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Nice photo series, John!

 

I really like the way you pinned the handles into the heads- strong and adds a touch of class with the contrasting wood.

 

My Mom lives in a retirement village not far from here. The place is unusual in that there is a tremendous amount of open space that the original architects filled with lawns and trees. Unfortunately one of the trees they planted an abundance of is Ash. The Ash Borers have hit the trees hard and many will have to be removed. I going to keep an eye out for some free turning lumber when they start. 

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Nice mallets...well done.

 

I have found that the best way to work with the Ash is to first, pare it down with a draw knife, allowing it to split and follow the natural grain to create a blank. Then rough shape it further with the DK (shallow cuts), spoke shave and then finish with a card scraper to final shape.

 

It is one tough wood and takes a beating. You just can't force it to do what you want, you have to work with it.

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1 hour ago, Stick486 said:

done yet???

that is the way to go...

Never done Stick, always moving, forwardever, backwardnever! 

I'll do a few more mallets and try my hand at splitting for the handles. It'll be a great warm up for splitting my chair parts on my Apalachia Ladder Backs I am about to embark upon.

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This will be a little off topic from your original post, but since the properties of ash were mentioned, I have a story related to that.  Several years ago, I was making a high chair for my granddaughter from ash.  I had previously made some bedroom furniture, and had a hard time getting stain to take properly.  Remembering that, I stained the high chair heavily, let it soak in for maybe 30 minutes, and went to wipe it down.  You can see what's coming!  The stain had dried, and the entire project looked like a child's experiment with finger paint.  In a panic, I grabbed my can of mineral spirits and some cloths, and set about trying to remove the stain and start over.  The end result was that the stain had settled into the grain patterns, and in between wiped off to just a light hint of color.  My "mistake" turned into a pretty nice looking piece of furniture.  Next time I'm at my son's house, I'll try to remember to take a picture of this for posting.  BTW, those mallets look good.  I'll have to try to find the book.  I'm sure I could learn a lot from it.

 

P.S.  Throw this in a different forum if you think it is more appropriate.  I did kind of hijack your thread.

Edited by PostalTom
Forgot to give credit for the mallets in the OP.
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10 minutes ago, PostalTom said:

This will be a little off topic from your original post, but since the properties of ash were mentioned, I have a story related to that.  Several years ago, I was making a high chair for my granddaughter from ash.  I had previously made some bedroom furniture, and had a hard time getting stain to take properly.  Remembering that, I stained the high chair heavily, let it soak in for maybe 30 minutes, and went to wipe it down.  You can see what's coming!  The stain had dried, and the entire project looked like a child's experiment with finger paint.  In a panic, I grabbed my can of mineral spirits and some cloths, and set about trying to remove the stain and start over.  The end result was that the stain had settled into the grain patterns, and in between wiped off to just a light hint of color.  My "mistake" turned into a pretty nice looking piece of furniture.  Next time I'm at my son's house, I'll try to remember to take a picture of this for posting.  BTW, those mallets look good.  I'll have to try to find the book.  I'm sure I could learn a lot from it.

 

P.S.  Throw this in a different forum if you think it is more appropriate.  I did kind of hijack your thread.

Great story Tom, and high-jack away!

Sometimes it's funny how these mistakes turn out. I'd love to see some pics of that high chair. Thanks!

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Nicely done John.  Here in Ohio we have lost most if not all of our ash trees to the Emerald Ash borer.  I had to remove a dozen from my property and saved some of it for use.  One thing I noticed is the trees seem to break (from wind?) just a few after they are done.  I know the borer doesn't eat into the tree but have wondered it they have somehow affected the strength of the wood.  I haven't noticed any weakness in use but I see a lot of trees stand dead for many years without breaking.  Anyone else make this observation? 

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23 minutes ago, Bundoman said:

Plus one on handle wedging!  That is a cool looking!

Thank ye much Brent, appreciate it. Isn't it funny how folks eyes seem to always go to the part of a project that was made by hand tooling? There must be a natural human connection to that. Funny eh?

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On 8/29/2016 at 7:26 AM, HandyDan said:

Nicely done John.  Here in Ohio we have lost most if not all of our ash trees to the Emerald Ash borer.  I had to remove a dozen from my property and saved some of it for use.  One thing I noticed is the trees seem to break (from wind?) just a few after they are done.  I know the borer doesn't eat into the tree but have wondered it they have somehow affected the strength of the wood.  I haven't noticed any weakness in use but I see a lot of trees stand dead for many years without breaking.  Anyone else make this observation? 

Dan we do not have a huge supply of Ash trees in my neck of the woods, a ton of pine though. And we have the bark beetle. It ravages the bark and weakening the trees defenses and eventually the tree just dies, and it does stand dead for a long time. Until one day it just can't take anymore, and a breeze just blows it over, because it just rotted inside, but it looked fine from the outside. Looks can be deceiving with these diseases for sure.

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