In this Instructable I'm just going to show how a little imagination and some "scrap" material can be turned into something useful.
Some time ago a friend gave me some wood flooring samples (because I asked her - thanks, Mindy) that included Maple, Oak, Russian Alder and Walnut. Literally hundreds of pieces headed for the trash. The flooring store has to replace these samples as fashion changes or, after a couple of years, as the manufacturing process makes the colors slightly different. They just throw the old samples away.
I thought there must be some way to use these samples and prevent them from being dumped in the landfill.
This Christmas, one of my daughters sent me a present of wood carving chisels. IDEA! why not make myself a Carver's Mallet?
The first picture is the mallet I made along with a couple of the chisels. The second picture is some of the flooring samples Mindy gave me.
- Flooring Samples (all maple in this case)
- Mineral Spirits
- Boiled Linseed Oil
- Various measuring tools
- Saw (I used a bandsaw)
Let's get started!
Step 1: Prepare the Materials
First I scraped off the labels on the samples using Mineral Spirits and the Scraper. This worked pretty well and they only needed to be wiped down afterwards with a cotton rag.
Next I measured a stack of five Samples which came out to about 2 1/4 inches. This seemed like a good size so I cut 10 pieces to 2 1/4" wide.
Step 3: Gluing Up
I decided to stagger the pieces to get a good glue joint. Then I glued the pieces together and clamped them.
When I came back the next day and tried to saw the ends straight, the assembly fell apart! The finish on floor samples is very durable and mostly waterproof - IT WON'T ABSORB GLUE!
So, after sanding the finish off, I glued and clamped them again. This was not as pretty but ended up being a good solid joining system.
Step 4: Making the Mallet
Once the glue dried and was unclamped, I drew the approximate shape on the blank and mounted it in the lathe.
In the second picture you can see the final shaped Mallet. A couple of coats of Boiled Linseed Oil and it was ready.
Step 5: Success!
I tried a few chisel cuts with my new Mallet and it works!
It is a nice solid tool. The Maple is hard enough to withstand the knocks and I think it will last a long time.
I'm already thinking about other things to make using this technique to salvage and upcycle these little trash treasures.
Thanks for reading this far. I hope I've stimulated your imagination. I am entering this into the Woodworking Contest and the Build A Tool Contest. If you like it, your votes would be very appreciated.