Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Mallet making


#1

Hi, it’s me again! :slight_smile:

I’ve got another one of those "what am I missing here?“
questions. I recently bought a length of 2.5” diameter Delrin
rod to make some forming mallets. I cut it into segments of the
appropriate lengths, and bought some handles at a hardware store.
I have read that handles with an oval cross section are better,
so that’s what I got. I’ve drilled two side-by-side holes as a
start for the handle hole, but am having difficulty cleaning it
out and removing the excess material. Any ideas/suggestions?
Trying to use the drill bit to kind of grind it out isn’t working
very well.

I also understand that I’m going to have to wedge the handle
into the mallet, since epoxy doesn’t stick to Delrin. Any
suggestions or tips here?

Thanks, everyone, for all your help!

Dave Sebaste


#2

DS> Hi, it’s me again! :slight_smile:

I recently bought a length of 2.5" diameter Delrin
DS> rod to make some forming mallets. I cut it into segments of the
DS> appropriate lengths, and bought some handles at a hardware store.=

DS> I have read that handles with an oval cross section are better,
DS> so that’s what I got. I’ve drilled two side-by-side holes as a
DS> start for the handle hole, but am having difficulty cleaning it
DS> out and removing the excess material. Any ideas/suggestions? =

DS> Trying to use the drill bit to kind of grind it out isn’t working=

DS> very well.

DS> I also understand that I’m going to have to wedge the handle
DS> into the mallet, since epoxy doesn’t stick to Delrin. =

DS> Thanks, everyone, for all your help!

DS> Dave Sebaste

            ********************************                     =

G’day, Dave: I’m not sure what Delrin is, but I made forming
mallets fro m 1"dia nylon rod. I have a wood-lathe so turned my
own handles, but I made a special hammer long before I got the
lathe. I drilled a 3/8" hole in the = side of the rod, cut a
sawcut into the end of a bit of 3/8" wood dowel, filed = the hole
a bit to make it taper slightly, put the dowel into the nylon,
hamme= red a glued thin wood wedge into the sawcut, then finally
bought a little woode= n ball 1"dia,. drilled it to fit the dowel,
then glued it onto the other en= d with wood glue. That was 10
years ago - and it’s still OK! =

Happy New Year!

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
     / /
     / //\    johnb@ts.co.nz
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#3

The suggestion regarding the wedge is good. When I made mine, I
also had a question about fit and attachment. I ended up using
my torch in the hole in the delrin to melt the area within the
hole, the handle slips in and when the plastic cooled, I had a
near perfect fit. Good Luck and Happy New Year Marlin


#4

Neat idea, Marlin! A word of caution, though, for anyone else
reading this. The fumes from melting/burning this type material
can be very dangerous. Consider this approach only if you have
the proper ventilation and breathing apparatus.

Thanks again for sharing this, Marlin!


#5

Hi, it’s me again! :slight_smile:

I’ve got another one of those “what am I missing here?” questions.
I recently bought a length of 2.5" diameter Delrin rod to make some
forming mallets. I cut it into segments of the appropriate lengths,
and bought some handles at a hardware store. I have read that
handles with an oval cross section are better, so that’s what I got.
I’ve drilled two side-by-side holes as a start for the handle hole,
but am having difficulty cleaning it out and removing the excess
material. Any ideas/suggestions? Trying to use the drill bit to kind
of grind it out isn’t working very well.

I also understand that I’m going to have to wedge the handle into
the mallet, since epoxy doesn’t stick to Delrin. Any suggestions or
tips here?

Thanks, everyone, for all your help!
Dave


#6

Hi Dave,

I used a big cylinder bur on my flex shaft tool to clean out the
excess material. A large rattail file would work well too. Once I had
the handle snuggly wedged into the head, I drilled a single hole into
the head and handle. I put a wood screw into the hole and the hammer
has worked like a champ ever since.

Asheville Chuck in Burlington, Ontario making another labyrinth


#7

Unfortunately you need to mill it out with an end mill in a a
vertical milling machine which will easily remove the material
between the holes–

The delrin is easy to cut you just need the right machine.

jesse


#8

Dave,

I make my own mallets for anti clastic work. I drill three holes.
The center hole is the diameter of the widest part of the oval handel
( not the length of the oval). Then I drill a smaller hole on each
side of the center hole. Then I take a course rat tail file and file
out the ridges left by the drill bits to get a nice smooth oval hole.
I make any final adjustments to the fit by filing the wood handel
instead of the hole. You can also use a small wood chisel to carve
out the ridges left by the drill bits. I use a gouge with a slight
sweep/curve. I put as much care into the mallets as a piece of
jewelry. The result is a tool that will last a long time. Delrin will
wear away in time.

Hope this helps.

Bill Churlik
@Bill_Churlik
www.earthspeakarts.com


#9
 Trying to use the drill bit to kind of grind it out isn't working
very well. 

Hi Dave,

You can used a chisel very easily, a flat chisel to clear out the
in-between stuff. As well a coarse rasp would work as would a tile
cutting router type bit in a flex shaft, but I’d go for the chisel.
To mount the head: The handle at the hammer end is split with a saw
most of the distance that will be inside the mallet head when done.
(even a jewelrs saw will work), and you make a wedge from a piece of
wood which is then jammed into the slit. I will daub the slit with
epoxy before hammering in the hardwood wedge. If it splinters a bit
don’t worry, wait till it all hardens and then clean off any mess
from hammering it in.

That should be good enough. I do know people who will then drill
into the side of the mallet and into the wood handle and install a
screw from the side of the head which pierces the wood as extra
security. I find if I have mounted the head correctly that I do not
have to do this step.

best
charles

Charles Lewton-Brain
President, Canadian Crafts Federation
Program Head, Jewellery/Metals, Alberta College of Art and Design
http://acad.ca/


#10

Delrin is a thermoplastic material, and as such it can be deformed
or melted with heat. When I make my forming mallets from Delrin or
nylon, I first drill a few undersized holes for the handle. I then
take a torch and carefully direct the heat through the hole to
soften the plastic in the hole. When it turns clear but not too
liquid, I Force the warmed end of the handle into the mallet. The
plastic then molds to the wood handle and acts like a glue (kind of
like a very hot melt glue) for a perfect snug fit. You must be
careful, too much heat too fast and the plastic blackens and burns
without softening enough of the material in the hole. or it can drip
out and onto whatever is below, causing severe burns or a bit of a
conflagration if it is burning. Too little heat and you will either
not be able to get the handle seated or will get a cold joint where
the plastic is not fluid enough to bond with the wood handle.

Marlin in wet (we need the moisture) Denver.


#11

Marlin!

What a great post for me. Thanks. I’ve been reading 'thermoplastic’
all these years and didn’t connect with the hot molding tech. until I
read your post!

Delrin is a thermoplastic material,

Thanks again!
Chuck in Asheville


#12

I use old baseball bats to make mallets from, the wood with hard and
seasoned. I turn them to the right size in my wood lathe. Some
mallets I use a piece of pip for the handle and put neoprene tubing
over the pipe to pad it. Other type I use a part of the baseball bat
that I turn down for handles. I do make mallets out of Delrin and
other industrial plastics, and machine them to the shapes I want.

A really good tip is to groove the handle, it gives you better
gripping power.

Jerry


#13

Continue from:
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/mallet-making

Delrin is a thermoplastic material, and as such it can be deformed
or melted with heat. When I make my forming mallets from Delrin or
nylon, I first drill a few undersized holes for the handle. I then
take a torch and carefully direct the heat through the hole to
soften the plastic in the hole. When it turns clear but not too
liquid, I Force the warmed end of the handle into the mallet. The
plastic then molds to the wood handle and acts like a glue (kind of
like a very hot melt glue) for a perfect snug fit. 

I hope you’ll all forgive the resurrection of an old thread. I spent
the day making and using a couple mallets for some anticlastic
projects using the technique described above and I just wanted to say
that it worked like a charm.

At first I used a torch as indicated but found that it was a bit much
in that in trying to get things liquid enough there was a strong
propensity to set the Delrin on fire (not healthy I’m sure!). I
switched to a heat gun and everything went swimmingly thereafter.

The first attempt (torch) produced the ugliest hammer I have ever
seen … but it works. The second time around (heat gun only) was a
much cleaner business and the results were not at all unappealing.

One thing I learned is that wood rasps are great for shaping the hole
for the handle. They have enough bite that the work doesn’t take
forever and I find them a lot easier to do this work with than chisels
or the like. And since most of the final form will be determined by
heating you don’t need to be too precise either.

FWIW Delrin can really suck up a lot of heat and that makes it fairly
easy to push and shape it once you’re up to temperature. Overall it’s
a great technique and I’d like to thank “Marlin in Denver” for posting
it.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
www.touchmetal.com


#14

Hi, it’s me again! :slight_smile:

I’ve got another one of those “what am I missing here?” questions. I
recently bought a length of 2.5" diameter Delrin rod to make some
forming mallets. I cut it into segments of the appropriate lengths,
and bought some handles at a hardware store.

I have read that handles with an oval cross section are better, so
that’s what I got. I’ve drilled two side-by-side holes as a start for
the handle hole, but am having difficulty cleaning it out and
removing the excess material. Any ideas/suggestions? Trying to use
the drill bit to kind of grind it out isn’t working very well.

I also understand that I’m going to have to wedge the handle into the
mallet, since epoxy doesn’t stick to Delrin. Any suggestions or tips
here?

Thanks, everyone, for all your help!
Dave


#15

Its 6 am here in the UK, its a sunny spring day, Ive made the
coffee, made up the wood stove, and have the latest offerings from
you all here on my pc.

Hi David,

wheres the skill that made your county what it is? c, mon, its back
to basics, like wood working tools, a hammer and chisel curved if
possible will take out surplus and match the hole to the handle.

You will need some kind of vice to hold your slippery delrin whilst
chiselling out the oval hole.

To get fussy, you taper the hole so that the wedge you drive into
the handle locks it to the head.

This wedge can be wood or metal.

You make a saw cut into the handle end to take the wedge.

Finally, if your worried about the handle coming off in your
frenzied forming, cross drill the delrin and drive in a 4in nail.

then cut off flush. to tidy up.

2.5in delrin? some big forming about to take place.


#16

Dave: I’m not sure what Delrin is, but I made forming mallets from 1"
dia nylon rod. I have a wood-lathe so turned my own handles, but I
made a special hammer long before I got the lathe. I drilled a 3/8"
hole in the side of the rod, cut a sawcut into the end of a bit of
3/8" wood dowel, filed the hole a bit to make it taper slightly, put
the dowel into the nylon, hammered a glued thin wood wedge into the
sawcut, then finally bought a little wooden ball 1" dia,. drilled it
to fit the dowel, then glued it onto the other end with wood glue.
That was 10 years ago - and it’s still OK!


#17

Foredom makes a coarse carbide bur sold as “typhoon” brand. they
come in a cylinder and tapered as well as a bunch of other shapes-
use a new one.

If you have tried carbide try a brand new HSS file that has never
been used on plastics, Al, or metal or bead blast with glass beads for
a nice matte finish. I am presuming you have made the parts manually
and not on a lathe- if so program a chamfer using a sharpened HSS end
knife (or whatever you prefer) and you should have a good clean
insertion point, that hopefully you made slightly smaller than is
necessary so the wood can swell and shrink with the ambient humidity.
rer


#18

Hi David,

I’ve done that once or twice.

Try threading a hacksaw through one of the drilled holes, to clean
out the web.

Personally, I normally drill one large hole through, and then take a
large, rough, round file to it, to oval it out, and to taper it such
that the side away from the handle is wider than the side closer to
the handle. That way the head can’t fly off after you wedge the
handle.

The other option is to do the two end drills with small(er) drills,
and then drill down the center with a larger drill that’s centered
in the web. You need a fairly rigid setup to make that work. (Delrin
in a serious drillpress vise, and everything bolted down.)

I did a handout on making horn mallets that has most of the
instructions (and pictures) for how to handle a mallet. You can find
it here:

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep807v

Other than the mallet head being horn rather than delrin (and
smaller), it’s pretty much step-by-step what you need. Enjoy.

Regards,
Brian


#19

Dave, I will ask my husband and get back to you. He’s made me
several mallets from the stuff. Sheri


#20

Hello David,

Can’t offer help on the drilling bit, but wedging wooden handles
into holes bored into metal or other materials is pretty easy. The
handle and hole need to be pretty close in dimension - snug fit.

Cut a slot into the end of the wooden handle that will go into the
hole - the slot should be about as deep as the hole. Insert the
slotted end into the hole and put a wedge (wood or metal - I like
metal) into the slot and pound the wedge into the slot. Much like
shimming a door frame. The wedge spreads the sides of the slot into
the hole. If the wedge doesn’t go in flush with the top of the
hammer, you can trim it off. Just make sure the handle is totally
secure in the hammer.

If this description is unclear, go back to the hardware store and
look at the tack hammers.

Judy in Kansas, where more turtles are roaming around the garden and
my heirloom tomato plants (THANKS Judy H.) are looking good.