Work and the world have caught up with me in a big way, and haven’t left much time for anything else. When I’ve thought about posting (or even reading) something, I’ve realized that the same time could be spent woodworking, and have opted for the latter.
And there hasn’t been a lot of time for that.
There has though been enough for me to finish making myself a mallet, out of a piece of Osage Orange firewood and some Ash. Here’s a photo gallery, with the story in the captions.
Where we started. Cleaning up this piece of Osage Orange firewood.
This is my “back-up” block of wood for the mallet head. I neglected at the time to photograph the one I ended up using.
Getting this mortise made without a vise was challenging. And by the way, Osage Orange is some hard stuff.
Working over a piece of Ash I split out of a larger block.
Getting the handle out of the Ash involved working with the saw, the axe, the drawknife, spokeshave, and some chisel work as well.
OK, what happened was this. I’d been watching an issue at work that was going to eventually make its way to me, thinking about how I would deal with it when it did. So I wasn’t really focused on the woodworking that much. I realized that with the trouble the drawknife was giving me (diving and reversing grain), there was enough wood to remove off this piece that I’d saw it the rest of the way down to size. In drawknife mode, it apparently didn’t occur to me to just saw off one side, rather than both. It did occur to me, just about when I got to here, and decided I needed to photograph and record this moment of stupidity.
Lots of challenges with the grain resulted in a handle that worked, but wasn’t at all what I was after.
So I began again. The Ash I have available to work with right now has lots of twists, and when you get a piece rived out of it, you don’t have much room for error.
The piece of Ash I worked with risked being too narrow. But it managed, just, to turn into a fine handle.
Handle fit, the finished mallet is ready for some boiled linseed oil and a little paste wax.
I’m pleased with the outcome. Like the balance, and the heft.
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