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#1
Old 10-31-2016, 05:16 PM
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Woodworkers -- attaching handle to head of croquet mallet

I'm looking for the best way to attach the handle/shaft of a croquet mallet to the mallet head. My number one criterion is a firm joint with no play.

Normally the handle end is threaded, like this broom handle, and of course the head is threaded to receive it. In my case the handle ends are turned down (somewhat sloppily) and a (somewhat crappy) plastic threaded tip is screwed onto said end. It's analogous to this broom handle end, which is metal and swaged on but same principle. In my set, one of the plastic tips is broken and I don't quite trust the others. (By the way, broom handle threads and croquet mallet shaft threads are different diameters, not even close.) So I plan to toss the plastic tips and join the handles directly to the heads.

Cutting the proper size threads onto the handle ends could work, but I have no way to do that and no idea how to find someone to do that. If I did find someone I wouldn't want to pay more than five or ten dollars to have the set of six handles threaded.

I'm thinking I could fill the joint with _____? (epoxy, plastic wood, wood glue, ???) and add a ___? inch-long screw going through the head up into the handle to make a solid joint. However, since I don't normally work with wood, I'm seeking advice from those who do.

I also wonder if it's possible to make a good joint that could be easily disassembled and reassembled in some way other than the original threading.

I'll be grateful for your ideas and advice.
#2
Old 10-31-2016, 05:34 PM
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If you don't care about dismantling the mallets, bore out the threads in the head to the diameter of the handles, cut the threads off the handles, and glue the handles on with wood glue. You might want to sand the finish off the handles where you will glue them. You want the joint a tight as you can get it. A screw through the head into the end of the handle would do a good job of clamping the two together until the glue sets, if you don't have any other way to clamp the two.
#3
Old 11-01-2016, 12:37 AM
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These plastic inserts are really strong. Drill a 1/4 hole in handle, tap insert into hole, drill 1/8 hole through head and use appropiate wood screw to attach. A flat washer under the the screw head and on top of the insert will help.
#4
Old 11-01-2016, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donkeyoatey View Post
These plastic inserts are really strong.
That raises another question. When a handle breaks, it seems to happen where it goes into the head. How would using an insert like this, with presumably about a one inch screw, compare to using a long screw (3-4") which might reinforce the handle?
#5
Old 11-01-2016, 10:03 AM
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Since the joint will take some abuse and stress, epoxy will give you the strongest bond. Wood glue contains water and can contract or dry out over time, although there are some, like Titebond III, that are waterproof. But you have very little gluing surface here, so epoxy will be the best bet.

Reinforcing the handle is a problem, as even with a screw in there, the handle can crack and splinter.

Last edited by Chefguy; 11-01-2016 at 10:05 AM.
#6
Old 11-01-2016, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Reinforcing the handle is a problem, as even with a screw in there, the handle can crack and splinter.
Understood, but will a long screw reduce the likelihood of that, akin to rebar in concrete?
#7
Old 11-01-2016, 10:19 AM
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Or buy these. Extreme mallets
#8
Old 11-01-2016, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by swampspruce View Post
Or buy these. Extreme mallets
Those look great, and at only $172 (U.S.) each it's an amazing price. Puts my $20 (antique/junk store) set to shame. Good thing I can handle shame.
#9
Old 11-01-2016, 11:54 AM
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I have a set of tools for threading wood. Both internal and external threads. Got it a the local woodworking store years ago. Check Rockler or Woodcraft on line.

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#10
Old 11-01-2016, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
Understood, but will a long screw reduce the likelihood of that, akin to rebar in concrete?
The screw is not going to help much with the strength. All the screw does is hold the joint tight until the glue sets (or dries). If you use a decent wood glue, and you don't routinely get it wet, it should do fine. A good wood glue should remain resilient enough to withstand repeated whacks. I would be afraid that an epoxy would become so hard that it might crack under repeated whacking.

The handles break right at the head because that is where the bending forces are concentrated and there is a notch there provided by the threads. By going with a glued joint (no threads), you eliminate that notch. Of course, you sacrifice the ability to disassemble.
#11
Old 11-01-2016, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by excavating (for a mind) View Post
The screw is not going to help much with the strength. All the screw does is hold the joint tight until the glue sets (or dries). If you use a decent wood glue, and you don't routinely get it wet, it should do fine. A good wood glue should remain resilient enough to withstand repeated whacks. I would be afraid that an epoxy would become so hard that it might crack under repeated whacking.

The handles break right at the head because that is where the bending forces are concentrated and there is a notch there provided by the threads. By going with a glued joint (no threads), you eliminate that notch. Of course, you sacrifice the ability to disassemble.
Epoxy will never crack, nor will polyvinyl acetate (PVA or white glue), although the latter can experience "creep" under pressure. Perhaps you're thinking of AC, which has very poor shear strength. If a joint repaired with PVA fails, then the old glue must be completely removed before regluing, as new PVA won't stick to dried PVA.
#12
Old 11-01-2016, 09:23 PM
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I have some 1/4 x 6" stainless flat head screws. a 2 minute search did not come up with them.
If you don't mind a screw head on top of the mallet AND have a way to reliably bore drill a 1/8" pilot hole into the end of the handle, this would both cure the loose fit and reinforce the shaft where it enters the head.
(I also have both 6" and 12" drill bits)

If you remove the plastic thread, you will have a void around the shaft. Plastic wood ("wood filler") placed in small quantity in the hole can be forced into shape by the handle - but wrap the handle in plastic to prevent its being (weakly) glued to the shaft. The stuff used for leaf bags will probably work. Ad more bits of filler until the handle can be inserted and NOT wobble.
THEN you can figure out how to glue it permanently.
#13
Old 11-01-2016, 10:17 PM
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If you have some space to fill, a good trick is to mix cotton flock with epoxy. You can vary the consistency by varying the proportions of flock and epoxy.

When cured, the cotton fibers give considerable strength to the material. You can tap threads in this.
#14
Old 11-01-2016, 10:44 PM
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Heart, be still, and leave this woodworking thread!

Or not. Wood to wood threads require constant fiddling, which makes me nostalgic. Spiced up with epoxy will remove the fun, but you are left with a joint that is, essentially, almost like it grew that way. Aliphatic resins can match part of that, but are not as strong.

Buy a 1" wood tap and die set, spend a couple bux on a good, 24-hour epoxy, and be patient.

Eta: and turn a crappy 1-1/4 dowel down to something smooth.

In the past, I always had people who knew this already, FFS.

Last edited by dropzone; 11-01-2016 at 10:48 PM.
#15
Old 11-01-2016, 10:56 PM
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Etaa: Never hire a framing carpenter when you need a cabinet maker.

Etaaa: The local progressive talk radio station is advertising for a Carpenters Apprentice program. I've never heard of that. A damn good job, and even framers start out somewhere.
#16
Old 11-01-2016, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
Etaa: Never hire a framing carpenter when you need a cabinet maker.

Etaaa: The local progressive talk radio station is advertising for a Carpenters Apprentice program. I've never heard of that. A damn good job, and even framers start out somewhere.
All unions offer apprentice programs. I'm surprised you have never heard of them.
#17
Old 11-02-2016, 09:26 PM
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Of course, but I never heard of them being advertized. To anybody, not just legacies. You heard about it because Tony's dad told you.

Anybody being listeners to WCPT, Chicago's Progressive Talk. Which sorta is self-selected for legacies.

Last edited by dropzone; 11-02-2016 at 09:29 PM.
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