Introduction: Duck Tape Mallet
The purpose of this instructable is to construct a mallet which has a delicate touch that doesn't mar wood. This mallet is not meant for heavy duty work.
I was recently installing some laminate flooring in my house. The flooring needs firm yet gentle taps to get it into the proper position. I started using the steel flooring installation tool that I purchased from the store. It marred the edge of the wood. Even my trusted rubber mallet broke the tongue and groove joints in places.
There were a few duck tape rolls lying around on the floor from installing the padding that goes underneath the floors. I picked one up and gave the flooring a tap. It worked perfectly! So, I decided to make a duck tape mallet.
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Step 1: Required Tools
- Cutoff wheel, reciprocating saw, or hack saw
- Drill press or hand drill
- Bench vice
- Wire wheel or wire brush
Note: Please follow all of the safety instructions that came with your tools.
Step 2: Required Materials
- Non-galvanized steel tubing
- 2 stainless steel nuts that fit snugly into the tubing
- A few more nuts and washers
- Threaded rod
- A roll of duck tape
Note: none of the materials to be welded should be galvanized or zinc plated! Galvanized steel releases toxic fumes when welded.
Step 3: Prepare the Tubing
You can use any kind of non-galvanized tubing to which you have access. I used tubing from an old bike frame for the handle of my mallet. The most important thing is that the nuts you are using fit snugly inside of the tube.
Since my tubing is salvaged from an old bike frame, I needed to clean off the old paint with a wire wheel in my angle grinder, cut it to the length I wanted, and cut off the bike brake mount that was on it.
Step 4: Prepare the Threaded Rod
Thread the two stainless steel nuts onto the threaded rod. They should be spaced out equal to the length of your tubing.
Step 5: Insert the Threaded Rod Into the Tubing
Insert the threaded rod into the tubing. The nuts should be flush with the ends of the tube.
Step 6: Tack Weld the Nuts to the Tubing
Put the tubing in your vice and tack weld the nuts to the pipe. Be careful not to weld the threaded rod to the nuts.
Step 7: Remove the Threaded Rod and Finish Welding
Remove the threaded rod from the tube, leaving the nuts in place at the ends of the tube. Clamp the tube into your vice and finish welding the nuts to the ends of the tube.
Be careful not to get spatter on the threads of the nuts. Also don't let your welds get too hot and warp the tubing. Make a series of small welds around the nut. Stop to let your welds cool periodically and work on the other end of the tube.
After that, re-install the threaded rod.
Step 8: Drill Holes in Your Roll of Duct Tape
You will need to measure and mark the points where you need to drill holes in your duck tape roll. I made the lexan guide in the picture a long time ago for finding a rough center of oddly shaped pieces of wood for working on the lathe.
Mark points on both sides of the roll and punch them with an awl. Take your roll over to the drill press and drill holes through your marks with a drill bit that is slightly larger than your threaded rod.
Step 9: Final Assembly
Finally, attach the handle to the duck tape roll with nuts and washers.
Step 10: Conclusion
I am enjoying using this mallet. It has a firm yet delicate touch and conforms a bit to the shape of the object that you are hitting. This distributes the impact over a larger area and is less likely to mar wood than a standard rubber mallet.
You could wrap the handle with duck tape to make a nice grip or paint it. I didn't spend too much time on the aesthetics since, well, it will always be just a roll of duck tape on a stick. :)
If the roll of duck tape wears out and isn't working as well as it once did, then you can easily drill holes in a new roll and install it on the handle.
This is my first instructable, so please let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas on how to make the duck tape mallet or these instructions better. Thanks for reading!