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can I save this rawhide mallet?

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Forum topic by livewire516 posted 05-23-2020 06:20 PM 878 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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livewire516

120 posts in 1199 days


05-23-2020 06:20 PM

This rawhide mallet was my grandfather’s. I’m hoping to put it back into service but there’s a fair bit of play.

Is it salvageable? How would you go about resecuring the head?

Thanks, look forward to hearing your input

(It doesn’t have tremendous sentimental value (I’ve inherited his whole workshop years ago and I’m just getting to this one if that gives you an idea), but it’s a handsome thing. I actually do have a need for a mallet of its approximate hardness for some tools that would damage my wood mallet, or be damaged by a metal hammer).


8 replies so far

View PBWilson1970's profile

PBWilson1970

220 posts in 732 days


#1 posted 05-23-2020 07:08 PM

If you can easily remove the handle you could saw a kerf from the top and fit a wedge in there to tighten it up. There are many youtube videos showing how to rehandle a hatchet or a mallet with a wedge.

I also inherited a rawhide mallet from my grandfather and love it. Just the right heft for fitting some woodworking joints and no chance of damage to the piece.

Good luck!

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7192 posts in 4533 days


#2 posted 05-23-2020 07:48 PM

^————This is exactly what I did to one of my rawhide mallets ( I have 3).. It became loose ( as I do leather working and used stamping tools all the time ), so I removed the head, and kerfed the handle…..it’s tighter than Dicks hat band now……!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

9521 posts in 3604 days


#3 posted 05-24-2020 12:59 AM

Do what ever you can to restore it. I envy you so much to have tools from your Grandfather. I have none of my Grandfathers tools. I wish I could have a small part of his legacy. Cherish them and the memories of your grandfather.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

4228 posts in 3137 days


#4 posted 05-24-2020 01:34 AM

I would glue it on with old brown glue. Because that’s what I have. Hide glue would be better
I also have a hide mallet just like that one minus the red handle. I use it to set my jointer knives.
Glue should work because the mallet is for lite tapping.

Good Luck

-- Aj

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livewire516

120 posts in 1199 days


#5 posted 05-24-2020 02:24 AM

I do leather working and used stamping tools all the time

- Rick Dennington

So I also do leather work! I’m unsure if this’ll have enough heft, but I am trying to see if this will serve for my stitching chisels/pricking irons.

I currently use your standard cheap black rubber mallet; because the head is moderately domed, I think it kicks the stitching chisel off-plumb occasionally. I was going to spring for a poly-headed mallet, or those white plastic carver’s style mauls, but I’ll always prefer to reuse an older tool if I can.

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livewire516

120 posts in 1199 days


#6 posted 05-24-2020 02:31 AM


Do what ever you can to restore it. I envy you so much to have tools from your Grandfather. I have none of my Grandfathers tools. I wish I could have a small part of his legacy. Cherish them and the memories of your grandfather.

- BurlyBob

I don’t take it for granted. No one else in the family wanted any of his tools besides the typical home-owners’ stuff. It would’ve all but certainly landed in a dumpster if I didn’t have interest. He was a tool and die maker.

In his retirement, he took up woodcarving. Of course, being in the Greatest Generation, he made a lot of the more basic furniture in his home but replaced them once they could afford something the wife wanted. He also made the occasional odd-project our of Popular Mechanics, like a grow light system to germinate seedlings.

I’ve cleaned up a lot of his tools and put them basic into service.

View PeteStaehling's profile

PeteStaehling

139 posts in 2458 days


#7 posted 05-24-2020 11:48 AM

I have always preferred a leather mallet for leather work, but haven’t done any leatherwork in years.

That said I still use my mallet quite a bit in woodworking and lutherie work.

It will be well worth fixing.

View toldgoat's profile

toldgoat

2 posts in 1388 days


#8 posted 06-04-2020 06:10 PM

It is likely just dried out.
You could try soaking it in your favorite oil for leather… or tung or even mineral oil for a day or two. Emphasize soaking the wood, and check frequently to see how it is going. when done, wipe the outside dry. That will also darken the finish back up some. If it does not work, you can do the wedge. If you soak too long, and it softens too much, dry in the sun a little

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