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Thread: Make Your Own Large Rawhide Mallet

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    Downeast Thunder's Avatar
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    Make Your Own Large Rawhide Mallet

    Make Your Own Large Rawhide Mallet-100_1208.jpg

    Inspired by Roy at Christ Centered Ironworks on Youtube, I decided to make my own large rawhide mallet to achieve better finish results on some of my steel work. At first, I thought I’d simply buy one. I was somewhat dismayed though, after searching online for large rawhide mallets and discovered there were few to choose from, and prices started at over $60.00 (U.S.) plus shipping.

    I searched the internet for rawhide materials, and discovered they were certainly available, but at prices and quantities that were more than I wanted or needed. An idea occurred to me that I could possibly use one of those large rawhide “bones” for big dogs, found in pet stores. I figured there would be just enough material to make the mallet I wanted. All I had to do was soak it in water until it softened up and became pliable. The “bone” could then be untied and I could reform it into the shape of a mallet head.

    This video shows you what I did and how I did it. This is a project that is easy to take on and does not require any specialized tools or equipment. You will see me using a wood lathe to make a handle, but you can buy handles at reasonable prices almost anywhere. You can even use a 1” or 1-1/4” diameter wood dowel for a handle if necessary. A little wood glue, and a couple of screws are the only other materials required to complete the project.

    You may have noticed my branding iron if you've already watched the video. If you're interested in making a similar type for yourself, here is the link to my video on how I made mine:

    If you’d like to hear what Roy at Christ Centered Ironworks has to say about his rawhide mallet, here is a link to one of his videos on the subject:

    Here's the video about how to make your own large rawhide mallet:

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    Seedtick (01-25-2018)

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    Frank S's Avatar
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    Frank S's Tools
    A rawhide chew toy re-purposed into a useful tool what a great source for materials
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Thanks for your comment, Frank S.
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    wizard69's Tools
    Pretty neat. The rawhide bone is a great idea, as you note these hammers are very expensive so alternatives are always welcomed.

    I must ask how is it holding up? When watching the video I was thinking to my self that it might help to soak the hide in glue just before wrapping it up. The question is would it help or hurt.

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    Downeast Thunder (01-25-2018)

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    Thanks for your comment, Wizard69.

    If used gently for finish work on sheet metal (such as sculptures and coachwork/car body building), it will stand up quite well for a very long time. However, if you are using it for finish work on very hot blacksmith projects like Roy Adams of Christ Centered Ironworks, the mallet will get beat up and require repair quite often.

    I used glue generously when installing the handle, but I didn't want any glue within the rolls because I wanted the "give" in the rawhide to remain constant. The glue would make it too stiff and cause dents/marring of the finish work which is why the rawhide mallet (with a soft face & give) is used in the first place.

    Have no fear though, as the rawhide (once dry) gets very stiff, and will take quite a bit pounding. Just pick up one of those rawhide bones the next time you are in a place like Walmart and try bending it. Tap it against a shelf or something else hard, and you'll see what I mean.

    Since these are relatively inexpensive to make yourself, you can make a few mallet heads all at the same time, keeping a couple of spares on the shelf (just in case) so you won't hold up a job if your mallet should fail. It's also a good idea to do this because it takes a very long time to soak and make it pliable, and then dry it out so its tiff again. The actual work of making the mallet though goes very fast - only a few minites of your time will do it.

    I would suggest to anyone with a use for a large rawhide mallet: Try making one, two, or three. The investment is minimal and I personally think you'll find it well worth your time.
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    Thanks Downeast Thunder! We've added your Rawhide Mallet to our Hammers category,
    as well as to your builder page: Downeast Thunder's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




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    Nice mallet. I made myself one of those about 25 yrs ago using near identical source materials for use with a leather stamping kit. I then discovered how it wouldn't damaged the surface finish when hammer shaping aluminum. I still have it, and still use it. Haven't had to rebuild it per say, but did replace the handle with a slightly shorter one than I originally built it with to gain a little more control over the mallet when shaping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

    When watching the video I was thinking to my self that it might help to soak the hide in glue just before wrapping it up. The question is would it help or hurt.
    I would use Hide glue


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