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OK, I'm bad,not made of wood. ... but, a woodworking tool nonetheless.

I just bought some very nice Japanese dovetail chisels to do some fine work with and my big mallet seemed overkill for the job. At home in Canada I have a lovely brass joiner's mallet from Lee Valley but I'm not at home so I decided to make my own "Arizona model".

The two pipe fittings cost ~ $5 and the lead was free from a local tire shop. The "casting" was way easier than a 10,000 lb. keel and only took a few minutes. The best part is I have a nice small, heavy, decently balanced mallet that works really well with the chisels.

The photos show the setup I used to melt the lead. As the weights were quite clean, and I wasn't that concerned with absolute purity, I didn't melt in a separate container and pour. I just broke the weights up and dropped them down the handle a few at a time. For the last bit I held the pieces with the clips in them in pliers and just let the lead drip off them into the handle.

The last photo is of the non-lead weights that I weeded out before starting. A good trick for that is dropping them on a concrete floor. Zinc and steel will ring while lead just goes "thud".

Thanks for looking.

Paul

Gallery

Comments

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that's a pretty slick idea..
was there any need to clean out the black steel pipe first?
approximately how far up the handle did the lead go (if you know?)
 

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Way to go, Paul!! I have been melting lead in a pot and found that there are 3 kinds of wheel weights - pure lead, steel and a tin allow that does not melt well.
That was a smart way to fill the mallet with lead. I have made wooden molds for lead and find that it works well and does not burn up like I thought it would!!

Cheers, Jim
 

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That's very creative and nicely done. Hey! It's a tool that can be used in a woodworking shop. That's close enough for me. Nice work!

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com
 

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What's that thing weigh?
 

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I like it much.

-Madts.
 

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Paul you should have put a couple of pieces of brass on the end or the "T" fitting and then you would have had a brass piece to tap your chisels instead of the steel pipe.

A brass door pull could have had it's screw embedded in the melted lead. A wooden cap covered in leather would give the other end a softer hit.

Very creative
 

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Great idea mate, I love the chisels too what brand are they?
 

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now thats true innovation.nice work.
 

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Looks like it will work but the handle sucks at least it should have a wooden cap .

Klaus
 

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Pretty Cool!
 

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Thanks everyone,

rbrjr1, I didn't clean anything, just screwed them together and threw the lead in.. The lead goes about 3/4" up the handle.

Jim, I guess in small amounts it may not burn the wood too badly but the keel I mentioned was cast in a wood mould and while it worked fine the wood was deeply charred and could not have been re-used.

Ocelot, I haven't weighed it but I'd guess around a pound.

Karson, the chisels get struck by the lead which is nice and soft.

icemanhank, they are Matsumura white steel from Japan Woodworker.

Klaus, All in good time grasshopper. You never know, I might find a way to put marquetry on it.
 

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Nice work. I work in a auto repair shop. Plenty of raw material.
 

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Must be some special project to be making all them tools?
Have been reading some of your blogs on Hide glue, I might be going that route in the future?
 

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Paul,

Always thinking! Nice response to Klaus. LOL!
 

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Thanks again,

Andre, Next time you're on the island drop by and I'll guve you the short course. I'll even give you some glue.
..... or of course you could learn all about it in the classes …..
 

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Great idea Paul. That gives me a great idea for using some of the lead buckshot I have in the shop. Might just get fancy and use some brass pipe. Did you use 1/2 or 3/4" pipe?
 

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Great answer for the job in hand Paul. & CKD to boot, bet it packs a solid wee punch :)
cheers
pete
 

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Interesting way to produce the exact tool for the job. Nice outcome Paul.
 

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Greg, Short answer, yes. The tee is 3/4×3/4×1/2 with a 6" x 1/2 " nipple. I looked at brass but it would have cost as much as a store bought model.

Pete, CKD?
 
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