Thursday, November 3, 2016
Carving mallet made from plywood
I have a obsession about mallet, hammer, I already had a lot of mallets, but still I'll use any excuse to make new one.
I just started wood carving, it's a lot of fun, but I'll need a smaller carving mallet, it needs to be small enough that I can hold the head in my hand. I don't need it to be very heavy, the mallet is mainly to tap out the details.
I made this big laminated carving mallet long time ago, in fact, it's my first lathe project. It's a little too big, but I like the idea of using laminated wood for the head, so at any angle, you always have half of the wood as end grain, so it's pretty durable, and you don't have to waste a big chunk of solid wood.
For this build, I'll use exterior baltic birch ply for the head, and a exotic pen blank for the handle.
starting by gluing the head together, I used 4 layers of 3/4, so total about 3 inches.
I first turned a 7/8 tenon on the handle, constantly checking the size to make sure it's a snug fit.
Than drill the 7/8 hole on the head, and glue it onto the handle. I didn't use any wedge to hold the head in place, because the handle fit really tightly, I have to pound it in, also because I would swing it very hard at all. It's main use is to gentle tap the carving gouge.
I didn't even wait for the glue to dry before I start turning the head round. I use the same spur center for spindle turning to turn the whole blank.
Turning plywood is not much fun, with a lot of end grain, I'm mostly using scraper. After I get the shape I wanted, I used a lot of sanding. I stopped at 400 grit, and applied an oil wax finish, I use a worn out 800 girt sand paper to apply the finish, it generates a lot of heat, and melt the wax on the surface nicely.
The final piece come out real nice. Now my daughter see it, she also want one, not that she has any use for it :) I may ended up doing another one for her soon.
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