Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Mallet

It's spring!  Finally winter is over.  There is still a bunch of snow on the ground but it is getting warmer.  I actually got out to the shed and chopped some mortices.  But I am getting ahead of myself......  First, we are spring cleaning, and this year, that includes some freshening up of the paint on the ceilings.  Wood heat may be cheap, but it has its down side too.  We are going to be busy for the next while cleaning and painting.  So I am going to break 2014 into projects and do the year in segments over the next while.  Shorter blog entries, but maybe shorter between them.  We will see how it goes.

The winter of 2013/14 was pretty brutal.  But I got out to the shed in January.  I was thinking that since I had a decent set of chisels, thanks to Sally buying me a set of Narex bench chisels for Christmas, I ought to have a carvers mallet to go along with them.  I was also thinking about the pile of birch in the firewood pile from the tree I had to remove the previous fall.  It was a huge tree and I loved the shade it gave us, but it was well rotted in places and the whole top fell off, narrowly missing the house.  I walked out back and took a look.

It looks like I can find one that is about "handle" sized.

Then I peeled all the bark off of it.

Then I found a piece that was about "mallet head" sized and cut a piece of that off.

I took the bark off that too.

Then a touch of work getting the handle a bit rounder and to size.

A hole to match.  The brace and bit is a nice quiet way to make a hole. 

I then cut a kerf in the handle,

then a wedge in the kerf,

Now I glue the wedge in the kerf, put a bunch of glue in the hole and around the handle end with the wedge in it, and stick the wedged end into the hole and give it a few raps with a hammer.  This forces the wedge into the kerf which expands the end of the handle in the hole......A fox wedged tenon.  Then we put a clamp on it and let it dry.

It works quite well I am pleased to say.  It is not very heavy, so for gentler work it is just perfect.  It has a few dents in it now, and that is as it should be.  It looks right at home on the shelf.

That is the story of how I got a mallet for free in the middle of winter.  A few more projects to go for the year.  

Thanks for dropping by!

No comments:

Post a Comment