I have heard quite a few
discussions concerning mallets but I have seen no reference to
fine English joiners' mallets.
I guess it is up to me to discuss
one. I have used this particular mallet for several years and
find it to be just the right one for tapping mortise and tenons
together. It weighs about two pounds and behaves for me much
like a deadblow mallet, you know, the orange plastic ones with
the oil and lead shot in them.
I use it only for assembly of
joints and find it ill suited for striking chisels. The way the
handle holds the two lignum vitae inserts into the heavy
gunmetal casting is intriguing.
The mallet has an adze eye. The
distal end of the handle is tapered from big to small toward the
proximal end, the end you hold. Holes through the wooden inserts
are tapered and the front hole in the casting is bigger than
than the back hole.
To assemble this mallet one has to
insert the curved front piece of lignum vitae into the gunmetal
casting first followed by the back piece of lignum vitae which
has parallel sides.
The tapered holes in the the two
pieces of wood are then aligned one to the other and in turn
with the holes in the gunmetal casting. The handle is then
inserted through all three to lock the parts together.
I have wanted to make boxwood
inserts for this mallet and maybe I'll soon have a little extra
time to do it. Besides being a practical well designed
functioning mallet, this tool is a dazzler and is fondled lots
by my students and visitors to my joinery demonstrations.
The handle is exactly 13 inches in
total length and the casting is 2 inches wide.