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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was my dad’s and who knows how old it is because he used to buy a lot of stuff from flea markets. I inherited it 40 years ago and always thought it was leather because it looks like it is rolled up.

I was using it this morning to knock some wood into place and it left a mark because it was used on something that imbedded something hard in the surface.

I decided to sand one surface smooth and WOW! :eek:

The stench is still imbedded in my nose and it smelled like something dead or maybe formaldehyde. Now I’m not sure if it is leather and I hope it’s not hazardous to my health.

 

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Rawhide was/is a common material for leather tooling mallets but your father's old one doesn't look quite like the ones I'm familiar with. But maybe the smell is correct ??? :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It’s just amazing to me how they can roll up leather so tight like that. It was a sickening smell that’s for sure. I was going to do the other side, but I just couldn’t take it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rawhide/leather mallets are common jewelers mallets. They are used for shaping without marring the metal. Example...rounding a ring that's been sized.






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Interesting I didn’t know that. I’m pretty sure my Dad did not do jewelry, but he did do aluminum gutters once in a while for special clients. Hmm, I wonder if he used it for those.
 

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I use a small rawhide mallet for light taps, when carving and for setting my blades on my jointer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I use a small rawhide mallet for light taps, when carving and for setting my blades on my jointer.
My dad was old school before all this power tool stuff. When I worked with him as an apprentice in 67’ he had a circular saw but used his hand saws, planes and chisels a lot especially when hanging doors and trim. I don’t remember, but it’s possible that he used this mallet with his chisels.
 

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My dad did leather work when I was a little kid. I seem to recall playing with a hammer that he used. For some reason I want to say it was made of buffalo hide/leather. Seemed darker in color than yours.

Blue
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My dad did leather work when I was a little kid. I seem to recall playing with a hammer that he used. For some reason I want to say it was made of buffalo hide/leather. Seemed darker in color than yours.

Blue
This one was almost black but I had washed it with soap and set it out in the sun to dry before taking the photo. I’ve been looking on line for rawhide mallets and I can’t find anything that looks like this. Most of the rawhide is very thick where this is a very thin skin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After looking at Dominick’s mallet and all the others on line, I don’t think mine is rawhide. It’s just too thin to be that. Maybe its another hide like pig skin or something.
 

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This looks alot like an old mallet that my Great uncle had, Its not the same one by an means. If I remember correctly, I want to say his was made from a burlap or other type of linen that was infused with hide glue.

I also believe its purpose is the same as what Cab-man said. Used in the fine metal works. Due to its size I would want to say its more of a silver smiths mallet used for larger pieces like trays or lamps.

When you sanded the end. were there any fibers that were recognizable?
 

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This one was almost black but I had washed it with soap and set it out in the sun to dry before taking the photo. I’ve been looking on line for rawhide mallets and I can’t find anything that looks like this. Most of the rawhide is very thick where this is a very thin skin.
PLEASE!!! Do not wash that mallet with soap and put it out in the sun!!!!

All you are going to do is dry out the leather and shorten the life of the mallet.

A good leather conditioner is what should be used.

George
 

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After looking at Dominick’s mallet and all the others on line, I don’t think mine is rawhide. It’s just too thin to be that. Maybe its another hide like pig skin or something.
The source for rawhide can be virtually any animal: bovine, porcine, deer, elk, whatever.

George
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
....
When you sanded the end. were there any fibers that were recognizable?
Not that I recognized, but it stunk so bad that I had to turn my head.
 

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That type of mallets is used by leather workers. Springfield Leather and Tandy Leather may still have them for sale. The rawhide head will not mushroom stamping tools. Saddlemakers used a hammer with a long narrow head for getting into tight spaces.

Stinger
 
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