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Thread: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

  1. #1
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    Default Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania


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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    I've never used one, but have always thought that they are of rather odd proportions. Why is the head so long?

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    Quote Originally Posted by GregH View Post
    I've never used one, but have always thought that they are of rather odd proportions. Why is the head so long?
    ergonomics

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    Some how it don't look ergonomical...

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    The long head makes it more natural to do the right, almost gentle, all in the wrist tapping when caulking small (under 20 ton) boats. Even with larger vessels, the long head makes positioning under the boat easier. It also facilitates working the seams in that reverse curve where the hull wineglasses to the keel.

    Finally and most importantly, a caulking mallet has a changing tone as the caulking gets tighter. For a given size boat, the pressure you want will be associated with a tone from your tapping. Other mallets don't do this.

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    The longer head is also more directionally stable. It does not take as much effort or concentration to keep it straight as you swing it. Sort of like the pole a tight rope walker uses, very light, very long, but it takes a good bit of effort to change its direction quickly.

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    Doesn't the slot in each side of the head enable the tone of the striking to noticeably change also?
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    That's not a good mallet. The navy had them made as lifeboat gear. That one looks like some flavor of oak but most were maple. I've given away about a dozen of them. Better than a hammer but not something a pro would want to use all day. Could be either WW I or WW II.

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    Quote Originally Posted by holzbt View Post
    That's not a good mallet. The navy had them made as lifeboat gear. That one looks like some flavor of oak but most were maple. I've given away about a dozen of them. Better than a hammer but not something a pro would want to use all day. Could be either WW I or WW II.
    Ok, now we're getting interesting. What makes for a good caulking mallet? I've seen a few but don't know enough to be able to differentiate between the good and the bad.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    Interesting indeed. Can't imagine why in a lifeboat's gear there would be caulking mallet, especially not those that are double diagonal planked. Looks like a bigger vessel mallet than those I've used, which also always had the slots in each head which gave the ringing tone.

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    Are the handles on all caulking mallets like that one in the ad? Seems way too thin and spindley to be comfortable to use for long.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania



    I've been following along as this fellow builds a Haven 12 1/2 and few tools along the way. The mallet he built is modeled has a handle that tapers from 1" at the head to 1 1/4" at the base, he seems pretty happy with it. Barbells, as found in gyms are 1" a good gripping diameter for most hands, to make it tougher to lift they have "fat grip" bars. I'm intrigued by the fact that caulking mallets, unlike just about every other hammer I can think of has a cylindrical handle.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    Yeah, that cylindrical handle confuses me. With that long moment arm of a mallet head, one would need a good grip in order to keep the mallet face in proper alignment. Whereas an oval handle would offer a degree of keying into one's hand. But I can't argue that the mallets are what they are and the basic design has withstood the test of time. I suspect that if a different handle shape would be better, then that's what we'd see. But I'm still puzzled. This isn't an unusual condition for me.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    I have spent a decent amount of time caulking, and have worked with the last two full time corkers in the Seattle area, traditionally the mallets have handles that are cylindrical in cross section but they often have a swell in the middle of the handle. Personally my favorite versions swell in the middle to around 1 1/4". You want something that is large enough in cross section that it will fill your hand fully and not cause cramping, an an oval handle could become uncomfortable quickly in many of the places that a corker works. I have always been told and my own experience bears out that the best mallets were made by C Drew Co of black mesquite although they also made mallets of live oak, that are reportedly very good. The fit and finish of a quality mallet are patently different from cheaper mallets.

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    I've used a black mesquite mallet (not anywhere near your experience level) and agree fully agree.
    1960 LeClerq 36' Commercial Salmon Troller F/V Alcor

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    One of my mallets has a round handle and the other is slightly oval. I don't know if there was much precedent for one over the other.


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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    I keep looking at what seems to be an ungainly tool and wondering how it would feel in my hand. I am 86 and have worked all my life as a carpenter. My hammer of choice was and is a 20oz. Estwing framing hammer with a slightly oval handle that told me without looking that the head would hit exactly where I wanted it. A round handle would require more attention and that gol dern long snout of those caulking hammers just seem unnecessary. Now don't beat me up over this, maybe if I tried one I would like it.

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    [QUOTE Now don't beat me up over this, maybe if I tried one I would like it. ][/QUOTE] I've tried several & they would all give me wrist tendonitis in short order...I've never understood the design - physically it just felt terrible. I really tried...either I'm missing something obvious (possible) or I'm just not suited to the job...as least with that tool. I always gave up & used my short round chisel mallet ( lignum vitae -great mallet)...Maybe I wasn't supposed to "break" my wrist - but keep the joint ridge &swing my arm wrist as a unit? In any case I had no luck with the things & I've always wondered why...

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k51Er6KNrXk

    He holds the mallet as I was taught, hand right under the mallet. This approach I believe is for yacht size boats. Ships being caulked with oakum might take a different approach.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    Huh, caulking mallet has always felt right to me. Granted I am lucky enough to have gotten to use a quality mallet the whole time, but it's a pretty natural motion, sorta setting up your cotton with the left and knocking it back with the right. Finish up a working area and go back and set it to where it needs to be. As long as the plank is nicely made with an even caulking seam it's fairly smooth. It's if the plank has holes or uneven seam that life gets complex, similarly, oakum is wonderful stuff to work with till you have to drive if hard back. In full disclosure I have not done a lot of corking professionally, but I have had the great chance to learn from true caulkers. I've always been told to lay in a thread of cotton first and then oakum on top of that, standard rule is to fill the seam till it's as deep as it is wide.

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    "He holds the mallet as I was taught, hand right under the mallet." Thanks Ian - I'll give that a try, It's frustrating to KNOW the tool works & not be able to figure it out...

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    Default Re: Caulking mallet on craigslist in Pennsylvania

    Au contrair-- that is exactly what it is... pinging along all day long-- i just watched a bunch of youtubes about caulking-- and those guys know what they are doing..

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