I found that an old rawhide hammer given to me years ago became one of
my most used hammers. I have a plastic dead blow hammer, but there
are many times I use the rawhide mallet when I need something smaller
and need to deliver a soft blow. I've used it for tapping the chuck
into the drill press, knocking together joints, driving a center onto
stock for turnings, etc. I have an all wood mallet, but that rarely
gets used and is not soft like the rawhide. I was wondering what
other woodworkers use.
I have a wooden mallet that I made myself (one of my first projects), a
rubber mallet and a dead-blow mallet. My wooden one has a Jatoba head which
makes it heavy and hard, but not too hard. It's my go-to mallet for almost
everything, but there's probably some sentiment influencing that.
Thu, Jun 3, 2004, 1:34am (EDT+4) firstname.lastname@example.org (Phisherman) gurgled:
I found that an old rawhide hammer <snip> I was wondering what other
I've got one rubber mallet (for some unknown reason) and 7 turned
carving type mallets I made when I got my wood lathe. Seldom use the
rubber mallet, usually use one of the smaller/lighter turned mallets.
They range from a small, quite light one, made from a downed pine tree
on my property, up to a large, heavy, dogwood one, of several pounds,
also from my property. Dog got ahold of maybe the lightest one, and
chewed it up some, but still usable. I plan on getting a dead-blow
hammer, mostly for some metal working I'm planning on. Other than that,
I'll be using my homemade mallets. If I ever need another, all I'll
need is a chunk of wood big enough, and maybe 5 minutes. Oh, yeah,
they're all from trees on my property, and are pine, holly, dogwood,
and, I believe, a couple out of hickory, and maybe oak. I highly
recommend making some. I made one of the laminated hammer type mallets
- once - and would never make another - or want to use one again. The
round type are much handier, and much easier, and faster, to make. No
plans needed, just a wood lathe. Or you could bandsaw or scrollsaw
something similar out of a 4X4 or 2X4. No prob.
I drilled a hole in the end of the handles, with a rawhide loop, so
I could hang them. I think better to just make a small open bin and
just stack them in there. Quicker, and easier, to get to that way.
And, make them flat on the big end. That way you can stand them
up. Handy. If you're worried about them rolling (i'm not), just pine,
or sand, a flat edge on them.
If you're offered free wood, take it, period; figure out what to use it
I've got a couple of rawhide mallets with replaceable (weighted) heads that are
really great for assembling drawers and similar constructs. I've got an
unweighted rawhide mallet, too. It is less great because it hasn't got enough
weight behind it for its face diameter, but can serve with light boxes. For
bumping tablesaw (and other iron) tops around, I've got a mallet that has a
rawhide face on one side, copper on the other. Works really great.
"The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the
exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
I only got one of these recently. Mainly I use it for coppersmithing.
Anything heavier or harder, including lignum vitae or boxwood, can
leave edge marks in freshly-annealed copper.
My woodworking assembly hammer is a _white_ rubber mallet that I keep
just for assembling cabinets, and definitely keep clean.
General hitting is done by black rubber mallets (useless, but cheap),
a few sizes of shot-filled plastic mallets (lovely things - much more
controllable), and for heavy stuff there are Thor hammers (common in
England) with cast iron heads and inserted faces in either rawhide or
copper. These put a lot more mass into a smaller space.
One of my favourite woodworking hammers is an 8oz Japanese hammer with
a square-faced head. You can get much closer to a face or corner with
this than you can with a round face, less risk of accidental dents
too. Highly recommended.
Over the water there's a 8lb sparkproof bronze sledgehammer. For when
you want to really smash something, but to break it carefully.
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