have you ever wanted to ride that bike more than just as a commute vehicle? Well gather your teams, get a ball and make a polo mallet and have yourself a match. With these easy instructions and a few minutes of your time you will have a mallet that will stand the test of times for those parking lot matches.
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Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
for making one mallet all you need are these supplies. One old aluminum ski pole, at least 6 inches of high density gas pipe, hockey or friction tape, and some screws or bolts. You will also need a saw, drill with various drill bits, and a vise to help hold stuff.
Step 2: Cutting the Pole and Pipe.
next you need to cut off the end of the ski pole (the tip that goes into the snow). Put it in your vise and cut it off right at the base of the tip. the gas pipe is easy to cut into 6 inch sections, this will be the head of the mallet, the part you hit the ball with. high density gas pipe is preferred because it will not shatter or crack under stress. I do not advocate stealing this from job sites, just ask the workers for scrap and 9 out of 10 times they give you more than you need.
Step 3: Drilling and Mounting Head
After you have measured and cut the 6 inch head, it is time to drill the pole mounting hole using a 1/2" boring bit. I made and X in the exact center so I know my mallet head will be centered correctly. After the hole is drilled insert your cut off pole into the head. It should be a tight fit and make the pole snug into the head until it rests on the inside wall.
Step 4: Making the Head Lightweight
The next step is to drill out the head to increase the lightweightness of the head. This is where you can have a little artistic flare to your mallet. You can do a pattern of holes with different size holes here and there, or use one big boring bit and drill it like swiss cheeze. It is all up to you as long as the head gets drilled out to make it lighter in weight. (ps the heads shown in the instructable i made awhile ago and the orange colored one is gas pipe just a different rating as the yellow one)
Step 5: Mounting Head to Pole
After you have completed drilling the entire head out, it is time to mount it permantly to the pole. This is where it can be tricky. I have seen guys do this many different ways, but I will show you the easiest and quickest way. It is how all my heads are mounted and I have never had one loosen up or break. You do not want anything to be sticking out of the head for safety reasons so select and a 2.5 inch wood screw and drill it into the side of the head in line with where the pole sticks into the middle of the pipe. After the screw drills into the metal pole keep driving the screw through the pole until it is sunk in all the way. With a 2.5 inch wood screw, only and teeny tiny bit of the tip will poke out. Use a hand file to smooth it down
Step 6: Adjust Size and Wrap Handle
After the head is mounted it is time to remove the original handle, adjust the length to your size and wrap a new handle. Most old ski poles have a rubber type grip handle and the simplest way to remove it is to slice it down the middle with a razor blade and remove it from the pole. Now get on your bike and find the comfortable height for hitting and shuffling the ball as well as balancing your self with the pole like a kickstand. If the height of the pole needs to be adjusted to your needs cut accordingly with a saw from the handle part of the pole. Now it is time to wrap the pole handle. I have found that it is nice to have an old bike tube cut into four inch sections to insert into the pole and pull down before you begin wrapping to minimize the exposed cut metal. Grab your friction, hockey, or athletic tape and wrap up and down the pole as much or liitle as you want. This is also your personal style. If you want a huge handle like I do to allow for some adjustment while playing wrap accordingly. To make grips like I have done, take a length of tape and make a snake out of it and wrap in an X fashion and the tape flat wise up and down to allow for a textured grip.
Step 7: Go and Play
Go get a ball and play. I use roller hockey balls as they are hard and resist breaking and crushing. Have fun playing bicycle polo with your own hand made mallet.