Making a Mallet Head
If you are seaching for a source of exotic woods, I found www.craft-supplies.co.uk a good source. They used to publish a catalogue too which had the densities/specific gravities of the woods - unfortunately not now.
There are few available woods which have sufficient weight on their own to produce a correctly weighted head and have the correct properties (not splitting for instance).
Most other woods will need weighting. Pidcock/Manor House mallets use Purpleheart (SG 0.86), amongst others, for his wooden mallets. Lignum vitae is no longer traded here - it also splits easily unless very carefully dried.
Lead (density 11.34gm/cm3) is most often used for weighting. Lead wool (like wirewool) stuffed into a hole has been mentioned but I have not found a source. You could cast your own lead weight (it can be melted on a gas stove with extreme care) or take lead shot and set it in a glue matrix - there is a loss of density due to the filling factor. Most shot now is bismuth (density 9.78gm/cm3).
I have successfully used 6mm perspex for mallet faces but you do need a big radius (bevel) on the side edges say 3-4mm to prevent high stresses on a mis-hit cracking the edges. Tufnal is frequently used.
I use a large clamp when glueing the faces on - similar to the image on the right.
I tried Aralditing faces on and putting weights on them but the faces slid during glueing.
Hope this helps.
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