13 June 2010

desperate for advice, before i make a stupid mistake


this is my little weighted-core rawhide mallet. it's cute and i like the size and feel of it, but it doesn't work properly. it leaves marks when i use it-it's hard as a rock.

so, i'm certain i heard somewhere that rawhide mallets need to be conditioned and i think i remember cece wire saying that she pounded the sidewalk with hers. well i've been hammering away on concrete and it hasn't made a bit of difference.

i googled "conditioning rawhide mallet"-no luck. anyone have a good technique? right now i have it in my mind to soak that flat face in water overnight to soften the shellac/glue...
hoping someone will save me from ruining my hammer!

7 comments:

barbarasfernald.com said...

Hi Holly,
I just looked at my hammer, which has sort of softened edges from where I used it, but I've had it for so long I can't remember if I conditioned it or not. I definitely use only one side because its softer than the other side.

I wonder if I filed one side of it to soften it, "fuzz it up" a bit. You might try a file on part of the rawhide to see what it does. Then if it works, try it on one of the mallet faces. (Use a regular sized file not a needle file!)

I'm not sure if soaking it would work. It might wreck the mallet. ?
xoxo

holly k said...

hhhmmmm.... a file, you say- that just might do it! i'll certainly try that before the water!

Kimberly Betts said...

Curious to know if you found your answer and if you could share. I too am in search of how to condition my jeweler's rawhide hammer.

holly k said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
holly k said...

hello kimberly! i did end up soaking the face in water several nights in a row, taking it our during the day (i don't know why!) and when it had thoroughly dried out i filed that puffed up surface with a big file. it works fine now, no marks....
good luck! holly

holly k said...

hello kimberly! i did end up soaking the face in water several nights in a row, taking it our during the day (i don't know why!) and when it had thoroughly dried out i filed that puffed up surface with a big file. it works file now, no marks....
good luck! holly

Mary Werner said...

There's a Kate Richbourg video on the wire sculpture website where she discusses conditioning a rawhide mallet. She soaks a large mallet for up to 2 hours in water, and then pounds the sidewalk to flatten both sides.

Maybe this is what the original poster remembers seeing?