(UPDATED WITH VIDEO 1/27/12)
During my recent trip to WHBPC, I was introduced to this amazing mounting style and I wanted to share it in detail because it’s a little more important than I think most people realize. First off, I want to point out that this mounting style has passed the reliability test, this is totally key. A fine fellow in a “Cheater Mullets” tee from over seas first showed it to me, and as I started looking harder, tons of the folks from overseas were rocking this style. Now the reason that I think that this mounting style is so important is because it kind of single handedly does away with the need for a Pre-fabricated, Injection Molded mallet.
The main benefit of an injection molded or Pre-Fabricated mallet is the ability to swap out heads easily. Eighth Inch has a 1 bolt side system, and if Northern Standard comes to market, they went a step further with a proprietary twist click type system. Both great ideas, but there is a trade off. The injection molded mallets are either brittle, super heavy, or lack any real customizing ability. All the injection molded mallets come in one flavor. But because the pipe everyone has been using for years is extruded, it’s strong and reliable. Also HDPE, UHMW, ABS, and Polycarbonate all have their advantages in different situations. You have real options there, but mounting is either a pain in the ass and permanent, or a deck screw zipped in the side. Nothing clean or sexy. Until now.
What you need: Tapered shaft, 1/4″ drill bit, 1/2″ drill bit, counter sink bit, half round or triangle file, extruded pipe mallet head, 1/4″ long nut, 2.5″ long 1/4″ flat head bolt, screwdriver, drill gun and threaded rod (optional)
One of the important benefits of this system, is there is no need to drill out your shaft. The T-nut system, the big bolt system, the deck screw, and the rod with 2 screws system coming out of chicago all require a hole in the shaft. As you’ll see this is a thing of the past.
Preparing the shaft: first off, you should cut around 4″ or 5″ of the taper end off when using a ski pole, or using a fresh shaft from one of the 3 polo companies that makes tapered shafts. Please note that eighth inch does NOT make tapered shafts, theirs are straight so that is a firm “no dice” on their products. The reason for cutting the tip a bit is so that the long nut can go down far enough that the 2.5″ long bolt can reach. Once you have the tip cut, the final step is to file teeth into the tip of the shaft. Now it’s time to move onto the exuded pipe head.
Preparing the Head: If you have a drill press use it, if not, be careful to make sure that the holes are centered through the head. You want a 1/2″ hole on one end, and a 1/4″ hole on the other side. On the 1/4″ hole, use the counter sink bit and get it cleaned out and ready for the bolt head.
Assembly: Insert the long nut through the top end of the shaft and let it drop down to the bottom. It’s not necessary, but you can get a threaded rod, connect it to the nut and insert the long end first into the shaft, and pull it tight wedging the nut in there. However, I’ve found that this system is so dope it’s not even necessary. Next insert the pole into the head, then insert the bolt and tighten it until the teeth dig into the inside of the head.
This is seriously it. Give it a shot, the nut and bolt can be found for under a dollar at any hardware store.
(update: Now with video goodness!)