Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How To Make Leather Mallets And Hammers

5. Wood mallet

Wood or rawhide mallets are necessary when doing leather work, and thats to preserve your tools.  Ifg you go to hitting on your tools with metal hammers you will soon deform and eventually destyroy your tools, and thats not nice.  Even though you can make your own tools after reading this, its better to spend your time crafting leather articles with your repertoire versus spending your time continually making more tools.  Many leather crafters use a rawhide mallet, and they are not too expensive, but they can be replaced with a piece of heavy round wood stock about a foot long.  The harder the wood tyhe better, but scraps work well too, and even rectangular or square pieces of the right length can be used, though most people find the round cyclindrical stock easier to handle.  You may want to sand your wood mallets and even varnish them.  Do not spend too much time though because the end of your wooden mallet will eventually become unusable and must either be trimmed or another piece of wood obtained.  Different sizes come in handy because different weights serve different purposes.  Large holes need a heavier mallet, while smaller prong holes can be accomplished uitre easily with smaller stock.  If you whittle at all, and it is worth learning if you can keep it safe, you can form a ball on the end of your mallet then sand it smooth.  Study the various types of rawhide and wooden mallets available commercially and get an idea for yours.   Study the prices too and you will see the real value in making your own striking units.

     Types of wood for your mallets is important to learn, a lot of people like maple but it is cost prohibitive, and all the wood I have ever used splinters and chips over time, including maple, which is one of the main reasons I try to make my own tools when I can, because no matter the quality of some tools, wearing them out quickly is sometimes inherent to the materials.  Some newer mallets are made out of nylon or other plastics, and I have seen a lot less wear on them though they tend to bounce when hit.  If you are into using a lathe for wood you can easily make four or five mallets from 4x4 or 6x6 stock that will last a long time.  When one wears out throw it in the fire and get another.  Oak is a good wood, and some of the exotic hardwoods too, but they can be pretty expensive unless you have a way of salvaging pieces for use as hammers on your leather tools.  I have salvaged some very good wood over time from cabinet shops, and also off wooden pallets of all places.  The pallet wood many times is super strong and chosen for that because it is handled by forklifts and other heavy equipment.  Below a picture of commercial leather hammers.  Reproduce in wood, even whittle 2x4.

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