This is my pack-mallet made from an old lignum spinning chuck i turned down.
Pack hammers/mallets are useful for laying down planishing marks from a steel hammer and evening out the surface like the way an iron smoothes cloth. They are also useful for truing up large rings/cylinders, such as plynth bands, etc. The lignum makes for a heavy and wide blow for large surface area coverage, which is beneficial for its purpose.
The steel plate at the front was kindly given to me, and it is made from industrial hacksaw blade steel. The steel is wired over the mallet's face using thick iron wire and sandwiched inbetween is a spun nickel cap and leather, which cushion the blow (the packing), this creates a softer mark in the metal.
Other packing materials you could use are thick heavy duty duck canvas, baize, or just leather. You dont have to have a nickel cap, and there are probably other materials that would be effective too, these are just the ones i know.
Hacksaw blade steel is a traditional one for the steel, but i suppose you could use any carbon steel, or even mild. My Granddad used to make some of his using copper faces. They'll all do a different job.
The last photo is of two pack hammers i was given which are packed with canvas and the steel faces are concaved for use on outside of round bodies, such as teapots.
It is important that the face is convex, if used on a flat surface, so the corners and edges don't mark. Whatever profile the steel is the hammer/mallet face will need to copy (this includes the nickel cap), or the steel will go hollow.
Anyway, i thought this infomation could be useful for anyone wanting to know a bit about these tools and how to make one.
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