 09-23-2012 08:04 PM

Always amazed at the things we learn here on LJ’s, thanks Terry for the info, BTW I think your Bro’ will be pleased with the refurbish job :))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View mikethetermite's profile


599 posts in 3538 days

#9 posted 09-23-2012 09:10 PM

That’s quite a souvenir, thanks for sharing
When a sailor is on a ship that is being commissioned the Navy gives a “plank” to each sailor with their name on it. It represents the teak planks on wooden ships and/or wooden decks. In the days of wooden ships, when a sailor left the ship he would pry up a plank to take with him. I am a “Plank Owner” of the USS Wichita AOR1.

Michael A. Ragan USN Retired

-- Mike The Termite ~~~~~ Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4490 days

#10 posted 09-23-2012 11:04 PM

Cool bit of information!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Chris P.'s profile

Chris P.

79 posts in 2937 days

#11 posted 09-23-2012 11:07 PM

Just moved to Pascagoula…I’ll be watching your posts! :-)

View Roz's profile


1707 posts in 4058 days

#12 posted 09-24-2012 01:47 AM

Hello LJ’s, thank you for your interest in this simple little job. I liked it for several reasons. It demonstrates the usefulness of our trade and the naval history represented by this mallet itself.
Your comments were great. I like Mike am a Plank owner on several ships having been around for the Clinton era draw down of the US Navy. My brother Jim is a plank owner a few times as well. He was a MMCM aboard the Missouri and decommissioned her I think.
He later became involved in the museum project where she is moored today. I think the mallet came from these many years of involvement with that fine old lady.

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View Roz's profile


1707 posts in 4058 days

#13 posted 09-24-2012 01:48 AM

As a side note, our father was a 34 year veteran of the US Navy retiring in 1959. When Ronald Regan brought these Battleships out of mothballs in the 1980’s, dad was called back to active duty, which made him the most excited I had ever seen him. He got his Uniform out, pressed it and was ready for duty! A few weeks later the Navy Department sent him another letter apologizing for their over sight and had not realized he was 76 years old. One more sea story for him to share with his buddies! We are mariners, the sea and the US Navy is in our blood!

-- Terry Roswell, L.A. (Lower Alabama) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans."

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3944 days

#14 posted 09-24-2012 02:07 AM

Thats kind of cool!

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3160 days

#15 posted 10-03-2012 02:55 AM

You can take the sailor out of the Navy, but you can’t take the Navy out of the sailor!

My best friend was a plank holder from the HMCS Bonaventure, Canada’s flattop, now decommissioned. He was a CPO in sigs.

We buried him last month. His ashes were scattered in the Pacific, as per his wishes, as he fell in love with it in his retirement on Vancouver Island.

RIP Tom. You stood your watch well.

D/Maj (ret) Essex & Kent Scottish Regiment

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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