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About Me

Found 6 results

  1. In my neck of the woods, leather tools are expensive and hard to come by. At best, the more available stuff tends to be generic Chinese imports (not always bad) or very expensive commissioned pieces. Of course one can import, but our currency is not strong enough to give me enough reason to go that route. So, I needed a better maul than the heavyweight whacker or the lightweight poly hammer I currently have. And even with the COVID restrictions on movement in place, we can still buy milk in 2 litre HDPE jugs... And although I've attempted to make an HDPE maul before - very un-photogenic but functional - I decided to start from scratch. For this effort, my inspiration was this thread: Below are two mauls made from milk jugs which I melted down using a simple heat gun and two different sizes of moulds. The larger one was "forged" in a slightly tapered crucible that used to be used to melt woodworking glue in a double boiler setup in the era before "white glue" became the standard. I inherited it from father-in-law when he tidied up his workshop before selling his house. The smaller one was forged in a crucible made of a section of 50mm diameter steel pipe. Unfortunately I don't own a lathe, so centering and turning it to perfection was not possible ("my kingdom for a lathe!") - same issue for the handles. However, key to maintaining the roundness of the maul heads were that I maintained a steady pressure by using a stopper piece of the same diameter as the crucible /pipe with a G-clamp and even progressively increased pressure while the HDPE was cooling. My previous experience was that the HDPE distorted as it was cooling. The larger maul weights 586 grams (I believe its a cat's spittle over 16oz), 64mm in diameter and the handle is made of an old broken baseball bat I got somewhere. It's got a hidden cavity of about 20mm deep on the north end filled with four or five (maybe six) steel washers for additional weight, and then the washers and nut that are visible. When I can move around more freely once COVID is hopefully boxed up again, I'll hunt for prettier and a few more heftier weights, maybe a brass weight will look pretty, and a proper nut. The spindle (spine) is an 8mm hardened stainless steel rod I had lying around, which I threaded with M8 thread - darn difficult job - about 20 to 25mm of thread on both ends. The smaller of the two weights in around 356g (12oz give or take), about 48 or 50mm in diameter and does not have any additional weights added (except a stopper washer). It's spine comes from the rod in the gas lift of a hatchback - had to replace the gas lift on one of the children's cars some time ago and kept the old part for some reason. Any case, the rod is also 8mm and similarly threaded with M8 thread. The handle on this one is a bunch of leather washers, cut more or less round and with a 8mm centre hole punched, glued with wood glue, compressed and left to dry/cure on the threaded rod, and then trued and shaped in an electric drill. I'm still contemplating if I should not switch the two handles around... Not the prettiest, but - for now - better than what I used before. It feels good to hold and swing and the test run I gave it with a basket weave stamp was definitely an improvement on performance of my old whacker...
  2. I've been using a 16oz. rubber mallet from Lowe's ever since I started working with leather, about two years ago now. I use it for everything: tooling, setting rivets and snaps, driving punches and chisels, you name it. It's the only hammer I've ever used for leather. It's starting to wear out and I've been thinking about replacing it. Now, this hammer cost about $4 and has lasted me for years (I've only been using it for leather for 2 years, but I've probably had it for 5 or 6 now) and that's a strong argument in favor of getting another one just like it. But copper and tubular rivets, and some of the heavier snaps, take forever to set with the thing. So I'm starting to wonder: Would a heavier hammer might be more suitable to the task? Also: would a rawhide or poly striking tool have less bounce, and would that make a difference? I'd rather not buy several expensive tools if I can avoid it, so is there One Hammer to Rule Them All out there? A leatherworker's Mjolnir that's just great, or even pretty good, overall for All The Jobs? (If it comes right down to it, I'll buy two hammers, one for These Jobs and one for Those Jobs, but I'd rather avoid having to build a whole rack for a hammer collection, is what I'm getting at.) Thanks in advance for answering what is probably a dumb question.
  3. Redbone

    Mauls

    I was just wondering what weight mauls do you prefer to use?
  4. It's been forever since I last posted but I had to share photos of my new maul set from Beary Stiles. Rosewood and maple 15 and 20 oz. mauls, hammered end caps, and matching stand. My pics don't do them justice, the workmanship is perfect. I can't say enough regarding the quality, 1st class in every way. Many, many thanks to Beary for the excellent job he did. I am thrilled to own these and plan to put them to great use now that I am not traveling constantly with work. Thanks Beary!!!
  5. For sale. 3 custom made solid nylon mauls. Small, medium and heavy. Large maul has figured walnut handle. Med and small have figured birch handles from Finland. Construction includes solid copper washers and steel rod. Lightly used. Nylon heads are virtually industructable. Small $60 Medium $70 Large $80 $130 for the set. PAYPAL accepted. Shipping included Click on image to enlarge.
  6. I have been using a rawhide mallet for quite some time. Because I live on SS plus a little extra and taxes and insurance take one half of my income I don't have extra to spend. I have wanted a maul for quite a while but have not found one cheap at a garage sale or etc. I have seen a couple of wood working mallets (mauls like about $15) cheap at sales but did not know if they would work well with steel leather stamps and etc. So now my question is has any body tried a "Shop Fox" or "Wood is Good" maul (they call them mallets) for leatherwork. They do show up once in a while at garage sales. -- Tex
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