making a mallet or maul

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I thought that today I would make something with all the free wood that I have collected from Normanby park in the past few weeks. However I still have not been able to source the correct string/rope for the pole lathe so turning was out of the question still. Not wanting to just practice carving styles I decided to make something practical, but what? I decided after a cup of tea that what I needed is a way to split/cleave wood safely. I was also a bit bored and wanted to get on with something straight away.

Firstly choose a log it wants to be at least 2′ long as it gives you chance to coose the right part to cut. It also helps if it is as straight as possible. I chose a very heavy log as I wanted the weight for splitting rather than for use like a mallet but the principal is the same. I have made a few of these over the years partly for fun and partly a they get lost and broken but as they are free to make who cares?

Cut the end off your log so that you have a flat end it looks better but also allows you to stand it on it’s end when not in use this will stop it rolling away! Next cut into the log a few inches all the way round, this gives you the thickness of the handel so guage this first, it does not need to be to exact.

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When you have done this think about the size of your handel I like to keep mine long so that I can have a bit of counter weight to the heavy maul. Keep the handel part as long as you can as you will always be able to cut it shorter at the end.

Next is the part where you have to be careful, cleaving the the log to shape the handel. When holding it try and keep your thumb off the top! If you had a froe you could use this but I don’t.

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When it’s at this stage, you don’t need to take such heavy blows, it’s more shaping now into a comfortable handel. I try and keep the end thicker to add a little weight. This will allow me to split wood safely as I don’t need to hold a log and bring down the axe, I can now rest the axe on the wood and bring down the maul to cleave the wood.

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Thats it easy, you can clean it up if you wish but I don’t just remove and sharp edges. They are great to take camping for tent pegs and also if you leave it behind you just make another.


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