November 27, 2012

Mallet handle shaping ideas

I took a better look at the mallet handle this morning.  The thicker part of the shoulder is 3/8" and the thinner part is 1/8".  I am thinking that I will run the thicker part through the tablesaw and bring both sides down to 1/8".  I don't have a bandsaw to cut the sides in to fit my hand better so I am probably going to trim the corners on the router table with a chamfer bit and then just sand the heck out of it with some 60 grit paper.  I was also looking through my scraps and found the piece of oak left over from where I put the BBs inside the head.  I think that I should be able to make the wedges for the top of the handle from that.

November 26, 2012

The mallet is really starting to take shape

I was able to go out and spend some time on the mallet yesterday and it is really starting to take shape.  Like most of my projects this involved doing a lot of things for the first time.  I removed the safety guards on the tablesaw for the first time (I made sure the kids were inside) and made a tenon on the tablesaw.

This is how the head started out looking.

I cut the end to make it uniform and then realized that the mitre saw was still set to 2 degrees from when I made the wedge from inside the mallet head.

Now the head is all squared up.

I set the tablesaw at a 15 degree angle to chop off the corners of the head.

Checking to make sure the angle was set up correctly.

I drew on the end of the head so that I could verify that the blade and the fence were setup correctly before I cut the corners off.

I placed the head on the end of the handle so I could mark how much to nibble off.

I used a spacer block to help avoid kickback.  That's what all the woodworkers on YouTube do so I figured that I would play it safe and do the same thing.

I cut a smaller section first to fine tune the fit before I did the whole section.

Just verifying the mark that I made earlier.  I ended up starting on the top of the mark so that I could have a little bit sticking out of the top of the head.

Halfway there.

Checking to see how much I need to take off the sides.

I started on the inside and worked my way out.  I also took a file and smoothed out the tenon to get it to fit into the handle properly.

The handle is way too big and square for my hand but it is starting to look like a mallet!

Now I just need to figure out how I am going to shape the handle.

November 19, 2012

Woodworking Mallet

I had to stay home with my sick son on Friday so while he was taking a nap I was able to finally start on my Wood Working for Mere Mortals woodworking mallet.  I bought enough material to make 2 mallets so the first one is pretty much going to be just like the one Steve made in his video and the second one will be more personalized to my style.  It all depends on what I learn while making the fist one.  I bought 2 - 1x2x2's and 2 - 1x3x2's.  1 each in maple and 1 each in Oak. The first mallet I am making is with an Oak head and Maple handle.  The second will be reversed.  This will also be my first project not involving Pine.

I started by cutting the maple 1x2x2 in half to glue together to make the handle.  I cut the oak 1x3x2 into 3 pieces. 2 at about 8 inches and 1 at about 6 inches.  I took the 6 inch piece and measured in 2 inches and marked the center.  I then realized that the board was 2 1/2 inches wide so I remeasured to 2 1/2 inches and re-marked the center.

I made a 1 1/2 inch hole to be able to add some weight to the mallet.

It turns out that speed really does matter.  The drill press came setup at the max speed of 3100 RPM.
I changed it to the middle setting of 1720 when I assembled the drill press. 
I cut the hole on the right at 1720 and it kept stopping as I lowered the Forstner bit
and it also burned the wood some. 
I adjusted the belts down to the lowest setting of 620 and drilled the hole on the left with no issues.

I set my mitre saw to 2 degrees to cut the inside of the wedge.

I flipped the board over to cut the other side.  The piece of wood was pretty small so I used the push
stick from my table saw to hold it in place when I cut it.

The wedge is where the handle will go with the narrow part at the bottom and the wide part on top.

I am gluing one side to another 1x3 board.

I am using the second board for clamping only.  No glue.

I am making the handle out of 2 1x2 pieces of maple glued together.

I let the glue dry for about 2 hours and then removed the clamps.

BBs to give it a little more weight.  I estimate that I should be able to make about 5 mallets
with this container of BBs.

Now to glue the second piece on.

November 13, 2012

My new drill press

I finally assembled my new drill press that I bought a couple of months ago.  All the cool woodworkers have one so I figured that I should pick one up too.  I waited until they went on sale at Harbor Freight and then used my 20% off coupon and got it for under $60.  It's not the best reviewed one out there but all I want to do is drill some straight holes in wood so I think that I will be fine.  I spcifically bought the one with a chuck key.  I read a lot of reviews saying the one with a keyless chuck always seemed to fail over time.  I've never actually used a drill press before so this is all one big adventure.

 New in the box

Still in the box

Kinda out of the box

Out of the box

I bolted the column assembly to the base

I then slid the table down over the column

I put the motor assembly on top and tightened the 2 allen screws on the side

 I nstalled the 3 feed handles next

The chuck came covered in grease
So I cleaned it and the key

I retracted the jaws all the way inside the key and slid it over the spindle

I lifted the table and put a piece of scrap wood on it (not pictured) and then
pulled down on the feed handles to force the chuck onto the spindle

It felt like I was going to break something when I pulled on the handles so the chuck
didn't seem to go as far on the spindle as I would have liked

So I layed it on it's side, placed the scrap wood next to the chuck,and gave it a
couple of good whacks

It went on a little tighter that way.  From looking at the spindle assembly I still feel
like it should have gone up more
It was set to the highest speed so I moved the belt to the middle.  It has a handy chart
attached to the inside of the lid showing where to put the belt for the different speeds
and belt placements

I live close to a Home Depot but the Ryobi Forstner bits had a lot of reviews saying that
they were dull so I drove to Lowes and picked up som Porter Cable bits.  They cost almost as
much as the drill press.
I ran a test and the chuck didn't look like it was wobbling at all
I was kinda surprised at just how much sawdust this little hole halfway through
a 2x4 made
It looks good to me.  Now I can make the woodworking mallet from
WoodWorking for Mere Mortals.