Steampunk Mallet

A while ago I commented on the mallet that Bob Rozieski was using in chopping some joinery (later identified by several readers as a Lee Valley tool), I mused about making something similar myself.  I tend to enjoy making tools myself, sometimes even more than using said tools, so making a steampunk mallet could be a blast.  In addition, my location in the hinterlands, where the local feed/seed coop/hardware store has both limited inventory and limited hours (and our one local auto parts store is closed on Saturday!), as a result I keep a solid inventory of hardware on hand.  Thus the odds were pretty good that I had everything I need on-hand to construct the tool.

Could I turn a pile of pipe fittings and scrap wood into a usable mallet?

Let’s see.

In browsing through my inventory it was clear that I had most of the parts in-hand and needed only to buy a couple of double-nipple 1/2″ NTP fittings and one reducer.  I assembled the head fittings together as tightly as possible using my big pipe wrench and a piece of long pipe to act as the handle extension.

So far, so good.  Now I just had to figure out how to add some heft.  How could I do that?  Oh wait, I have several hundred pounds of lead under the gunsmithing bench.  And a lead melter; I could fill the head with molten lead.  But first I had to plug the ends.

I had already decided to make the mallet to have one end-grain wood face and one leather faced surface.  I might as well go ahead and make the wooden face now to use it as the plug for one of the ends.  I found a square scrap of padauk in the scrap box and tossed it onto the lathe to turn one end to the taper needed to screw it into one end.

Once that was accomplished i could turn the actual face of the block and drive (screw) it in.

Viola’, I was halfway home.