I took a liking to the leather washer
Jack Kamishlian shared with us a week or so ago and
decided to make one. I started by creating a set of drawings for the
handle and top and bottom caps, based, as close as I can tell on his
prototype. I strayed a little from the original to make use of
available parts. Some of the dimensions were changed as the piece
The top and bottom caps were made from
aluminum, the handle from apple, the screws were ¼" X 3.5"
countersunk, and the leather .1" thick.
I turned the caps on my South Bend
(1936, old tool) 9" metal lathe to the drawing. The hole in the
bottom cap was bored to 7/8" and tapped to 7/8" 9tpi. The hole in
the top cap is .76".
I turned the handle from the bottom cap
to the end cap on the same lathe. Turned the area where the bottom
cap was to be to 7/8" and the area to the cap to .76". I tried to
cut threads in the 7/8" area, but the wood crumbled, so I turned the
7/8" area of the handle down to .77". I chucked the handle on a wood
lathe and finished the turning, leaving the waste on both ends.
The punch, a knife, and the top cap
were used to fabricate the 32 washers that were needed. A
leather punch was made from thick wall black pipe with an o.d. of
I threaded the bottom cap onto the
handle. The bottom cap compressed mini threads into the wood where
the wood was .77". Very tight but probably not necessary.
The leather washers, have a slightly
smaller hole diameter than the handle. They stretch easily to fit
the handle, but when there are 30 odd stacked and compressed by
top cap screws, they fit tight and cannot be twisted around the
handle. It was probably not necessary to thread the handle as the
compression of the leather washers holds the thing together.
After assembling the parts, I put the
nearly completed mallet back on the metal lathe and trimmed the
leather, then removed the waste with a backsaw. My original drawing
had the top cap at a slightly larger diameter from the bottom cap
cause I like a tapered mallet. The finish was Boiled linseed oil
followed by floor wax.
Galootish tools used - Backsaw, punches in two sizes, skill
knife, screw driver, 7/8" tap.
I intend to cast the end caps from brass or bronze when the
weather warms up a bit.