Sunday 9 October 2011

Making a Carving Mallet

I was looking for a simple project to have a go at during the evenings this week and decided to make a carving mallet.

Traditionally lots of different woods and materials were used to make mallets, from the heavy Lignum vitae (which is now like rocking horse poo to get hold of) to brass, to beech or fruit woods. Some were made from one piece of wood others had beech heads with ash handles (for example).

I brought some locally grown apple wood at a auction not so long ago with the intention of making a few mallets as apple is known to be a tough wood.

And tough it was! I had to sharpen my tools quite a few times during the project to keep them cutting cleanly. Unfortunately there is a little bit of woodworm in the wood and I only realised this once I had turned the basic shape, so I've treated it with woodworm killer and I don't think it will affect the way it is used as the wood is so hard.
I always worry when turning things like this as its difficult to know what shape to turn it as there are some many different kinds out there. From reading different articles about it and using the mallets a little bit, one that stands up is handy (as it wont roll of the bench) and a slight concave in the shape of the head of the mallet helps to land a clean blow on the chisel.

I've given it a coat of linseed oil and now hopefully someone will be able to use this and carve a work of art.


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