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Project Information

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!

Gallery

Comments

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Premium Member
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5,792 Posts
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.
 

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1,902 Posts
wow, that is truly something, Great the effort you've put into that generous swap item.
Truly superb.
Regards
Anthm
 

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5,252 Posts
No question, that is one beautiful mallet! Nice work buddy!
 

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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.
 

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It's much better than he says it is.

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

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

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

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Nice looking mallet!
 

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Very nice way to challenge yourself on your first swap!
 

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Nicely done and thanks for sharing your slotting method.
 

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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.
 

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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!!
 

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Awesome mallet. That's some nice craftsmanship there.
 

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

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