Introduction: Make a Wooden Maul
Splitting and cleaving wood with a froe is a great way to harvest wood for things like chair legs and spindles. But you need a way to get the split started, and that's where a maul comes in. This maul is easy to handle and hefty enough to get the job done
Don't be tempted to use a metal maul or a club hammer, as both will damage the back of the froe
This is a really easy build - all you need is a sound chunk of a log, a dowel large enough to use comfortably as a handle, a small piece of hardwood to make a wedge, drill with bit(s) to match the dowel, and a hammer and pocket knife
The included video shows both the build, and the maul in action
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Step 1: Bore the Maul Head
Using a bit that matches the dowel diameter, bore a handle hole right through the log. Estimate the centre of gravity of the log, and bore your hole straight through that, as it will help make for a balanced head
I started with a forstner bit, as they start easily on uneven surfaces, and then switched to a spade (flat) bit to give myself enough reach to finish the hole
TIP: Use clamps and/or wedges, etc. to prevent the log from moving around during boring - if it starts to spin, keep your hands away and turn the drill off, before improving your clamping ;-)
Step 2: Prepare & Insert Handle
Cut the dowel to rough length - make it a bit longer than you think, so that you can try the maul out before cutting to optimum length
Saw a slot in the head end, which will take a wedge later
Insert the dowel handle so that it's head end gets to the other side of the hole at least.
TIP: Align the wedge slot mostly perpendicular to the grain, so that not too much force will act to split the head (a little is good, to take up any slack in the hole in that direction)
TIP: With the maul head uppermost, drop the assembly straight down on the end of the handle to help it through the hole, OR use a mallet or dead-blow hammer to pound it in
Step 3: Fix Handle With a Wedge
Slice a wedge from your piece of hardwood with the pocket knife, and hammer it into the saw kerf in the end of the handle (sharp end first ;-))
This should tighten the fit of the handle and prevent it coming out
TIP: If the handle becomes loose over time, pull this wedge and replace it with a fatter one
Step 4: Use
Your wooden maul is ready to use!
The first photo shows the correct use - place froe where you wish to spit, and strike it's back with the maul's face. Notice the safety boots with toe protection, and hands clear of strike zone
Second photo shows incorrect use - likely to cause permanent damage
Thanks for reading my instructable,