Lignum Mallet

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Doug B

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After reading Phil’s bowling ball thread I thought I post a few photos of the making of my own lignum bowling ball mallet.
I was given half a bowling ball a few years back.
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I’d always admired the Blue Spruce mallets so thought I’d base my design on theirs, after cutting the blank out on the bandsaw it was over to the lathe.

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The lignum turned beautifully & whilst dense with only half a ball to work with I decided to increase the weight by joining the mallet head to the handle with a steel shaft inserted into both.
So after initial shaping I drilled a hole in the head to match the diameter of the bolt I used as the shaft, the head was masked & the shaft glued in place with Araldite.

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The glued shaft
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I could then hold the shaft in the chuck & finish turning the head.

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A Hornbeam handle was then turned with a hole drilled in it to match the shaft.

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After cutting the shaft to give a nice head handle balance it was simply a matter of gluing & clamping the parts together again with epoxy resin.
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The hornbeam was oiled but the lignum vitae was so oily I simply burnished it.

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It really is a nice mallet to use, the extra heft due to the metal shaft is great in what is a compact mallet.
 

MikeO

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What size is the mallet head. I find a lot of stress cracks in surface of bowling balls so you have to cut a lot away.
 

okeydokey

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Very nice work
On a slightly different tack bowling balls are now made from some type of manmade material- must be hard - rubber or summat?
Can they be turned or do they have some sort of nasty inside not compatible with now wood turning lathe tools - anyone tried?
 

Suffolkboy

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Very nice work
On a slightly different tack bowling balls are now made from some type of manmade material- must be hard - rubber or summat?
Can they be turned or do they have some sort of nasty inside not compatible with now wood turning lathe tools - anyone tried?
I tried one of my grandfathers to see what it was made of.

Don't bother trying. Dust is horrible and it smells and looks like dung.
 

Doug B

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What size is the mallet head. I find a lot of stress cracks in surface of bowling balls so you have to cut a lot away.
The head is just over 2” in diameter, there were a few minor stress cracks but nothing major & they haven’t open up at all in the 7 years since I made it.
It has however change colour to a green brown which I rather like, this is it today.
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Doug B

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Does a mallet need 'flex', to account for the stress of blows?
Does Lignum have any give?
Interesting to find out.
I think it depends on the intended use of the mallet, I‘d say a carpenters mallet definitely needs a little flex, the lignum doesn’t appear to flex at all but this little mallet was never intended for thrashing something like a mortise chisel but more delicate work.
 
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