It was a sad night in the workshop last night.
My old wood mallet split out as I was driving a saddle joint together. Mayhaps the joint was too tight or it could have just been the mallet’s time. I purchased the mallet in a box of old plane parts and wooden clamps at an auction years ago. It already had the patina of a long life in a woodworkers shop and served me faithfully the years I had it. But last night as a swung a blow to seat a saddle joint I was constructing, part of the mallet head split off from the rest.
I have no idea about who the maker was, but you could still see the marks in the ends of the head from where it was held in the lathe to turn it. The handle was nicely ovaled with a tapered end where it connected to the hammer head. The handle would occasionally work loose with use and show signs of hide glue from the original assembly.
I had always intended to make a copy of the mallet and retire the original if I was able to buy or use a lathe. But the old boy was retired early last evening, though I will keep its remains with the intentions of making the copy someday. Until then I perhaps will be without a mallet.
By the way, can anyone help me make a positive identification of the wood species in the mallet head?