In a previous episode, I had just given the mallet an oil/varnish blend finish to give it its color. Then I left for two weeks of vacation, and a week ago, I came back, ready to hit it with some polyurethane.
I wanted to use polyurethane for two reasons: first, I’d never really done much with varnish before, and I thought it was about time to start. Second, it’s good stuff against dirt and sweat, and it’s tough. So off I went and thinned it way too much, so it took a week to get all of the coats on.
I used a “satin sheen” on it, because I’m not big on shiny stuff. Today, I was able to finally hit it with some rottenstone and get the final result:
It’s sitting on top of a piece of the same roughsawn european beech board that it was made from. I guess that’s progress.
Here’s a shot of the top. I managed to get the ray fleck there, so I left it as-is. I’m fairly pleased at the way the end grain turned out.
There are a few flaws. But this is, after all, a striking tool, and I don’t know how pretty it’s gonna look after a period of using it as intended. Incidentally, I am pleased at how it has performed in a few tests so far. The real test comes when I try to make a mortise and tenon (or pretty much anything) again, and I reach for this thing.