Studley Mallet Head and Kiridashis for a Friend.

This is a project I ported over from the "other place."  Originally posted in summer of 2020.

My buddy EarlS has been a most generous fellow to me (and other LJs I know) over the years. I have had to refrain from mentioning to him that I like something he made because he has a terrible habit of making another and shipping it to me in short order ;-)

So last year, we were both doing a mallet swap and Earl approached me for advice on making a brass infill mallet a'la H.O. Studley:

So we discussed in some detail how it could be approximated in an affordable manner since machining it to be exactly like the original would be cost-prohibitive and neither of us have the skills or the equipment to sand cast it like Studley did. We settled on Earl ordering some 1.5" brass square tube and having it drop shipped to me. And in true Earl fashion, there was enough material for 4 heads and he only wanted two. So that material got here and I had an idea to add a couple pieces of 1/8" brass on top and bottom to mimic the finials on the Studley. So I did and Earl finished it off with his usual pizzaz and sent a fantastic swap package.

Well, in discussing it with Earl we decided before he finished his personal mallet and before I made mine, I wanted a second crack at the machining. In the swap head, I had cut the finial plates to size and ground in a 45 degree chamfer to approximate the cove on Studley's original. I wanted to do better and mill the plates to size after mounting to ensure they were square to the main head and I also wanted to mill the cove detail in rather then grinding a simple chamfer. Additionally, Studley's mallet had a matching cove around the faces. I wasn't uber confident how it would look given the thin walls of the brass tubing we were using but I gave it a run anyway.

I made some boo-boos but I think I concealed them fairly well and was pretty happy with the final result. Earl hasn't demanded a refund so I guess he is too.

Over the past couple of years, Earl has sent me several packages. It started when he was looking for some light-colored Walnut for a project he was working on and I told him I had some I would send him. He said to hold off until I got payment for shipping in the mail from him. I thought "I don't want shipping from him and how old is he anyway that he wants to send it via snail mail even if I did ask for it?" Well, when the package showed up, there was some green to cover the shipping cost and one of Earl's dice mallets!

I thought that was extremely generous so in return I turned a quick bit-holder screwdriver to send him back with the Walnut. I was certainly on the winning end of that swap. In the ensuing years I've learned that you will NEVER loose in a swap with Earl. It's like an obsession with the dude.

A few weeks later that summer, we were in the midst of the annual Beer Swap (which Earl was not participating in) and I get a surprise package from Earl with ANOTHER one of these:

And a couple of these!

I now see that this post is gonna run long so I'll shorten it and just say that in the time since then Earl has sent me parts to make projects after I admired his and at least twice he's sent me projects that he made after I remarked that I needed to make one for myself. And I use the level and the dado storage with regularity Earl ;-)

So I wanted to send Earl something useful for his shop since he's sent me so much for mine when I sent his mallet head back. I had started on a pair of Kiridashi knives for myself several months earlier and never got past rough-shaping the profiles. So I decided those would become Earl's Kiridashis. They don't come close to evening the score but I'm afraid if I get too close to doing that Earl might send me a car or a new SawStop or something.

If you want to read more about my Kiridashis, there are a couple other pair posted in my earlier projects so I won't go into detail on them here. They are made from O1 steel that I hardened and tempered then ground to final shape. The scales on this pair are really unique though. They are some Sagauro Cactus that my buddy Dave Kelley stabilized and cast in resin. The cactus is endangered and strongly protected in AZ and pretty hard to come by as I understand it. When Dave launched KelleyCrafts website a couple of years ago I wanted to be his first customer. I liked the look of these scales so that was what I bought. They've been shuffling around in my shop ever since looking for a purpose. Well now they've found one!

Finally, I know Earl doesn't have a lathe and I've recently found a 2mm pencil kit that I think makes an excellent shop pencil. So I turned Earl one of those from some Desert Ironwood that I got from Charles at Sonora Woodworks.

I had a piece of Kaizen foam the right size for a small FRB and used it to make Earl's package presentable and hopefully keep the knives from poking out the side. I know it arrived safe and sound in Iowa last night so I guess it worked. I'm looking forward to what Earl does with the mallet head and hope he'll find the knives and pencil useful in his shop.  If not, oh well, at least I tried…

Thanks for looking and reading this far. You have earned to right to question and criticize at will.


Love that story…

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Cool mallet and other stuff.  I've been on the receiving end of Earl during a swap and it is always  results in a something great.  

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

Good stuff all around!

thats what i love about this forum, lots of great generous woodworkers willing to share whatever they have. id say you did real well kenny, that mallet head with knife and pencil set is beautiful. im sure he's gonna love what you did.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Great work and story Ken. Your a very good metal worker. I also like your etchings on the knives. 

Where’s EarlS? You should invite him to join you or us here. Remember you can’t mention the word Craftisian over there the word is censored. 

I may have missed it in your description but 
 where did you get the brass tubing?

James McIntyre

Earl is lurking.  IIRC, he said something about being really busy helping his daughter with a remodeling project.  

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

yeah earl came here with the first big wave of refugees !
the way i use the word is c-r-a-f-t-i-s-i-a-n it's worked so far ?

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Cool project and great writeup Hokie!

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Great looking knifes Kenny, and a wonderful story to0. Earl does make some awesome stuff, I have been on the receiving end in a past swap.

Main Street to the Mountains

damn all these stories ! i gotta get lucky and get paired with earl i guess !!!! hopefully he'll be in the beer/bbq swap ?

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Very creative Pottz. I’ll give it a try. I can’t find my way around there anymore, or find old buddies. 

James McIntyre

i hear ya man. i havn't even looked on there in the last few weeks. for me all my buddies are here. why go back and listen to dw talk about nonsense or bandit talk about the pills he takes and the 💩 he eats for breakfast everyday !!! the same crap everyday there. the only time i go back is to find someone to save from that place and get em to come here !

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Thanks everyone!  Earl is around here, just not all that often.

James, I believe the tubing was from but it’s been a while so I won’t swear to it.
Great to see these again Kenny. I thought about Earl the other day and couldn't remember if he had joined us, but you reminded me he had.

"Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

Nice projects and a fun story.
Hey Kenny -I'm finally back among the living.  I finished helping with the first round of remodel on my daughter's 1940's house just in time for my boss to "suggest" that I get my PMP certification.  4 months and virtually every spare minute of time later, I'm finally done with it.  Took the test yesterday and passed.

I really enjoy using the Kiridashis for marking - plus they're just darn sexy.  I've made a couple prototype handles for the Studley, but none have quite been up to spec so I'm still refining the look.  It has to be just right.   As for the pencil, well I've run it out of lead a couple of times.   It's nice and heavy as well as being easy to use since it isn't too thin.  Yep - awesome stuff that looks great and is functional as well.  Just like me.....  
Good to see ya Earl!  You know what time it will be in a couple weeks, right???
i think it's gonna be a big swap this year kenny.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.