This project was posted in 2018 on another site so there may be some discontinuity.
This is my entry for the 2018 Lumberjock's Mallet Swap.
My inspiration was this picture:
Unfortunately, there was no source information for the picture so I don't know who made it or who to credit.
I really liked the way the different woods converged to create a continuity and I liked the overall shape of the design. What I REALLY liked though was the carved embellishment. Since I couldn't carve that if there was a gun to my head, especially in a wood hard enough for a mallet head, I decided to go a different way.
Instead of attempting to carve into the head, I decided to do a Celtic Knot lamination. I started with Greenheart for the head. This wood is incredibly hard but also very strong and not brittle. Initially I was just going to use some Hard Maple and laminate the knot into the Greenheart blank. But then I thought I would like to see a little more contrast. So, I used some Greenheart and made the lamination in a piece of Hard Maple. Then I cut the Greenheart blank and turned a tenon onto both pieces, drilled out the Maple with the knot lamination and glued it all up.
And don't get me wrong. I'm writing this as if I just glued some stuff up and turned it and shipped it. I think I glued up a total of 6 laminations for the knots and turned 4 complete mallets. One turned out terribly and went to the trash and one was ugly as sin but functional so it resides in my shop as a nice user
So after getting the head blank glued up, I turned it to shape and drilled it out for the handle tenon. I didn't think a through tenon would look good for this design so instead I used a blind wedged tenon that JayT brought to my attention early on in the swap. It's a rock solid joint that required no glue and I can't imagine it ever loosening. The handle was made from a spalted Maple blank with a piece of Greenheart joined to the end as a "pommel".
After I finally got a good one that I was happy with, I was contemplating what to make to go with it. So the idea of a second one with the woods inverted would make a really nice yin/yang pair of whackers. This idea filled me with dread because I really hate doing all the glue-ups :-( But, nevertheless, I knew that was what I wanted so the second mallet with the Maple head and Greenheart handle was born!
The Greenheart is so dense compared to the Maple that I thought the difference was sufficient to give a nice difference in the weights of the two mallets to make it a more useful pair. They ended up weighing in at 8 oz and 11 oz. Not as much difference as I was hoping for but enough to give them a different feel in the hand and make them ideally suited to different tasks.
Comments and questions welcomed as always. Thanks for looking!