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.
Matt Sanfilippo is the Chief Partnership Officer (CPO) for the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Co-Director of its Engineering Research Accelerator. In this role, Matt coordinates and enables strategic and sponsored research opportunities across the college, and stewards the development of proposals for major research opportunities along strategic themes. Additionally, he enables collaboration among the college's research institute/center executive directors, and industrial and government relations personnel in the pursuit of opportunities with industry, federal and state governments. Before becoming CPO for the College, Matt was the Senior Executive Director for Research Initiatives, the Executive Director of CMU's SII (Smart Infrastructure Institute) and ICES (Institute for Complex Engineered Systems), and Associate Director of PITA (Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance) and RAMP (Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania).
Before CMU, Matt was Managing Director of Applied Technology for Michael Baker Corporation, an engineering and energy services firm. Matt managed Baker's technology division including Geographic Information System (GIS), software and web development, multimedia, virtual reality, visualization, Global Positioning System (GPS), mapping and surveying services. Before joining Baker, Matt was an Innovation Director for Redleaf Group, a Venture Capital/Operating Company focused on information security, supply chain and mobility solutions. While at Redleaf, Matt managed technical due diligence for seed-stage investments and coordinated relationships between Redleaf and their partner companies. Prior to Redleaf, Matt was CIO of GZA GeoEnvironmental Technologies, an infrastructure engineering firm, and operations manager for their Internet start-up that focused on web-technologies for health and safety and manufacturing metrics.
Matt is on the board of Larson Design Group (LDG), past Chairman of the Board for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, current board member of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF), current Vice President of the Sewickley Heights Gun Club (SHGC) and former member of the Information Sciences and Technology Advisory Board for the Pennsylvania State University Beaver. Matt is also former Vice President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association of Internet Professionals and former Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Baker Combined Charity of Pennsylvania.