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SMALMALEKI

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Good evening
I wanted to buy a mallet but it seems I can not buy it from the maker due to CITES regulations.

Is there anybody to treat the intended mallet head for me?
I am trying to not add further equipments to my current load.

Thank you
 

sunnybob

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There are people here who have made superb mallets from old plastic milk bottles without falling foul of any regulations.
But I'm curious, why maple? seems a soft wood for that job to me. Surely beech or box is a much better wood to use?
 

SMALMALEKI

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I am after Ebony for handle. That’s what makes it challenging. They don’t sell it outside the US.
It seems treated maple has been tried and tested. That’s the only reason.
 

Bm101

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You could always make one from an old bowls ball. Lignum vitae is the wood you want. You can still pick them up cheap if you look about on gumtree etc.
I'd use ash/beech/oak for the handle personally. You can buy dowel to exact diameter and wedge it if you don't have a lathe. Just need a auger bit or similar.
 

MikeG.

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SMALMALEKI":13y6sfeh said:
I am after Ebony for handle. That’s what makes it challenging. They don’t sell it outside the US.
It seems treated maple has been tried and tested. That’s the only reason.
Sorry, you're wanting help in getting around CITES regulations so that you can have a piece of endangered timber in your mallet. Is that right?
 

SMALMALEKI

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Ebony timbers are on sale in the UK. Am I right? Therefore I am not breaking any rules. I am using a legally marketed timber to make a tool.
Please enlighten me if that’s not the case.

I am looking for someone to treat a piece of maple timber for me.
 

AndyT

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AFAIK ebony is rather brittle, which would make it unsuitable for a mallet handle. Ash would be much better and is easy to get.
 

SMALMALEKI

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MikeG’s comment made me worry. I am sure there are many UK sellers of ebony turning blanks.
I would really appreciate any clarification on this.
 

sunnybob

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Theres confusion here.
Do you want a maple HEAD, or a maple HANDLE?

I think you are saying you want ebony handle and maple head?
If so, thats a mallet to look at, not a mallet to use.
Now a maple or beech handle, with a gold flecked HDPE head, thats something to look at AND use.

I have seen ebony sticks for sale in the UK.
 

Trevanion

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Ebony and Rosewood are sometimes called the "blood diamonds" of timber. Most of what you see now is unethically and unsustainably sourced and shouldn't be touched with a bargepole.

Stain a maple handle black or something, no-one will tell the difference. It's just vanity to want a mallet like that.
 

MikeG.

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SMALMALEKI":2hwkb7a2 said:
Ebony timbers are on sale in the UK. Am I right?.......
I haven't the faintest idea. It has never entered my head to purchase any African hardwoods, however wonderful they are. I've traveled the length and breadth of the continent, followed hundreds of logging roads and logging lorries. I've talked with the loggers, from the jungles of CAR and Zaire to the last teak stands in Zambia. I suspect that for every legally felled tree there will be thousands of illegally felled ones...and all of those will end up with some "official" paperwork covering their tracks. I'd go so far as to say that any use of any African timber is immoral. Most if not all African ebonies are on Schedule 2 of CITES. Personally I think using African hardwoods, particularly endangered ones such as ebony, is akin to using rhino horn or ivory. The place is being stripped at an astonishing speed. The Chinese in Mozambique are on course to have felled all of the remaining useable timber by the end of this year. Read that again......not a single stand of mature trees left in an entire country by the end of this year. In Zambia ancient forests are being turned into charcoal , and sky is grey with the smoke for 4 or 5 months of the year. It is destruction unhindered by law or treaty going on at a jaw-dropping rate. So sorry, what were you saying about your mallet again?
 

Trevanion

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This thread reminded me of a post of Custards, he might still weigh in on this thread as he's still about occasionally but here's the post, it's more about Rosewood that Ebony per se but I would assume the same still applies:

custard":39aoggrn said:
I've always had a soft spot for Rosewood and for thirty years or more I've been buying exceptional boards whenever I came across them. But I noticed that my clients are increasingly turning against tropical timbers, in particular the commercial clients (and they're the ones every maker really wants) are clear they won't tolerate the risk of an environmental embarrassment and stipulate temperate zone, sustainably sourced, FSC/PEFC, full chain of custody, etc.

Another factor that's driving the business is that Guild Marks now stipulate no CITES timber, and given that CITES is changing quickly and you can easily spend two or three years planning then building a Guild Mark submission, most makers have abandoned not only CITES timbers, but also woods that might become CITES listed in the near future, like say Wenge.

There was a case not long ago when a guy inherited a barn full of Macassar Ebony and offered it for sale in one lot at an astronomical price (Trevanion Edit: £250,000 for anyone wondering). The surprising thing is there were no takers. He dropped the price (£100,000) and broke it into smaller lots, still no takers. It was clear his gold mine wasn't quite so golden after all. That made a lot of people re-think their views on how much certain timbers are really worth.

And when Brexit was confirmed I realised that I either had to use my Rosewood or CITES meant it would be confined for evermore to the UK. So I sold almost all of it to a luthier wholesaler on the continent.

I kept a few absolutely prize boards, thinking I might make something really special for my children. But even there I'm hesitating. Imagine if your father or grandfather had made you something out of ivory or polar bear skin, instead of being a treasured heirloom it might now be a burden and an embarrassment. Then there's the fact that their taste and my taste will probably diverge, especially with changing fashions. So do I want to condemn them to lug some oppressive white elephant piece of furniture with them from house to house?

I'm sure I will make them something special, but it'll more likely be something smaller and made from a more politically correct timber.
 

lurker

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Nowt wrong with recycling some ebony, I have a ugly busted statue that the charity shop could not shift waiting for the right job to come along.
 

SMALMALEKI

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MikeG.":3ghucto5 said:
SMALMALEKI":3ghucto5 said:
Ebony timbers are on sale in the UK. Am I right?.......
I haven't the faintest idea. It has never entered my head to purchase any African hardwoods, however wonderful they are. I've traveled the length and breadth of the continent, followed hundreds of logging roads and logging lorries. I've talked with the loggers, from the jungles of CAR and Zaire to the last teak stands in Zambia. I suspect that for every legally felled tree there will be thousands of illegally felled ones...and all of those will end up with some "official" paperwork covering their tracks. I'd go so far as to say that any use of any African timber is immoral. Most if not all African ebonies are on Schedule 2 of CITES. Personally I think using African hardwoods, particularly endangered ones such as ebony, is akin to using rhino horn or ivory. The place is being stripped at an astonishing speed. The Chinese in Mozambique are on course to have felled all of the remaining useable timber by the end of this year. Read that again......not a single stand of mature trees left in an entire country by the end of this year. In Zambia ancient forests are being turned into charcoal , and sky is grey with the smoke for 4 or 5 months of the year. It is destruction unhindered by law or treaty going on at a jaw-dropping rate. So sorry, what were you saying about your mallet again?

Hi Mike

Thank you for your well written explanation. I really appreciate you taking time telling me all of this.
Searching this forum for Blue Spruce mallet will bring up few threads.
I liked the way they had treated the curly maple with resin to get better resistance wood. The mallets are produced and sold commercially and have been endorsed on this forum. ( many threads here).

It’s produced by member of the forum. I have not made it yet but only exploring the possibilities.

Thank you again
 

AndyT

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I have no idea whether you want to buy a commercial Blue Spruce mallet, new or secondhand, buy a copy of one with the same woods, buy wood for someone else to make you a copy or buy wood to make your own.
If you could be a bit clearer I think you'll get some more useful advice.
 

Bm101

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Take a read of this Maleki.
https://www.wood-database.com/wood-arti ... ark-woods/

Regardless of any moral or ethical issues, there's a fundamental reason that in the UK ash has been used as handle for tools for as long as history allows us to remember... and spears, and arrows, and spars for wagons, and well, take your pick. It's a long list.
Physically it just works. It's durable, springy, it absorbs energy, it doesn't crack or splinter easily.
Not lecturing just wonder if a revision of planning is wise.
If you want a paperweight. Fine. Inlay it with oldrosewood marquetry and gold cherubs. That's up to you. I really don't mean to seem facetious. Each to their own.
Want a 20 minutes working mallet?

Made this with my lad when he was obsessed with Thor and the Avengers movies. 20 minutes.


1/4 sawn beech head off cut. Oak dowel offcut as a handle. Sawn square, planed, drilled and set. Relieved the edges too much for Thor hammer looks. Total tools used include a drill and auger, a saw and a plane. I also used a cheap clarke sanding belt but it could easily be done by hand. When its done being a paperweight in his room it will find a new lease of life down my shed.

At the green woodworking end of the scale you'd make a mallet for free in 5 minutes with a bowsaw, log and billhook.
Depends where you want to be.
Mike's personal experience makes chilling but inevitable reading.
'It's only one plastic bottle. What's the harm?' Said 30 million people.
Who knows.
Cheers
Chris
 

woodbloke66

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SMALMALEKI":zrf33ai8 said:
I am after Ebony for handle. That’s what makes it challenging. They don’t sell it outside the US.
It seems treated maple has been tried and tested. That’s the only reason.
The best timber by far for a handle and readily available in the US is hickory - Rob
 

SMALMALEKI

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AndyT":jv3lsn4b said:
I have no idea whether you want to buy a commercial Blue Spruce mallet, new or secondhand, buy a copy of one with the same woods, buy wood for someone else to make you a copy or buy wood to make your own.
If you could be a bit clearer I think you'll get some more useful advice.

I wanted to buy one of the blue spruce mallets but they don’t sell it outside the US.
Then I thought to reproduce similar looking mallet myself with an stabilised mallet head.
Thats all.
 
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