I would like to show off a couple of prototype carving mallets David has machined. The heads are made from mystery brass. The brown one on the right is larger and weighs 26 oz. The smaller, black, straight tapered one on the left is about 19.5 oz. He will be experimenting with different types of brass and steel as well as adjusting the weight in future mallets as time and materials permit.
The original handles were made of oak. The one on the larger head was a success, it feels comfortable, balanced, great shape, good length and it compliments the head style. The other handle (not pictured) was clunky, the diameter was to large, and it was to long. Hey, its a prototype for a reason!
It didn’t take much prodding to get Brad to turn a replacement handle. He grabbed a piece of 8/4 walnut scrap that was laying around from another project. It had a defect, a knot, in a bad spot for the original project, but for this it just ads a bit of character. He turned the handle to similar dimensions as the good oak one that David turned, but he maintained the lines from the tapered head into the handle. This too was now a fantastic feeling mallet.
I ebonized the black walnut handle, like I’ve done for past projects. It went from great looking to looking stellar! It is now nearly as dark as ebony but at a much cheaper price. Both handles have multiple coats of linseed oil, and will probably get a few more over the next couple of days. Although I am still debating if either should be glossy or not.
I will be using both mallets over the next couple of weeks, then they will go with me to Gulf Wars. While there, they will be put through a week’s worth of classes with a variety of students to get feedback. The other instructors will also have the opportunity to voice their opinions and I will pass all the details back to David. There is a reasonable chance that neither will make it home as someone will want to buy them.
Brad and I were both very impressed with the result of David’s prototypes. There will likely be some adjustments made before he will do anything production ready but these two were certainly a success. I look forward to the next round that we can put our hands on.
If anyone is interested in a metal headed mallet please let me know. We are considering setting up for a production run and need to know how big to make it.
Thank you David for your great craftsmanship!