Homemade Mallets

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AWA Offline
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Homemade Mallets

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:18 pm



Since this is becoming a popular(-ish) topic, I'll start a dedicated thread.

I wrapped my first pair today; they came out too light, but they sound good. I used a 3/8-inch dowel rod, 15 inches long, with a rubber bouncy ball core. I used a black embroidery thread "yarn", and did 300 wraps. I'll post pics in a bit.
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:26 pm



ahh great. well i'm about to eat dinner so will post pics of the 4 pairs of mallets i wrapped this weekend. over all i've wrapped about 15-ish pairs of mallets already.

expect a detailed post in about an hour
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AWA Offline
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:56 pm



The only problem I have is with finishing the wrapping; I can never get the "crowning" to work right, and even when I fuddle through that, I can't knot it properly at the end. I look forward to your expert advice ;)
2007 - 2010: West Deptford High School (07-08 FE, 09-10 quads)
2013: Spirit of Atlanta (Marimba)
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:23 pm



Give me like 30 minutes and it will be up
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:55 pm



OK. so here are some tips on mallet wrapping in general. i trust that everyone uses the same youtube video that's floating around, but here are a couple of other useful sources

http://www.majesticpercussion.com/image ... etwrap.pdf
http://marimbalogy.com/equipment/mallets/

When picking out the mallet head core, if you use a wooden core, you get a lot of attack and are best for the upper register. Bouncy balls make warm tones, are better for the lower register. the shape of the core is also important. If you want a round looking mallet head (like what you would see on a professionally made mallet), it would have to be more wheel shaped, and not round. The flatness of the core will make a nice place to make that "hole" that gets made at the top. and lets the yarn stay in place better. If you use a round core, it will be harder to get the yarn to not slide, and you will end up with a diamond shaped head, because of the lack of surface area.

Now for handles, i just use some 3/8 dowels at my local hobby store. 59 cents for a yard long dowel, which makes a pair. I'm going to experiment with some small diameters, so it is more similar to my IP mallets. I've also started to sand down the ends of mallets so they are more comfortable when using stevens grip.

as for crowning, if you end up w/ a diamond shaped head, take the needle and insert it through the side, not right through the mallet (if this doesn't make sense i can post pics tomorrow). Then go back through that same place and pull firmly. repeat. same for the bottom.

If you are wrapping a round mallet head (one with the hole at the top), the above technique works, and this is another method. Take the needle, go into the hole, push out of the mallet, and go around. you should see crowning similar to what you would see on a mass produced mallet on the top. for the bottom, i use the above technique (for diamond mallet heads).

for the yarn, it all depends on what kind of mallet you want to make. thicker, loosely wound yarn i find is better for softer mallets (coupled with a soft rubber core). Thinner, tightly wound yarn is better for the medium to hard mallets, though you can experiment to find combos you like. Personally, i use 100% cotton, but some guides recommend 100% Orlon. i've only used cotton, so i can't compare the too. Also the "feel" of the yarn will have an impact as well. if the yarn feel "rough" or "hard", then it will have less "poof" when you use it, and more attack and volume. if the yarn is softer, or has a nice "smooth" feel, you will have more warmth, a little more poof, and more tone.

The amount of times you wrap a mallet will have an effect on the mallet's tone and attack. The more you wrap a mallet the larger it will become and you will get more warmth from the mallet (depending on wrap tension, yarn, and core type). The less times you wrap it you will hear more of the core, get more attack, and volume from the mallet (again depending on wrap tension, core type, and yarn.)

How tightly you wrap the mallet will have impact on those same factors (attack, tone, etc.) Loose wrapping works better for soft mallets, and tight wrapping is better for harder mallets. You can also achieve "dual tone" mallets, by first wrapping semi-tightly, then semi-loosely. this means if you play at low dynamic levels you get more warmth and tone, then you get to higher dynamics you get more attack and volume.

Now for my Mallets!
i've wrapped about 13-ish pairs of mallets, and 2 of those pairs were unraveled school mallets that i restored. Below is currently what i have in my mallet bag that i've wrapped.
0328101851.jpg
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From left to right: first pair i wrapped-med. hard., a pair of balter soft xylophone mallets i wrapped, red Extra hard mallets (4), red hard mallets (4), multi-blue soft-ish mallets (i have yet to try it on a marimba so i can't say how soft they are, i just know they're soft).

for the 1st pair, i used a wooden crafts ball and "medium poofy" blue yarn. (150 wraps)
for the second pair, mike balter 2bs with cream "rough poofy" yarn. (115 wraps)
for the first set of red mallets, wooden craft balls, "tight, thin" red yarn. (150 wraps)
For the second set of red mallets, wooden craft balls, "tight, thin" red yarn. (125 wraps)
for the multi blue set of mallets, 1 1/2 (about that big) inch diameter bouncy balls, and "tight, thin" multi shade blue yarn. (130 wraps)

Close ups:
0328101852.jpg
my first pair
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0328101852a.jpg
a pair of commissioned mallets for a friend
0328101852a.jpg (96.13 KiB) Viewed 8493 times
sorry for the quality, just my phone camera, goo camera was our of battery.
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:58 pm



More (only 3 attachments per post blehh)
0328101852b.jpg
the wrapped balters
0328101852b.jpg (100.61 KiB) Viewed 8490 times
0328101853.jpg
red, "hard" mallets
0328101853.jpg (120.86 KiB) Viewed 8489 times
0328101853a.jpg
red "x-tra hard" mallets
0328101853a.jpg (108.33 KiB) Viewed 8486 times
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:59 pm



one more
Attachments
0328101854.jpg
multi colored colored blue soft mallets, made these earlier today.
0328101854.jpg (123.76 KiB) Viewed 8485 times
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AWA Offline
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:32 pm



Can you elaborate a bit more on the crowning process, perhaps with pictures or video? I still don't understand a few things, like exactly what you mean by returning through the same hole (wouldn't that just remove the yarn?).
2007 - 2010: West Deptford High School (07-08 FE, 09-10 quads)
2013: Spirit of Atlanta (Marimba)
2014: Bluecoats (Vibraphone)

-Glenn Dawson

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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:34 pm



AWA wrote:Can you elaborate a bit more on the crowning process, perhaps with pictures or video? I still don't understand a few things, like exactly what you mean by returning through the same hole (wouldn't that just remove the yarn?).
yeah i can post pics tomorrow after school. it is kinda hard to explain crowing with words.

EDIT: do you have pics of your mallets? that would help a little also.
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:24 pm



Those are beautiful.


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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:39 am



I like the multi color blue ones, will post about the topic when Im home from school.
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:19 am



I think I'm going to try to make a pair this week.

I'm kind of confused about what kinds of yarn to use though but I haven't read too in depth yet because I'm on a school computer. Is there certain kinds to use? And can you just buy it at like a craft store?
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:04 am



I'll be making some soon (I have money, lol). I'll be making some softs, considering I have plenty of hards.
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:28 pm



Memphonian wrote:I'll be making some soon (I have money, lol). I'll be making some softs, considering I have plenty of hards.
It doesn't cost much. 5 bucks for fine yarn, 3-4 bucks for "poofier yarn". it also depends how much you buy. 4 oz is a good amount. plus dowels (about 50 cents for a yard where i live), and cores (25 cents for bouncy balls). you could 4 pairs of mallets for under 10 bucks.

and for everyone here's the video i used to learn how

and the accompanying article
STEPS 10-15
NE_drummer wrote:I think I'm going to try to make a pair this week.

I'm kind of confused about what kinds of yarn to use though but I haven't read too in depth yet because I'm on a school computer. Is there certain kinds to use? And can you just buy it at like a craft store?
Really any kind of yarn will work, but the type you use will affect the sound. read my above large post about how the variables of the yarn will affect sound. Though i prefer finer yarn, because it keeps it;s shape better, i can wrap a mallet more times without it getting too large too soon, and it looks more like the kind of yarn used on mass produced mallets. cotton and orlon are the two preferred yarn "ingredients".
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:08 pm



ok sorry for lack of crowning pics today. busy with HW and youth symphoney. i will have them tomorrow.

AWA you have pics of your mallets?
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:40 am



Really any kind of yarn will work, but the type you use will affect the sound. read my above large post about how the variables of the yarn will affect sound. Though i prefer finer yarn, because it keeps it;s shape better, i can wrap a mallet more times without it getting too large too soon, and it looks more like the kind of yarn used on mass produced mallets. cotton and orlon are the two preferred yarn "ingredients".

Sweet thanks. And for the core, do you just drill a hole in and glue the dowel in?
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AWA Offline
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:51 am



UHSnare45 wrote:ok sorry for lack of crowning pics today. busy with HW and youth symphoney. i will have them tomorrow.

AWA you have pics of your mallets?
They've actually started coming unwrapped, I did such a bad job. I'm going to re-wrap them and post pics then.
2007 - 2010: West Deptford High School (07-08 FE, 09-10 quads)
2013: Spirit of Atlanta (Marimba)
2014: Bluecoats (Vibraphone)

-Glenn Dawson

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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:31 pm



AWA wrote:
UHSnare45 wrote:ok sorry for lack of crowning pics today. busy with HW and youth symphoney. i will have them tomorrow.

AWA you have pics of your mallets?
They've actually started coming unwrapped, I did such a bad job. I'm going to re-wrap them and post pics then.
ok then.

here are pics and a short explanation about crowning.

so what i meant is when you go through the mallet then go through the same hole you go through hole 1, not hole 2 that way the yarn loops across the outside and binds the thread/yarn. as for eveything else here are some pics.

(diagram)
needle\/
hole2/-----\hole 1
(mallet)
0330101928.jpg
Crowning for the top of the mallet with a hole in the top.
0330101928.jpg (50.57 KiB) Viewed 8333 times
0330101929.jpg
crowing for the bottom of mallet
0330101929.jpg (41.71 KiB) Viewed 8331 times
0330101930.jpg
crowning for bottom, showing how needle goes back through original point of entry.
0330101930.jpg (40.09 KiB) Viewed 8329 times
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:34 pm



couple more
0330101931.jpg
knotting the top part 1
0330101931.jpg (39.41 KiB) Viewed 8325 times
0330101932.jpg
knotting part 2
0330101932.jpg (39.94 KiB) Viewed 8325 times
This is a pair of IP f2s that came undone so i re-wrapped them. these are school mallets.
0330102014.jpg
0330102014.jpg (46.3 KiB) Viewed 8323 times
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:26 pm



comments?
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:04 pm



sexy
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:01 pm



lol thanks.

AWA i'm waiting for pics O.o

wrapped ANOTHER pair today. hopefully this pair will match my criteria for my solo.
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AWA Offline
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:13 am



Haha, I'll get pics up eventually. I re-wrapped them, and they are a lot better.

One question: How do you drill holes in craft balls? A drill press? Because my plain old drill ain't cutting it.
2007 - 2010: West Deptford High School (07-08 FE, 09-10 quads)
2013: Spirit of Atlanta (Marimba)
2014: Bluecoats (Vibraphone)

-Glenn Dawson

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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:34 am



AWA wrote:Haha, I'll get pics up eventually. I re-wrapped them, and they are a lot better.

One question: How do you drill holes in craft balls? A drill press? Because my plain old drill ain't cutting it.
Well when i bought my craft balls, they already had holes drilled in them, and they fit the dowel rod size i was using, but for rubber balls i just use a normal drill.
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Re: Homemade Mallets

Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:29 pm



ok gonna make 2 more sets of mallets today. (4 pairs)
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