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Author Topic: Carving mallet information  (Read 3383 times)

R Allen

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Carving mallet information
« on: April 20, 2017, 05:58:32 PM »

I have always used a nylon faced hammer to drive my chisels when inletting parts in stocks.   I have seen carving mallets in a lot of the workbench photos on this site so I assume there is an advantage to mallets over hammers but I haven't found any discussions about using mallets in gun carving.

I will be attending Jim Parker's carving  class next month and I know he uses a mallet but I didn't think to talk to him about it while I was there.  I have seen mallets of solid wood and with synthetic material or brass on the striking surface.  Which type and weight mallets do y'all prefer and why.
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smylee grouch

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 06:14:21 PM »

Years ago I turned my own out of ironwood (one piece,handle and all) and it was great for several years but then one day the thing broke off right where the handle meet the mallet proper. Now I can still use the mallet end with out the handle and it works OK just like that.
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Bill Raby

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 07:09:13 PM »

   I have a number of small jewelers hammers in different sizes for the light stuff. Those plastic, nylon hammers work great for just about everything. Also have a few lignum vitae mallets that are great. They seem to weigh about as much as a solid metal mallet would. Nearly impossible to find them anymore. I keep away from metal hammers unless they are pretty small. Seems like they could damage chisels. Don't know if they actually would. Just seems like it.
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Mauser06

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 07:11:05 PM »

I made one....Found a hard maple that was down in the woods.  Found a limb about the diameter I wanted the head to be and then carved out the handle.  A little crude...But it works....


I have nearly no experience so I have nothing to compare it to lol. 
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smylee grouch

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 07:24:36 PM »

What I like about the larger round mallet is the fact that you don't have to line up a hammer head to strike your object. You can pic up the mallet in any orientation and strike the end of your object were as with the hammer you have to line up the head.
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P.W.Berkuta

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 07:41:45 PM »

I have used rawhide mallets for so long I can't remember when I started to use them. I have them in 5 different weights & sizes.
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Paddlefoot

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 07:54:51 PM »

I use the traditional joiners mallet for the big stuff. I have a couple small versions of that in progress being made of cocobolo for the head with a maple handle. Planning brass faces for one of them to make it just a bit heavier than the plain one.  I'm actually planning to use those small ones to drive my engraving tools.
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smart dog

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2017, 09:37:23 PM »

Hi,
I prefer a heavy round brass headed mallet.  For detail work, I hold it by the head and tap the chisels.  For heavier work, I swing it by the handle.

dave
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E. Smith

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2017, 10:59:08 PM »

I have used rawhide mallets for so long I can't remember when I started to use them. I have them in 5 different weights & sizes.

Rawhide mallets for me too.
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rich pierce

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2017, 11:32:48 PM »

I sort of shaped a piece of firewood.
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BOB HILL

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 11:51:35 PM »

On wooden handled carving tools, I mainly use a wooden mallet I turned from persimmon many years ago. I have a rawhide hammer I use when fitting metal parts, to save the abuse on my mallet. I have other mallets, but this medium weight one is my favorite for gun work.     Bob
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Bob Hill

Jose Gordo

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2017, 11:51:47 PM »

I like this one: Narex Round Turned 250 gram 9 oz Beech Wood Carving Mallet

https://www.amazon.com/Narex-Turned-Carving-Mallet-825701/dp/B018JOQ7GY

User reviews:

"Looks good. Haven't used it yet."
"I use this for crushing garlic, works perfect, def recommend, prompt ship"
"Love it. Perfect compact size. Great garlic and "tostones" smasher!!"
"its ok, but i was surprised to see that it is two pieces of wood glued together rather than one solid piece"


With recommendations like that, you couldn't possibly pass this one by.
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WadePatton

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2017, 12:04:19 AM »

I sort of shaped a piece of firewood.

I pared down one end of a bit of bodock from the firewood pile. Grab the small end, swing the fat end.

If I ever make a nice one, it will be just like the one Paul Sellers teaches in video form-all wood.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 12:16:20 AM by WadePatton »
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D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2017, 12:19:27 AM »

I'm afraid my 'carving mallet' may appear to the untrained eye, as pretty crude and primitive.  But it sure works well for me.  It is simply a piece of local birch firewood, well cured, with an old axe handle set into it.  For fine light work, I choke up on the handle:  come to think of it, that's primarily how it gets used.



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D. Taylor Sapergia
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Kermit

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2017, 01:29:11 AM »

At my last job, there was a lot of 8/4 bubinga, and I grabbed up some offcuts and glued up a few 16/4 square blanks about 10" long. I turn mallets from these--I've got a lifetime supply. I've used hard maple and beech too. You can laminate 4 layers of 4/4 to do the same thing.  There are just some shop tasks that want a turned mallet.
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Mike Brooks

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2017, 01:38:35 AM »

My mallets are turned from old hedge fence posts.
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dogcatcher

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2017, 03:01:26 AM »

I use 2 Al Stohlman designed leathercrafter's mauls.  One has a nylon head, the other has a leather head.  Basically a round piece of nylon and a wood handle, and all held together with a bolt through the middle.  On the leather one, I drilled a 2x2x3 blank, slipped on to the bolt, then turned the handle to shape.  The leather, I cut them and punched a hole in the middle and stacked them on the bolt until it was full and added a washer on both ends.  This will explain it better.  http://leatherworker.net/forum/topic/30302-rawhide-maul-construction-of-rawhide-blank-question/
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Gaeckle

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2017, 06:56:27 AM »

I've always used one of these


https://woodcraft-production-weblinc.netdna-ssl.com/product_images/wood-is-good-mallet-20-oz-3-1-2-head/584511e569702d19cc0002dc/detail.jpg?c=1480921573


this thing is great, very well balanced. I've had it for more than 20 years
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Dale Halterman

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2017, 04:47:08 PM »

I had always turned my own from scrap wood, worked fine until they either broke or splintered. Then my stepson bought me one of those Woodcraft mallets like Gaeckle uses. It is great. My great-grandchildren will probably be able to use it.

Dale H
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burnt

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2017, 05:14:27 PM »

A variety for a variety of uses. Turned from scrap wood or found materials. The smallest is a modified railroad spike for tapping gravers the next is a 1/2" black pipe union screwed on to a piece of dowel. The turned mallets are for carving chisels and persuaders.
Kevin

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smylee grouch

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2017, 06:14:50 PM »

Burnt, that RR spike graver masher looks like it is just the right size for the job intended.  :)
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tlallijr

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2017, 06:39:43 PM »

I like using this 2 3/4" chisel as a chasing hammer.



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KC

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2017, 10:11:04 PM »

Richard,
The one I brought to our rifle building class was the one made by Narex that Jose linked to. It was a nice, fairly light beech mallet and was pretty cheap. I couldn't see a good reason to pay $80 for a Swiss made one. If I had a wood lathe I would have done what Mike did and turned one from a nice hard piece of scrap wood.

I think I saw this question once before and the general consensus ended up being that you should just try a few and use what works best for you. Hope you enjoy that carving class, I wish I was going to it.
K.C.
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K.C. Clem
Bradenton, FL

TMerkley

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2017, 10:59:37 PM »

Like some others, I use a piece of firewood and taper one end to fit my hand.  Oak and hickory, Lead tree works down here. 
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c deperro

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Re: Carving mallet information
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2017, 12:05:29 AM »

I use a mallet  and chisel for setting some of my inlets. For stamping in carving i generally just push the gouge in by hand .
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