Leather facing for small mallet

Questions about tools and jigs you want to buy/build/modify.

Leather facing for small mallet

Postby Steve Sawyer » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:25 pm

I posted my love of this little 12-oz Shop Fox mallet in the "favorite tool" thread. You can pick one of these up direct from Grizzly for about $15 plus shipping. Available on Amazon Prime for about $22. As I mentioned in that post, the head screws into the handle, and the threads in the handle eventually strip. I cross-drilled and inserted a spring-pin, then epoxied it in place which solved that problem.


I occasionally found myself using this on something delicate, like something finished, or chrome plated or otherwise something that could be scratched by the brass head, and wanted to provide a cover that could be used in those situations. Many MANY years ago, I built a woodworking bench, and bought a hunk of vegetable-tanned leather to face the chop faces on the vises, and plenty left over. I have used this leather (it's almost 1/8" thick) so many times, when it's finally gone I will definitely be buying another chunk.

Anyway, I thought a sleeve made of this stuff would be perfect for my little mallet.

I cut a strip just a bit wider than the mallet head, and used a razor-sharp plane iron to slice the ends to form a "scarf joint". It took some shaving, but eventually got it to be the right length. I assembled it to the mallet head, dry, by using a little piece of popsicle stick to hold the scarf joint together, and secured the whole thing with two zip ties tightened as tight as I could get them using a pair of pliers. I then disassembled everything, careful to not tighten the zip-ties any further, and applied some contact cement to the bevels on the scarf joint. When the cement dried, I formed the sleeve, slipped the two zip-ties over the sleeve, slipped the piece of popsicle stick into place, then jammed the entire assembly over the mallet-head and let the glue dry completely.

When the glue had set, I repeatedly tapped the top edge of the sleeve against a steel surface, forming a bead to capture the sleeve against the top of the mallet head. I then moistened the top and inside edge of the bead with some water and rubbed some PVA glue into the leather to "size" it.

Came out pretty well. Now I just have to make sure I don't lose the darned thing!! :)


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Steve Sawyer
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Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Leather facing for small mallet

Postby Bob Francis » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:03 pm

I like that.
Bob Francis
Posts: 432
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:28 pm

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