Paper mallet mfg

I was wondering if anyone here might remember a company that made paper
mallets in the US. They're like a rawhide mallet but rolled with paper
and are used on soft metals where other materials could mark the metal.
My metalsmithing instructor said in the late 1970s that the last company
making them in the US closed as a result of an OSHA inspection and as
OSHA only came into being in 1971 that likely brings the company's
existence into the early to mid 1970s. He did speak as though it was a
recent event and knew the details. Apparently the owners of the company
felt the investment required to bring things up to the required safety
standards wasn't worth it for such a niche product and so closed it
down. As it's less than 50 years since the closure maybe someone has a
memory, I haven't found anything on the internet yet.
Reply to
David Billington
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Sorry, I do not know anything about that, but paper well compacted or wrapped and bonded in the form of something like the head of a mallet could be quite hard. If you are only looking for information about the company I can not help you at all.
However some years back I had some dented muffler tips on high performance mufflers for a Harley. The tips were slip on, and the dented or curled in edge could be easily struck with a hammer. Obviously a hammer could roughly restore the shape, but would cause smaller other dents. My answer was to use a cast lead mallet. Due to its weight it easily transferred a high amount of energy to the struck sheet metal of the muffler tips, but becuase of its maleability it deformed to the metal and cause the metals to stretch into shape rather them deform from point impacts. It worked amazingly well, and did not mar the work piece at all. After just a short time working on it they looked like they were factory fresh out of the box. I may have posted about it on this group back in the late 1990s.
A cast lead head mallet can be made easily enough, and it can be melted down and re-poured many times as needed. OSHA would probably throw a screaming hissy tantrum and bang their feet and fists on the floor over its making and its use in a work place, but in your home shop nobody needs to know about it except you.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
I've used paper mallets and they're the best tool for the job on a soft metal like pewter (Britannia metal), lead would likely be too damaging to the surface. The mallets I used had already been in use for some years and were broken in, apparently when new the paper mallets do need to be used for a bit to break in the faces of the mallet.
Reply to
David Billington
... A cast lead head mallet can be made easily enough, and it can be melted down and re-poured many times as needed. OSHA would probably throw a screaming hissy tantrum and bang their feet and fists on the floor over its making and its use in a work place, but in your home shop nobody needs to know about it except you. ---------------------
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Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Good link. I knew there were some commercially made lead hammer molds. I just make my own out of whatever scraps are handy.
Back to the OPT (original posters topic), you could probably use a face mount clamping head to make a paper face mallet.
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Might take you all day to roll up enough paper to make the face, but its possible. I have no idea how long it would take to break it in.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
I've used paper mallets and they're the best tool for the job on a soft metal like pewter (Britannia metal), lead would likely be too damaging to the surface. The mallets I used had already been in use for some years and were broken in, apparently when new the paper mallets do need to be used for a bit to break in the faces of the mallet.
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Do you know if there's a significant difference between a paper and an end grain wooden hammer (beetle), which is easy to make?
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I get good results on thin sheet steel with a hammer with one plastic and one brass face. Usually the plastic face is enough to flatten the burr and curl on a shear cut and straighten corrugated roofing that a fallen branch crumpled, using 1-1/2" or 2" pipe on sawhorses for the anvil. The brass head is needed only to flatten tight creases in severe damage. A rubber mallet didn't have enough authority to shape the roofing to the pipe well enough. The galvanizing remains intact, areas I fixed many years ago still haven't rusted.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Good link. I knew there were some commercially made lead hammer molds. I just make my own out of whatever scraps are handy.
Back to the OPT (original posters topic), you could probably use a face mount clamping head to make a paper face mallet.
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Might take you all day to roll up enough paper to make the face, but its possible. I have no idea how long it would take to break it in.
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Perhaps you could make the clamping head from a saddle head bolt and split piece of water pipe. The ends of the roll could be squared by chucking the temporarily hose-clamped pipe halves in the lathe. An adding machine paper roll is 2-3/4" wide, $1.79 at Staples.
The easy way to align the drill with the lower hole is to clamp a sacrificial pin (dowel) in line below the chuck and register the lower hole on it.
I just rolled a center hole <1/16" by dampening the end and "spindling" it between my fingers. -- jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I would say yes there is a significant difference, I have a couple of wooden mallets and find they're prone to denting/bruising whatever you want to call it whereas the paper mallets were quite resilient in comparison. The last time I spoke to my old tutor they still had the odd precious paper mallet but reserved for special work, having largely been forced to use nylon or other plastic mallets but they needed to be kept free of dings or other marks which could easily transfer to the soft work piece.
Reply to
David Billington
Interesting discussion. I inherited a small peening hammer with a head made from the black tip of the horn from some antelope or other. I'm curious of anyone might recognise this type of hammer?
Clifford Heath
Reply to
Clifford Heath
I would say yes there is a significant difference, I have a couple of wooden mallets and find they're prone to denting/bruising whatever you want to call it whereas the paper mallets were quite resilient in comparison. The last time I spoke to my old tutor they still had the odd precious paper mallet but reserved for special work, having largely been forced to use nylon or other plastic mallets but they needed to be kept free of dings or other marks which could easily transfer to the soft work piece.
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I use the thin cardboard from food boxes to preserve the finish of aluminum being bent in my press brake.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Thought you might find this patent search of interest:
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((B25D1%2f00))+(paper)&country=US&oq=((B25D1%2f00))+(paper)+country:US&sort=old It seems the idea of using paper and/or pasteboard for the striking surface has been around awhile...
Reply to
Leon Fisk
Also found this place which still sells them and has this history note:
=== How It Began
Jewelers and metal workers used hammers with heads made of rolled leather prior to WWI. Once the war began, leather was declared a strategic material and its availability was cut off. As a result, jewelers looked elsewhere for a material to use and found that paper rolled tightly made a hammer head which did almost no injury to metal surfaces. In the 1920's pewtersmithing became popular, and the field increased in demand for pewter items. The paper hammers were perfect for this application They were used until the 1960's for the pewter hobby, and then forgotten by the 1970's. Most of the paper hammers up until 1956 were made by two German brothers living in Queens, New York. After that time, the hammers disappeared from the marketplace. ===
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Reply to
Leon Fisk
I'm aware of them and am currently in contact with the couple and have ordered one of their paper mallets. The history they state though is incomplete as they were not aware of the company I'm enquiring about and paper mallets were far from forgotten by the 1970s as I was using them in my metalsmithing class in the late 1970s and they still had some as late as about 2000 when I last spoke with the tutor.
Reply to
David Billington
<snip>
First patent I found with mention of paper was from 1865. so the WWI reference is a bit off too ;-)
Reply to
Leon Fisk
I've not tried searching for patents yet. I did some searches on the online OSHA database which goes back to 1972 but it's really geared to knowing the name of the company and there's no guarantee  the the company has the words 'mallet', 'hammer', 'paper' in the name. 'hammer' and 'mallet' turn up only a single page each for 1972 to 1976 and it was fairly easy to cross off the various companies mentioned but 'paper' turns up almost a 1000 records so I've not looked at that much more.
Reply to
David Billington
<snip>
I've searched through a couple old paper catalogs I have and several more digital versions. Problem with the digital versions is they are likely too old. The more modern catalogs are too new or hard to come by due to copyrights still in place. An old McMaster catalog from say the 1980's might be a good place to look. They still have a nice selection of Mallets but none with paper heads.
The patent search I linked to worked well but good hits rapidly peter out. Suspect there wasn't much new innovation to form a patent in the 1900's...
I'm not entirely clear whether your primary interest is in the history, story of this particular company or procuring Paper Mallets. Maybe a bit of both ;-)
Reply to
Leon Fisk
A bit of both really. I've bought a mallet from the AccidentalHammer couple but have also designed and built my own machine for rolling them as I like a challenge and only have to finish a few machining operations before I can try and put theory into practice. The mallets seem to be quite durable seeing as how well the ones in high school lasted so it wouldn't take me long to make enough for my lifetime so if it all works as intended I expect I'll make some for others, we shall see. As information about them seems to be scarce and while the last company making them in the US is still a relatively recent memory I thought I would try and gather more information while still potentially available. Finding the company information should find when they started so would help flesh out some of the history. I hadn't thought of old catalogues, do you have a link for a source.
Reply to
David Billington
<snip>
I used to oft search at Archive.com for them. You can actually search inside most of them at the site without downloading nowadays. With a fast internet connection (not here) it should work a treat. Link to advanced search. Select "texts" for media.
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Here is an example of a much more ambitious search string:
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Still gets a lot of unwanted stuff but should give you some ideas for weeding less desired stuff out. Also note here in the US "Catalog" is more commonly used...
I've quite a few saved locally, Hardware, Machinery... usually have to check the index and then jump to a page (index page and doc pages are not the same) to see what they offered.
Of course if you happen to know the name of a particular company that works too ;-)
Reply to
Leon Fisk
Thanks for that I'll have a look at Archive.com . Regarding spelling I grew up in the US for 12 years but moved back to the UK so had to learn to spell again. One of my local metal suppliers once said they could get me aluminum but it was far more expensive than the more readily available aluminium.
Reply to
David Billington
I just noted that a horn mallet is mentioned in my copy of Oppi Untracht 'Metal techniques for Craftsman' but that seemed to be the extent of it, no mention of where a horn mallet would be used in preference to another type. It was an illustration of various types of mallets and one was horn, no mentioned of paper mallets even though they would have been around when the book was first published in 1968. Most of the mallets bore the name Dixon, which I believe would be William Dixon Co. of NJ now part of Grobet USA.
Reply to
David Billington

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