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tea lady
1st Aug 2011, 06:24 PM
I'm sure this has been discussed before but I can't find it.

What wood would be good for a mallet to bash(tap? ) chisels with? I found the thread abotu Wouldwood making the ash one. What other woods are good? Any Australian woods good? :think:

RufflyRustic
1st Aug 2011, 07:09 PM
Beech is always a good timber for mallets. I just so happen to have some if you are interested :)

orraloon
1st Aug 2011, 07:23 PM
tl,
Beech is the traditional British wood used but when it comes to our woods then there is an absolute $#!t load to pick from. I have used ironbark as it is really heavy and blue gum for a small one to adjust planes. I guess if you want to tick all the boxes as to what properties a mallet should have then I reckon spotted gum would be pretty close to ideal.
Regards
John

jimbur
1st Aug 2011, 07:32 PM
A lot of people would say it's too hard but I've used redgum for years with ash handles.
Cheers,
JIm

tea lady
1st Aug 2011, 07:49 PM
Beech is always a good timber for mallets. I just so happen to have some if you are interested :)The friend I want to make one for has a beech one that is all broken away. So I think I need a differant solution! :shrug:


A lot of people would say it's too hard but I've used redgum for years with ash handles.
Cheers,
JImand I have made red gum ones too, but I can already see it it breaking and chipping rather than compressing like it is supposed to. Even with my girly wallops. :doh:

tea lady
1st Aug 2011, 07:51 PM
tl,
Beech is the traditional British wood used but when it comes to our woods then there is an absolute $#!t load to pick from. I have used ironbark as it is really heavy and blue gum for a small one to adjust planes. I guess if you want to tick all the boxes as to what properties a mallet should have then I reckon spotted gum would be pretty close to ideal.
Regards
Johniron bark?.... at least I know where I can get some! :rolleyes::cool::D

Isn't "blue gum" just "red gum" by another name? :hmm:

Spotted gum. :think:

springwater
1st Aug 2011, 08:35 PM
Vote 1 Spotty Gum, cranky grain Spotty even better but I reckon most Gums have good mallet possibilities but the grain should be cranky and perhaps sourced from trees that grew on a hill rather than in a valley :)

mkypenturner
1st Aug 2011, 08:49 PM
get hold of some dead finish that should not crumble

brendan stemp
1st Aug 2011, 10:22 PM
The best timber I have used for a mallet is Yellow Box

jimbur
1st Aug 2011, 10:43 PM
and I have made red gum ones too, but I can already see it it breaking and chipping rather than compressing like it is supposed to. Even with my girly wallops. :doh:
Oh dear I must be very gentle as I've been using the same heavy one for nearly forty years. If you have a piece with interlocking grain and keep up the linseed oil for a while, there'll be no trouble.
Cheers,
Jim

jimbur
1st Aug 2011, 10:45 PM
The best timber I have used for a mallet is Yellow Box
Judging by a piece of firewood I've been trying to split, I'd agree.
Cheers,
Jim

tea lady
1st Aug 2011, 11:05 PM
The best timber I have used for a mallet is Yellow Box


Judging by a piece of firewood I've been trying to split, I'd agree.
Cheers,
JimOooo! I've even got some of that! :cool:

tea lady
1st Aug 2011, 11:06 PM
Oh dear I must be very gentle as I've been using the same heavy one for nearly forty years. If you have a piece with interlocking grain and keep up the linseed oil for a while, there'll be no trouble.
Cheers,
Jim:hmm: Maybe my piece was not cranky enough! :doh:

issatree
1st Aug 2011, 11:20 PM
Hi TL,
2 Woods come to mind : Cotoneaster, & Photinia, & all Turned.

Tim the Timber Turner
2nd Aug 2011, 12:07 AM
Olive would be my choice.

It takes a terrific amount of impact without shredding.

Cheers

Tim:)

Robson Valley
2nd Aug 2011, 01:51 AM
I suggest that you base your decision on several factors:
How heavy does the mallet really need to be?
How difficult is the carving wood to cut?
How large are the gouges?
How strong are your wrists?

The choice of durable hardwoods in the northern hemisphere is much more limited that
you face in Aus. The ramost ratty, twisted, tangled grain carries some durability with it. If you're going to the trouble to make one, make several!

Oddly, the angled shape of the striking face is as necessary as anything.

I use a 12oz Shop Fox and lead-core 30oz "Wood is Good" mallets. Both are faced with some sort of synthetic stuff that holds up really well. I can swing the little SF mallet all day long, the WG mallet for less than an hour at a time. I made another mallet out of an 12cm Alder log (Alnus viridis)/local wood for bashing on my froe but that usually doesn't need much violence for the job and I have some trouble swinging a 3kg hammer with one arm.
froe: 30cm x 1cm blade for splitting.

Happy Bashing!

underfoot
2nd Aug 2011, 06:11 AM
Cranky spotted gum..cut from the fiddleback formed under a windblown limb...(harvested during a full moon if I remember correctly) :rolleyes:
or you could just use an old lawn bowl....(a bit tough to shape but makes a great mallet.)

dr4g0nfly
2nd Aug 2011, 07:34 AM
The first post says we (the Brits) use Beech, and carpenters do use it for their jobbing mallets. Rectangular section with a tapered face. If you ever find an old one - tap the handle out. It was also a tradition to create a small void and keep a sovereign (or half sovereign) hidden their.

Japanese mallets are metal with an Oak handle but their chisels have a metal ring at the striking end.

Greenwoodsmen use whatever comes to hand and only shape it near enough, making a new one when they damage it beyond use.

I turned mine from a piece of branch oak. It's round not square (Lathes tend to do that) and despite being used for fine work on my joinery and heavy work bashing against my Froe, it's now got a few 'chip's' out of it but it's still serving me well 12 years later.

Then again, wood carvers mallets are traditionally made from Lignum Vitae,

So I suppose it just depends upon what you what to do with it and how much effort you want to put into making one.

NeilS
2nd Aug 2011, 10:14 AM
+1 on cranky

-1 on Red Gum, too brittle

+1 on Yellow Box, Blue or Spotty Gum

-1 on Dead Finish, too precious to be making mallets from.... :U
.

ticklingmedusa
2nd Aug 2011, 03:13 PM
Malletwood :doh:
I was given some pieces ...
by a wood vendor with ties to Indonesia.
It is as dense as anything I've spun and certainly bashworthy.
No idea on availability but it does grow there.
Rhodamnia rubescens - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodamnia_rubescens)

mkypenturner
2nd Aug 2011, 05:02 PM
[QUOTE=NeilS;1355327
-1 on Dead Finish, too precious to be making mallets from.... :U
.[/QUOTE]
easy acess to it up here :D

tea lady
2nd Aug 2011, 06:17 PM
Olive would be my choice.

It takes a terrific amount of impact without shredding.

Cheers

Tim:)Would be good. You couldn't bring me a bit to SATurn could you? :cute: :D


+1 on cranky

-1 on Red Gum, too brittle

+1 on Yellow Box, Blue or Spotty Gum

-1 on Dead Finish, too precious to be making mallets from.... :U
.At least I do have yellow box. :cool:


easy acess to it up here :D:p I'm not making my little bit I have into a mallet. To small anyway!

artme
2nd Aug 2011, 06:44 PM
Cranky grain Brushbox!

woodwork wally
2nd Aug 2011, 09:15 PM
Hi Tealady I have bluegum:wink: , ironbark [from near Bendigo]:wink: and a huon pine[a bit on the light side for serious hitting]:- and they are all excellant as well as a pommy beech which is cracking up a bit now but my choice is the ironbark:-:- with ash handle cheers ww.wally

Robson Valley
3rd Aug 2011, 05:47 AM
ticklingmedusa: Thank you for the term "bashworthy." Most useful wood-speak.

Related question: who cares if you wreck a mallet? Does that not infer that you used it, long and hard, for things you needed to do? If and when that happens to me, I'll hang that mallet from the shop ceiling as a trophy.

I know that the first one to go will be the crude log club which I made for bashing on my froe. The crew were thinning "weed trees" in a forest, cut down the alder and walked away.

tea lady
3rd Aug 2011, 07:12 PM
WOod would made one out of Ash more than 2 years ago asnd its still looking fresh as a daisy! (Here (http://www.woodworkforums.com/f8/ash-mallet-92465/index4.html#post1355932) is a link to that thread. ) Might have to find me some ash! maybe I'll make a few and conduct experiments. :cool:

chuck1
5th Aug 2011, 04:19 PM
a good shape to make it is a stubbie beer bottle! we have one at work!

tea lady
5th Aug 2011, 05:15 PM
Made a yellow box one! Given it to the guy already so no pics. :p Looked really good. Will make myself one now.:cool:

jimbur
5th Aug 2011, 05:26 PM
Made a yellow box one! Given it to the guy already so no pics. :p Looked really good. Will make myself one now.:cool:
It's a lovely wood - made quite a few octagonal chisel handles from it. (always for someone else:C)
Cheers,
Jim

Bushmiller
5th Aug 2011, 07:07 PM
TL

Sorry, I have arrived at this post at little after the gate has been shut, but I do see you are heading for another gate that is still open.

I had been thinking of a starting a thread for impact resistant timbers and those suitable for handles, but keep putting it off. I am working myself up to it. (Psyche sessions in the corner of the workshop:)).

So an abbreviated version. For handles and mallets there are three categories to my mind:

1. Handles that are not struck. Use anything you like the look of.
2. Handles that are struck. Need to be hard and have crushing resistence
3. Handles that are swung and struck. Need to be hard, have crushing and impact resistence.

Your mallet comes in the last category. For this there is only one commercial timber and that is spotted gum (also lemon scented gum that is often marketed as SG).

The criteria is a combination of crushing strength 75 MPa, impact resistance (izod value) 24 J ,hardness 11kN and density 950kg/m3. The density mainly falls in line with the other three, but not always.

So using Spotted Gum as the yardstick I looked at what else is available.

Coastal Grey Box 73 MPa, 26 J, 13kN, 1100kg/Nm3
Yellow Box 68 MPa, 12 J, 13kN, 1100kg/Nm3
Southern Blue Gum 83 MPa, 23 J, 12kN, 900kg/Nm3
Grey Ironbark 95 Mpa, 27 J, 14kN, 1120kg/Nm3
Ironwood 84 MPa, 24 J, 14kN, 1020kg/Nm3
Karri 72 MPa, 24 J, 9kN, 900kg/Nm3
Black Wattle 41 MPa, 39 J, 9.2kN 740kg/Nm3

I particularly looked at impact resistance as the main criteria so there would be other timbers that are suitable too. If you were attempting to make the strongest mallet possible you may make the handle from black wattle and the head from Grey Ironbark.

That of course is unncessarily pedantic.

I should point out that some species are quite specific. So only Grey Ironbark is good. The other ironbarks compare poorly. Those of you who burn Ironbark for firewood will have noticed that some splits easily (straight grained) and probably Narrow Leaf Ironbark, while other varieties just will not split. That is the one you want for your mallet head. It is a similar story with the box eucalypts.

I included the Yellow box, because you have used it already and are contemplating another for yourself. It looks as though from the timber properties it would be excellent for the head, but you might like to consider another timber for the handle. I am assuming you are not turning the mallet.

It would give you the opportunity to make a very attractive contrasting handle to make the humble mallet come alive.

On the subject of weight, particularly for carving mallets where they are frequently turned fom one piece, you can always add weight by drilling a hole in the head and putting a large bolt in place or pouring a lead filler and then capping with a timber plug.

However with most of the timbers above, weight is not an issue. Please bear in mind there would be many other timbers that are suitable, but I don't have properties listed. I somebody has a particular timber for which they want specs, I will try to help if I can.

My thoughts are that if you take the time to make a mallet it may as well be the best you can do with what you have available. It is one of the most tactile pieces of equipment there is in the workshop. If anything would do, we would take a branch from a tree, shave one end and use it like a cave man's club. Then we wouldn't really care if it shattered over the first chisel (or head in the cave man's case) we used it on.

Look forward to seeing pics of your mallet. Lucky you got the abbreviated version:rolleyes:.

Regards
Paul

tea lady
5th Aug 2011, 10:33 PM
Thanks for all that info Paul! I did the yellow box one cos that is what I had! Will keep a look out for Spotted gum pieces that would be suitable. :cool: :think: Might even have a few bits of black wattle lying about. That fell over in the garden. :cool:

PS I am turning the mallets! :cool:

Sawdust Maker
6th Aug 2011, 09:08 AM
Interesting thread thanks TL

Bushmiller
interesting facts

I made two recently
used old fence posts so not sure what the timber is
here's the piccy (if anybody has any idea on the wood let me know please - one might be spotty)

178213

That one wouldwood made has nice lines/pleasant shape

I've noticed that if you don't shape the handle properly it feels uncomfortable

Bushmiller
6th Aug 2011, 03:34 PM
Sawdust Maker

Two very nice mallets. As they came from fence posts I would fairly confidently guess at Ironbark for the red mallet. The brown mallet is more difficult. White Mahogany is a possibility, but I have not had much to do with it.

I agree it does look like Spotted Gum, but it would be unusual to use SG for posts in the ground. Different for rails.

Regards
Paul

Sawdust Maker
6th Aug 2011, 08:33 PM
Should say fence posts in the city. ie between the neighbour and I.
who knows what they foist off on us city folk

powderpost
6th Aug 2011, 10:30 PM
I have a tulip oak mallet, with a round head. I fitted short length (about 8mm) of light gauge boiler pipe to both ends of the head. The pieces of pipe were warmed in the oven before fitting, and allowed to cool to get a very firm fit. This mallet is only 25 years old and is still going strong.
Jim

Sawdust Maker
7th Aug 2011, 08:04 PM
Jim

you know the rules - if no photo it doesn't exist :no:

what's the diameter of the boiler pipe?

powderpost
7th Aug 2011, 08:34 PM
Nick
The pipe is 60mm diameter.
Jim