Sunday, March 3, 2013

My Mallet is Cooler Than Yours

I know that those are fightin' words, but I have full confidence that my wickedly awesome mallet can hold its own. As I mentioned in a previous post I was recently in Southern Maine along Rte 1 looking for some antique tools. At a large antique mall I found the most interesting mallet I have ever seen. It has a brass (or maybe bronze) head, weighs in at a hefty 21.5 oz. and has a handle that is about 6 inches long.

The original mallet before cleaning.

The head looks as if it got in a fight with a wolverine and then thrown into a blender. Obviously this mallet was abused by its last owner, or maybe it was well loved depending on how you look at it. Anyhow, the marred head, sweat-stained handle, and crude steel wedge holding the two together immediately won me over.

Even the Wedge Holding on the Handle is Cool!

There are however a couple hang ups I have with this mallet. First, the handle is twisted...and by that I mean the flats on the sides of the handle don't line up with the orientation of the head. To fix this I pounded out the handle from the head, and re-wedged the two back together.

The original handle was twisted in an awkward position.

The straightened handle... yes, that is Isabelle photo bombing my post.

Next, the faces have some sharp burrs that could possibly dent and ruin the handles on my chisels. I don't mind inward is the outwards ones that bug me (best Freudian slip ever?) so I took some coarse emery cloth to remove the burs. I then went to progressively finer grit papers until I had nice shiny but textured faces.

The Original Marred and Dented Face

The final step was to take this bad boy for a test spin. With my first solid thump on a 1" butt chisel I was head over heels in love (don't tell The Boss). Not convinced yet? That is because I didn't tell you the best part. I got this sweet piece of hardware for the low low price of $8. So before you comment about your Wood is Good, Lee Valley Journeyman, or Blue Spruce mass manufactured chisel beater, think about weather or not your mallet is 3x, 4x, or even 10x better than mine. And to set the record straight my mallet could beat yours up in a fight, it already has the battle scars to prove it.

A highly polished face doesn't hurt your chisel handles.

PS. I mean no disrespect to any of the above mentioned tool dealer mallets...I just have tool envy and am lashing out on account of my low tool budget.

PPS. Insert Mjolnir joke here.

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