How to Make a Mallet - Part 3

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Teach yourself to assemble the parts of a hand-crafted joiner's mallet.

The intended audience of this video are beginners and professionals looking to brush up the basics of woodworking.

If you enjoyed building your own mallet, try your hand at making a chopping board in the next video of this series.

The step-by-step instructions in this three-part video tutorial will show you everything you need to know to make your very own mallet to use in your woodworking and carpentry projects.

Music - Gilles B

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Watch the Video How to make a Mallet Part 2.

If you have followed How to Make a Mallet part 2, you can now proceed to create a through-mortise in which to wedge the handle.

Step 1 - Marking the Taper on the Head.

Centre the tapered portion of the handle on top of the head.

Use a ruler to check both sides.

Trace the taper of the Handle onto the side of the Head.

Extend the lines to all sides of the head with a Trysquare and pencil.

Set the scribes of a Mortise Gauge to the thickness of the Mallet's handle.

Center the scribes on the Head by sight and adjust the stalk till the piercemarks from both sides are at the same point.

With the scribes of the Mortise Gauge centered on the Head, tighten the thumbscrew and pierce the two points.

Highlight them with a pencil.

Proceed to scribe the thickness of the mortise between the lines marking the width of the mortise on top of the Head.

Highlight the scribed line with a pencil.

Repeat the step on the opposite side as well.

Step 2 - Preparing a Guide Block.

Before you start chiselling out the mortise, prepare a small guide block to help maintain the angle at which the handle tapers.

Cut the guide block so that the four sides along the length of the piece are square with each other.

Cut one of the remaining sides by tracing the arm of a protractor or a sliding bevel edge set to the handle's taper.

This side will help create the reference for chiseling.

Saw along the line maintaining a precise angle of the saw.

The guide block will be used in the final stages of chiselling.

Step 3 - Chiseling the Mortise.

To begin with, fix the Mallet head on the vice and start chiselling out the narrower opening of the mortise.

You may use a mortise chisel or a bevel-edge chisel like the one used here.

With the flat side of the chisel towards the wall of the mortise, leave a little extra wood at the edges for finishing.

Work your way in layers from edge to edge until you have chiselled about two inches.

Now, place the guiding block at the edge of the mouth such that it follows the taper laid out for the mortise.

Clamp the block securely in place.

Hold the flat side of the chisel against the guide block and extend the angle into the mortise.

Follow the step on the opposite wall as well.

Now, turn the Head over to the opposite surface and repeat the same process here until the mortise runs through to the other side.

Leave a small amount of waste wood at the sides for finishing.

Clamp the guide block in line with the tapering sides and extend the angle into the mortise.

Use the flat side of a bench chisel against the walls of the mortise to ensure that they are smooth and uniform.

Place the head on the vice such that the mortise runs horizontally.

Use a bench chisel to pare the side facing up until it is even.

Use a file for a smooth finish.

Turn the piece over to the other sides and repeat the steps until all the inner walls of the mortise have a consistent finish.

Step 4 - Finishing.

The final step involves bevelling the edges of the mallet head so that it doesn't chip upon impact.

Use a block plane to create a bevel on the edges that run along the grain.

The edges cornering the end grain can be shaped with a rasp.

Use a file after the rasp for a smooth finish.

Fix the Mallet Head sideways on the vice and wedge the handle into the head through the mortise to check the fit.

You can use a mallet to apply force so that the handle is wedged in tight, but not too tight.

Place the Mallet on the table and mark out the desired length of the handle using a pencil and ruler.

Here we have chosen to retain 10.

5 inches from the base of the head.

Extend the mark to all sides using a trysquare and pencil.

Clamp the handle onto the vice and saw off the extra wood from the handle Use a spokeshave to create a bevel or to round the edges of the handle until it is comfortable to hold.

A Rasp and File can be used on the edges of the endgrain.

You have now learned how to make a Joiner's Mallet.

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