The most important step in constructing a mallet is choosing a strong, yet light ski pole. Used sports stores, thrift stores, and ski lodges will often have poles for sale; you should pay under five US dollars per pair. To select a good ski pole, use the following steps:
- Measure the length of the mallet from the top of the handle to the top of the basket. Most people use mallets in the high thirty to low forty inch category.
- Check the material - aluminum or steel are good, carbon or bamboo should never be used. Titanium is a toss-up - some people like it, some don't due to its flexibility.
- Check for kinks in the mallet. Scratches are OK, but a kinked mallet is a doomed mallet.
- Test the strength of the mallet by flexing it over a knee. This will take some practice to get a feel for it, but it should take a fair amount of effort to bend the mallet. Too flimsy and it will break quickly.
Tools needed: drill, screw, razor blade, hacksaw, pliers, 2.5" T-nut and bolt, desired wrapping material.
Step 1: Prepping the Mallet - the Grips
Step 2: Prepping the Mallet - Cut to Length
Step 3: Prepping the Mallet Head - Cutting
Step 4: Prepping the Mallet Head - Drilling and Mounting
Insert the shaft into the hole and push it on through, pounding on it with a rubber mallet if needs be. The tip of the shaft should be flush with the outer edge of the other hole.
Step 5: Tapping the Shaft
Rotate the mallet assembly 90 degrees, center up, and drill a 5/32" bolt-hole through the mallet head. If you have a short drill bit (nothing to be ashamed of), push down enough to make a mark on the mallet shaft and pull out. This will ensure a straight fit.
Pull the mallet head off of the shaft and drill straight through the shaft at your mark, using a 5/32" bit. Then with the 8/32" bit, widen out one side of the shaft only.
Step 6: Assembling the Mallet
Put the T-nut into the 8/32" hole and thread the bolt through the head and shaft, into it. Once the threads are engaged, hold onto the T-nut with a pair of pliers and screw the bolt all the way in.
At a certain point the bolt will be hitting the other end of the head and just start to push its way through - if you stop just before total penetration, a little plastic bubble will cover the sharp threads.