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Discussion Starter #1
Walnut and red oak. The walnut is still a bit damp, so I haven't wedged the handle yet, but it will be cedar(some cool purple cedar a friend gave me from the swamp in Florida), and clearly, there isn't any sort of finish yet. This is my FIRST EVER turning(prior to this, my lathe was used to remove finish from old spindles on restorations), so critique is welcome, but please be gentle...
 

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Just realized the photo I posted was pre-final turning. Tool marks, tool marks, tool marks. I'll update when I get home...

WCT
 

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The mallet is looking good.

Tool marks are always a concern and can seem to appear when you apply the first coat of finish.

Last year I purchased the Beall buffing system.

http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Mer...de=packard&Product_Code=123901&Category_Code=

I thought this would be useful for buffing the final coat of finish.

I now use this after I have completed turning, sanding and prior to applying the first coat of finish. Sanding can mask the pesky remaining tool marks. I use the Tripoli compound and the first Beall wheel and any tool marks will soon be evident. Easy to fix by some additional sanding before the first coat is applied.

I also buff between coats. The Tripoli compound does not affect the finish products.
 

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Good stuff, Dave. Kinda anticipated my next question there. I had sanded from 80 up to 500 so far, and the tool marks were not visible until I put a little moisture on it, and then they popped right out. I have some buffing gear, but not the full Bealle system. I will definitely look into it, as I really want to do more turning(on that slippery slope now), and I'd like my non-utilitarian pieces to look somewhat professional. I think I'll probably make a couple more mallets, as they're fairly simple, and make great gifts or barter material. Hopefully that will help me hone my skills a bit, and will definitely allow me to practice sharpening my small tool kit. I guess I can finally justify ordering some stuff from Doug Thompson, especially since I can turn my own handles. Thanks!

Cam
 

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Just realized the photo I posted was pre-final turning. Tool marks, tool marks, tool marks. I'll update when I get home...

WCT
Looks good to me :thumbsup: I like the shape too
and I thought the tool marks were to help stop it slipping off the chisel :icon_smile:
 

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Looks good to me Camden. :thumbsup:

My only critique would be that most mallets are heaviest (thickest) near the end, at least 2/3 of the way up, some all the way. It may be the picture but it appears to be thickest about the center.

You are right about moisture, I use mineral spirits because it drys so quickly. Another tip is to have a light (even a flashlight) to shine parrallel with the work while damp. It is amazing how many valleys show up with the light from the side rather than straight down. Stay with the courser grit sandpaper until they are all gone. It will take less than a minute with each new grit since your are only removing the scratches from the last grit.

It looks like the end of yours is flat which is good. From a Richard Raffan video, make the end flat or slightly concave. Then a person can stand it on their workbench instead of laying it down to roll onto the floor.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I think it might be the picture... It's pretty much the same weight from about 1/3 up the head to the top. There is a very slight taper, but not substantial enough to alter the balance. It swings very well from a handle grip, and remains comfortable when gripping the head for finer work. The top is mostly flat, with a slight concave about 1/8" out from the shaft moving inward. I need to get better pictures up... I may try to turn another tomorrow, as I still have several chunks of fairly wet walnut... Maybe a solid walnut mallet? So many things in line ahead of the lathe, though. Thanks for the support and suggestions, everyone. It feels pretty awesome to finally contribute to this part of the forum.

WCT
 
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