Newly turned woodcarver’s mallet and pepper grinder
I’ve managed to spend a little time in the shop over the past two weeks and “turned” out a couple of small projects (pun intended).
First is a woodcarver’s mallet. I needed a traditional round faced woodcarver’s mallet for an upcoming hand-cut dovetail class that I will be taking at Ernie Conover’s wood shop in Ohio. He recommends this style of mallet (rather than a square faced carpenter’s mallet) in his tool list for the class, and I just couldn’t see buying a mallet when I could make one. Besides, I wanted a tradition lignum vitae wood head, and you can’t buy those easily now-a-days. Hard maple seems to be norm for purchased mallets these days unless you get one with a man-made material wrapped head. Ernie does not recommend those due to “bounce.”
I turned this one with a hard maple handle attached to the head with a wedged through tenon. The head is made from Argentinian lignum vitae wood that I got from the local Rockler. I was surprised to find a large enough block of the lignum for this project.
The wedge is a scrap of ebony, and then I buffed on a carnauba wax coating.
The mallet is about 10″ long with a 3″ radius at its widest point. It weighs 20 ounces overall.
Turning the lignum was easier than I expected given its incredible density. BUT….don’t try and saw through it with your delicate Japanese hand saw. The teeth of the saw with lose the battle with the wood. Don’t ask me how I know.
Below is my first attempt at a pepper grinder. I turned it from Kingwood and then buffed on a carnauba wax coating. I used a “crush grind” ceramic mechanism for the internals. This type of mechanism allows for you to adjust the grind from the bottom of the mill, so that you do not have to have an adjustment know sticking through the cap. I found the mechanism to be first-rate.
I enjoyed doing the mill, and will likely do more of these. They are fast , fun and useful.