Friday, January 29, 2016

Stanley in England

I am still researching Stanley operations overseas in a bid to narrow down the time line of Gerhard's collection of Yankee spiral screwdrivers.

There is not much to be found about Stanley operations outside North America. But armed with a few addresses we can look them up on Google Earth and try to put some of the pieces of this puzzle together.

Found this very helpful site in the UK, The Grace's guide to British Industrial History

From it, I found a few address for Stanley's operations in England.
We already known they entered the British market in 1936-7 with a controlling interest in JA Chapman, but they eventually became Stanley Works then Stanley Tools. When, how and where?

The Stanley Works (Great Britain) Ltd
It shows Stanley Rule & Level Co Dept (Tools) which merged with 
Stanley Works (Hardware) to becomes the Stanley Works in 1920.
This picture from Grace`s site says 1927. 

This Stanley No 79 side rabbet plane came out in 1926 and the arc cut out dissapeared in 1950.  The small router plane No 271 also came out in 1926 so the time period look correct. But Stanley did not start manufacturing tools in England until they bought controlling interest in J.A. Chapman in 1936.
The address shown is in London, so that was probably just a sales office and not a manufacturing concerns.

The Stanley Works (Great Britain) Ltd
Stanley Rule & Level Dept.
35-36-37 Upper Thames ST. London E.C.4

Chapman is listed in the Planemakers Data base 
As a James Arscott Chapman Ltd Industry Works
115 Woodside Lane, Sheffield 1868-1936
That last year would be the year that Stanley took control of the company, which then became, The Stanley Works (Great Britain) Ltd

The area I highlighted in red is what I believed was the original JA Chapman building which became Stanley works (GB) in 1937. The demolished area, now a used car lot was probably the original building

The reason I am saying this is because their address is later changed to Rutland road (the main artery running vertical in the above pic on the LH side). Then there was a new factory build in 1961.

An artist's impression of the new factory to be built in 1961 

This look a lot like it and it looks like it is now abandoned.

You can still see the name Stanley Tools on the building which 
would have been the new part build in 1961.
Looking from Rutland Road.

There are broken windows and some are boarded with plywood.

The building is available to let (for rent).
The cars you see are from a used car lot on the premises

May 1957
This one is showing an address in Sheffield as
Rutland road Sheffield 1

Rutland Road as lot of old industrial buildings that still have Steel industry markings on them. Found this one not far down the road on Rutland Rd.

So thanks to Google earth we can explore the sites from the comfort of our computer chair, pretty neat. By the look of their original site it has been vacated years ago but when and where did they moved?

Last entry at the bottom of this page dated 29 Mar 1979
They refereed to Stanley Tools of Sheffield.
Interestingly they also mention the ALCAN award. ALCAN is the Aluminum Company of Canada, of which the main plants are located in the Saguenay Qc, where I was posted twice in my career. The airbase there was set up during WWII to protect the vital aluminum industries.

Is Stanley still making tools in England or have they moved all productions off shore? (Taiwan, Mexico etc) I do believed they were still making tools in jolly good England as of the early 80s.

Did not found all the info I was hoping for, but this is a start, and perhaps some of you would be motivated to become involved in this search.
Meanwhile, Stefan of the Bluespruce woodshop has agreed to look up some trails in Germany. The original Stanley's Velbert plant in Germany is about 30 Kms from where he is from, and he says he never knew Stanley was so close to him. That tells me they have long ago moved...

Bob, the arm chair tourist and reporter hot on the trail of Stanley's past 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Yankee Spiral screwdrivers family, the original cordless screwdrivers

Recently, Gerhard at the Je ne sais quoi woodworking blog, asked my help for dating various specimen of this iconic tool.  I thought it would make a good post explaining how I go about establishing some sort of timelines for any tools.
Unless your tool happens to have a serial nos on it, we can rarely pin point an exact date, but we can certainly dated them within a given time period based on the features, patent Nos, boxes or other paraphernalia that originally came with them. Most paper products, leaflets and boxes did not survived, were often toss out, hence why tools are much more valuable when found complete in their packaging with manuals etc.

And doing some research on line, I noticed some confusion with regards to the spring returns models and the A and B series. So lets hopefully set the record straight.

Although mostly associated with Stanley, the name Yankee was registered to the North Brothers Manufacturing Co of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1880-1946, commonly known as North Bros for short.
That is because Stanley acquired the company in 1946 and kept production of many of their tools for a long period of time.  Some will says that the quality degraded somewhat when Stanley took over, but we are getting ahead of ourselves.


The origins of this tool, goes back to a Maine inventor, Zachary T. Furbish who received a patent on April 16 1895 and had his invention produced by the Forest City Screwdriver Co.
That company screwdrivers first appeared in announcements and advertising in 1896.

Forest City Screwdriver Co 
Patented April 16 1895

Zachary was not the first one, there is another form of spiral screwdriver that came earlier from Christopher H. Olson of the Decatur Coffin Co .
But his was inside out, the spiral was inside the surface of the casing where as North Bros design has the spiral on the rotating shaft.

North Bros who was in the foundry business, entered the tool manufacturing business by purchasing Forest City Screwdriver Co in 1897, enticed Zachary to move to Philadelphia in 1898 and began marketing their spiral and ratcheting screwdrivers the same year. They had started to expand their product offerings, but their "Name" was built on Yankee screwdrivers. By 1910, their familiarity with the ratchet mechanism let them expand their line of drills: Push drills, egg beater drills and breast drills, most with ratcheting mechanism.
To this day they remained the most technically sound and mechanically innovative designs. With this experience the next logical development for North Bros was the ratchet bit braces. They excel at it and produced some of the best design, which became used exclusively by telephone linemen working for the Bell System. A testament to their excellent design.

Take a look inside a Yankee Handyman spiral screwdriver to see how the mechanism work. Simple, rugged and elegant, and a reminder you are looking at the cheaper Handyman model...


Whenever patents Nos or date are to be found on a tool, it gives us a starting point. Here are some of the patents dates found on these spiral screwdrivers
Keep in mind that these patents are on the average good for 20 years and are often stamped for many years after being granted (often 5 or so years).
Patents Nos were not laser etched they were stamped or cast at the foundry, they wanted their money worth :-)
List is not all inclusive, but these are the ones I see most often on these tools.
Looking them up by year in DATAMP we find:

Nov 2 1897 Ratchet mechanism
Sep 5 1899 Chuck
Oct 9 1900 Ratchet mechanism
Jun 6 1905 Spiral push screwdrivers or drills
Nov 3 1908 Locking mechanism for ratchet
May 4 1915 Chuck
Dec 11 1923  Securing the mechanism to the casing, the 'A' models

I found 427 patents on screwdrivers alone, of which 110 are for spiral screwdrivers. (Click image to expand as usual)

Or if looking at patents issued to North Bros we get, 132 patents.
That by the way, is the beauty of looking at patents thru DATAMP first.
It was designed by tool collectors for tool collectors, it is a pretty comprehensive
Data Base of all the US Patents related to tools, so if it is about a woodworking tools, it's in there!

Most industrial countries have their own patents database which you can access for free. The other ones I visit often in my research are the Canadian and the British ones.
Keep in mind not every patents issued was ever put into production and the resulting article may differ slightly from the patent drawings.
Then in both Canada and the UK there is such as thing as Registered Design (RD) which are not patents but are protecting a specific "design" look from being copied.

Within DATAMP you can look at it by patent date or numbers, or by category, or by inventor or manufacturers and etc.
Once you have the patent number you are looking for you can then look at it via Google patents or the official US patent site.
Some plug-in may be required to see the pictures (on the USPTO site), but DATAMP is a great online resource.

One last thing about patents on tools:
Why is there a seemingless numbers of patents on what appears to be very simple tools to begin with, and why do they keep tinkering with the designs?
Answer in one word; For competitiveness.
Everyone has to find ways to market similar product, the best way to demarked themselves from the competition is to come up with some gimmick or real improvements. There are no shortage of either...
Also as the patents expired and everybody else start making similar tools (A good example are the countless Bailey No 4 plane designs), you need more than a different colour on your tools to stand out.
That is one reasons Stanley keeps re-inventing itself and why it dominated the hand tools market for so long. And if they could not outdo the competition, they just bought them outright.  Stanley, the tool box of the world, or the Microsoft of its days :-)

Sometimes they get the jump on it and simply mark their tools with "Patent applied for" or "Patent pending" probably as a warning to other would be copy cat :-)
Industrial espionage and copying successful designs is nothing new and today it is still alive and well...

I have yet to figured out when the Quick return feature was introduced...
All I know so far, is that it predate the model improved 'A', so pre 1924.
I have seen on line someone claims 1912 as the date, but I have yet to confirm it anywhere else.
I DID NOT go thru all the relevant patents...yet :-)
I will update this post when I figured it out.


Nos 35, 135
Nos 30, 30A, 130, 130A
Nos 31, 31A, 131, 131A, 131B, 1310

From top to bottom
No 135A Quick return, Light model
No 130A Quick return, Standard model 
No 131A Quick return, Heavy pattern

The Nos 30 series were produced in three sizes;
The smallest being the No 35, the next size No 30 and the largest heavy duty version No 31. There are a few more variations of these tools and Models Nos but they ALL share the same three size bits.

The sizes of these screwdrivers varied slightly throughout the years
Sizes measured with the screwdriver bit in the chuck and screwdriver  fully extended

No 135 343 mm (13 in 1/2)
No 130 508 mm (20 in)
No 131 Before 2002 712 mm (28 in 1/32)
             After 2002    672 mm (26 in 29/64)

They came in a cardboard box with 3 flat or common screwdriver blades

For a fairly complete list of various North Bros tools look here


Starting in 1924 the Suffix A was added to the models Nos, E.G. 35A, 30A and 31A

The 'A' denoting the changes to the means of securing the mechanism to the casing, patent date Dec 11 1923. The New, Improved Yankee.

Top the older pattern
Bottom the new pattern, 'A' model

From 1926 North Bros catalog

These No 3Xs series DO NOT have a return spring inside the handle, and NEVER had.


The similar tool Nos 13Xs series (130, 131, 135) have a return spring inside the handle. The quick return spring facilitate one hand operation, and keep applying pressure on the screw head, but the return motion can be sudden (keep it under control) and cause the bit to slip marring the surrounding surfaces of the screw being driven. Without the return spring you mostly uses two hands and having a hand holding near the bit you are less likely to slip, but you have to keep supplying the pressure on the fastener. Once proficient with it, you quickly realize how much of a time saver this can be, having the quick return feature.

From 1926 North Bros catalog

 In addition, you should always store these spring loaded tools with the driver fully extended, spring uncompressed. It is better for the spring and the No 131 especially, pack quite a punch when suddenly released into the hands of the unwary. Try it at home if you have one, then marvel at the simplicity of the Yankee bit design while the bit stay solidly attached. Now try one of these Hex 1/4 in adapters with no other means to hold the bit than a magnet, and watch as the Yankee tool launch the unsuspecting bit across the shop! Hours of fun looking for that bit... if you find it!
I think you can appreciate the value of a good locking collet mechanism on these adapter thingy. Just saying, says Bob still looking @@#?#$.

Size of the spring in the No 131, at 12 in long 
it pack quite a punch...

Yankee extended

Yankee collapsed & locked 

The 13X series is characterized by a big screw on top of the handle to insert the spring.

Screw at the top of the handle denote 13X series 
with a return spring. 

Very often they are shown collapsed and locked to fit inside tool bag, boxes what have you, but leaving the spring uncompressed in storage is a wise thing.

And in case you ever wondered; NO you CANNOT add a spring inside the handle cavity of the 3X series, not enough room


Handyman is often associated with Stanley, but in this case, North Bros did used the trade-name Handyman, while Stanley was using Four-Square.
Hence the first H models were made by North Bros prior to Stanley's resurrecting the name Handyman in 1959.
The Yankee Handyman spiral screwdriver models they made were the 133H, 233H, 433H and the 633H
Ad from North Bros 1939

Box from No 233H, clear plastic handle.

No 233H

They used the same sizes bits as their full fledged brothers

In the early 60s Stanley re-introduced a line of lower cost tools destined for the homeowners, The Handyman line.  It was preceded in the late 20s and 40s by the similar Defiance and Four Square lines.
YANKEE and HANDYMAN was often marked on the tools.
The Yankee spiral screwdriver models they made were the 133H, 233H, and the 433H, 46
Later Stanley models had a "1" in front of the equivalent model nos such as 1131 (No 131) or a "0" at the end such as 1310 (no 131).

Later Stanley Handyman No 46 with plastic handle and 
provision in handle to store bits


Generally 'B' is the newer version with a plastic handle,  although near the end of their production they are fitted again with wooden handles. They were
mostly made overseas including England, Germany and near the very end of production years in Japan. The 'B' have metric internal measurements and the chuck are slightly bigger internally.

The last version from Stanley came in a plastic pouch, no more boxes.
They still come with 3 spare tips, but no longer all common (slot), now Phillips (N.A. Market) or Pozidriv (European market) in addition to one common (slot).

When the packaging is present, we can further gleams some infos by the listing of an address which contains a Zip code (USA) or Postal code E.G. B0P 1R0 (mine in Canada), place of manufacture, price paid and nowadays by the addition of a UPC code etc.

The last Stanley version made, wood handle.
Still come  with 3 bits but, 2 sizes of Phillips (or Pozidriv) and a common (flat)


Today both the Japanese and the German produced their own version of the Stanley Yankee. Schroeder of Germany and JET in Japan
Here is one modern version with a standard 1/4 Hex bit chuck made by Schroeder in Germany, who now own the rights to the tradename 'Yankee' from Stanley. That's right the name "Yankee" was own by North Bros, then Stanley and now Schroeder

My Japanese JET SD-1300
Yankee No 130 size, takes regular Yankee bits.

Throughout the years, Goodell-Pratt , Millers-Falls and Greenlee all made similar models starting around 1920s. There were also models made for Sears (Millers-Falls) and Ward etc.


The 3 standard bits that came with them.

These three sizes models take different size (diameters) bits.
In addition ALL the other various models will fit one of these three sizes.
Sometimes the applicable models Nos are stamps on the bits but they can be hard to see.

5.5 mm 7/32 in ---- Nos 33, 35, 133, 135, 233
7 mm 9/32 in ---- Nos 30, 130
8 mm 5/16 in ---- Nos 31, 131

Some of my Yankee bits

Cross section inside the chuck showing how the bit engage the driving shaft and the ball detent securing the bit. It is released by pulling back on the spring loaded sleeve

Stanley discontinued production in 2007, tool and bits, but there are third party bits still being made. Spear & Jackson in the UK under the brand name Spiralux, Schroeder in Germany and another in Japan (maker unknown).
See this typical selection at Lee Valley 

You can also buy various makes of Yankee screwdrivers adapters to uses modern 1/4 hex bits. One problem with some of these adapters, is using a magnet alone to hold the bit is not sufficient, a No 131 has plenty of force in the quick return to flung the bit across the shop... This one from LV locks the bit which is then released by pulling back on the sleeve. Inexpensive and work great.
And of course they make them in all three appropriate sizes.

Yankee to 1/4 in Hex adapter from LV

The numbers of accessories and which ones included is also a clue that help us establish a probable time frame.


See this link.

STANLEY SHORT HISTORY with regard to international operations
Ref, Stanley Tools by John Walter, Stanley official site

When a fairly new Canadian firm, The Roxton Pond Tool & Mill company, offered to sell to Stanley it was an opportunity too big to pass up, as it opened the whole Canadian market and British Commonwealth. (tariff war is nothing new)
They completed negotiations in 1907 and the following year a team of Stanley Rule & Level Co went to Canada with several carloads of machinery reorganized the factory and train the workers. By 1920 the Roxton plant in Quebec, Canada was providing to the Canadian market almost the full line of Stanley tools.

By then The Stanley Works had grown into an international company supplying hardware and steel products to markets in Canada, Germany and England.
As exports grew in importance Stanley looked for overseas manufacturing sites in order to better compete in foreign markets.
When a German manufacturer of hinges and builders hardware offered to sell, the Stanley Works quickly accepted and by 1926 Stanley was operating its Velbert, Germany plant and began cost effective production and distribution to European customers.

In 1936-7 Stanley began hand tool manufacturing operations in Sheffield, England with the purchase of a controlling interest in J.A. Chapman Ltd. During the same time Stanley was forced to reconsider the future of its Velbert plant in Germany as that country radical nationalism was encouraging government appropriation of production facilities, especially companies of Non-German ownership. While the plant stay in operation until 1939, Stanley actually removed its full $600,000 value from their balance sheet in 1936 anticipating the loss of German goodwill.        

In the post WWII period, rapid expansion of foreign industries created unprecedented competition for Stanley. In response they restored the Velbert plant in Germany and now had operations in Canada, Germany and England and expanded manufacturing facilities in the USA.

In 1946 Stanley acquired North Brothers Manufacturing Co, makers of the famous Yankee brand tools.
in 1957 Stanley introduced a new line of economy home owner tools, the Handyman line. They acquired the rights to the trade name Handyman with the purchase of North Bros.

In 1963 Stanley formed a joint venture Stanley-Titan Pty Ltd for production of hand tools for the Australian market.
In the 60s-70s Stanley formed sales companies in France, Holland, Italy and New Zealand.
In 1970 Stanley-Titan acquired Turner Tools in Melbourne Australia.

In 1984 Stanley closed down the Stanley Co manufacturing plant in Roxton Pond Qc, which had been running since 1907. By then most hand tools production had been moved from the US and Canada to England.
In 1986 Stanley sold its South-African interest to local management.
In 1986 Stanley move into the pacific Rim with its acquisition of Taiwan based, Chiro Tools manufacturing corporation.
In 1991 Stanley negotiated a a joint venture agreement creating Stanley Tools Poland Ltd, for the manufacturing of carpenters tools. The new plant in Krakow, was the first for Stanley in Eastern Europe.

Between 2005-7 Stanley discontinued production of these Yankee tools and sent the tooling to Stanley Works, Japan.

The 'Yankee' name continued to be used by Stanley up until the early 2000s before they sold it to Schroeder tool company. To this day Schroeder of Germany continue to sell 'Yankee' brand push drill and screwdrivers


We should now have enough information in order to establish a probable time frame for his tools.

Gerhard's tools From L to R
(1) YANKEE NO 131A, Stanley Works (GB) Ltd Sheffield England
(2) YANKEE NO 1310, Germany, plastic handle
(3) YANKEE NO 131B, Germany, beech handle
(4) YANKEE NO 131A, Stanley Works (GB) Ltd Sheffield England
(5) YANKEE NO 131A, Stanley tools, 
(6) YANKEE NO 135, made in USA

And that would be our next post, I still need time to analyse the pictures he sent me...

Bob, the tool historian

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Mallets will set you free ...

...of all kinds of aches and injuries. But only when used correctly and when using the appropriate one for the task.

That's right! Using the palm of your hands to drive a chisel or gouge into wood by tapping on its handle, is a sure way to cause damages to your hands. You may not notice it since you are unlikely to break skin, but do it repetitively and nerves damages will occur.

Beating pieces of wood apart with your fist may not damage the wood, but it will make you sore.
Using the wrong weight of a mallet or hammer to do a task is fatiguing for your arm, and not holding the tool correctly on its handle will also tired you and your wrist.

I could go on with similar woes and injuries that you could developed, but all of these can easily be avoided by using the correct tool properly...

As with hammers, mallets come in a variety of sizes and head weight.
Lets look at a few and their usage, as they relate to woodworking operations.


These are the squarish beech mallet with a rectangular handle.

A Footprint  16 Oz and a Crown  10 Oz.

Easily made and an excellent shop project. The form, while being traditional, has all the required elements done with a specific purpose, you would be wise to respect them and not tamper with its form. Today's glue probably would let you get away with a laminate construction, but the solid head with a mortise is still the best IMHO.

The head, of a specific weight, has a rake on each ends (it is a double face striking tool). That is to allow the head to hit squarely since our arm swing in an arc. You may have notice on my two shown, that the angle is slightly different on both. That is because of the different length of the handle.

Some text books advocate tapering to meet the end of the handle, as in the smaller Crown, but what is more important is that the angle feel right for your arm swing. Some trial and error experimentation may be in order if you want to make your own. And don't go anal, it does not have to meet perfectly your swing.

The striking faces of the head are end grain for the most dent resistance, and the edges of the striking faces are beveled to avoid chipping. Do not skip these details.

The handle is tapered and fit into a similar tapered eye (mortise) in the head. While the head may get loose from time to time due to wood shrinkage, it cannot physically becomes separated (fly off the handle) while in use. Just hold the head and tap the end of the handle on your bench to tighten the head.

The rectangular form of the handle serves a distinct purpose.  Some don't like it and advocate rounding it off... Don't!
Its rectangular shape ensured that you hold the mallet in the correct orientation and hit squarely with the head. A slight bevel relief on the edges where your hand fit is all that is needed.
The bigger size, 16 Oz is one of my preferred tool to uses with my chisels.

My next favorite whacking tool on chisels is this one from Lee Valley

18 Oz cabinetmaker mallet 

You would not think that 2 Oz is going to make much of a difference, but it sure does. The combination of a brass head and its shape contribute to the heft and balance of this mallet, which if you know LV, the idea came from an antique in their collection.  Both faces are raked like the traditional carpenter mallet and have replaceable end grain wood plugs. This is the one I reach for the most for chiseling mortises.


Although uses primarily for carving with gouges,  you may find many uses for this one in your chisel work.

My shop made (by a friend) maple turned carver mallet.

Again, the shape has been refined thru the years, don't mess with it.
Its major characteristics are: The head cylinder is tapered (by now you should understand why)
Since the striking face are not end grain, they tend to get chew up in use.

The handle shape is peculiar, notice the bulge in the handle where your hand cradled it. Perhaps not so evident and sometimes missed is the all too important detail at the head and handle transition. More on this later.

So why the round head versus a square one for carpentry? Because in carving we are more concerned in watching the tool cutting edge progress than looking at the tool head when striking. The elongated rounded shape ensure we will hit the tool regardless of its orientation.  This reason alone is why some woodworker prefer this shape to the traditional carpenter style mallet. Myself I use both.
If you never uses one, give it a try and see how you like it. Again head weight varies, depending mostly on the wood species used, Lignum vitae was once the preferred material, but it is hard to find in suitable chunks now a day. Various exotic woods substitute are used. In a bid to prevent cracking and splitting some commercial ones comes with a thick waxy coating, and some advocate keeping it inside a plastic bag when not in use.

Mine was turned from a piece of maple firewood by a friend and I am only on my second one in more than 20 years. Now that I have a lathe, I will turn my next one.

Here is perhaps a little known better way (some circle would say the correct way) to hold this mallet, instead of using a full grip on the handle.

Not easy to hold while taking pics :-)

The grip I am talking about is wrapping your thumb and index finger loosely around the small depression where the handle meet the head. The remainders fingers can be wrapped around the handle shaft, but do not grip. In use simply let the mallet head swing within the confines of your circled fingers. These small resulting taps still pack a sufficient punch but best of all, will not tired your wrist as when using a regular grip around the handle. Easier to do than to write about, trust me! Give it a try.
You can see how that shape in the transition between handle and head meet is helping this grip. It must be smooth.

A recent take on this carver mallet is the uses of a polyurethane sleeve around the wooden head.

Same tapered shape as before, the small recess on the handle 
I was talking about is clearly visible in this one

Head shot showing the sizes differences.
The Shop Fox is 18 Oz, the maple one about 14 Oz.

The urethane sleeve idea is to give some cushioning effect on the tool head to better transmit the full force, since the contact is longer (no rebounce). Nice theory, but in uses some swear by them, while some swear at them.
Some claims that it is less fatiguing in uses. BUT any mallet will fatigued you quickly when improperly used...
Most often I will reach for my maple one, because that is what I learned carving with.

If you haven't figured it out yet, mallets are a very personal choice, uses the right one for your style and scale of work. Whichever one is not causing you undue fatigue, because it is more comfortable and fit your hands better, that is the one to use for you!

Another take on carver mallets are the brass journeyman styles.

Their small size and brass head pack quite a punch in a small package.
Not intended to be used by swinging by the handle but rather to be cradled in your hand.

Proper hold.
Pic from LV site.

In carving we are more intent on applying small localize force than whacking with greater force. Control is all this is about. You will also probably notice that stone carvers used similar shaped mallets, except of course that they are slightly larger, heavier.

DISASSEMBLY TOOLS and other means of persuasion

Other mallets comes in handy during glue ups and for taking things apart.
BUT these tools to be effective should not mar the surface.
Enter various forms of plastic and rubber mallets

A modern double faced one. Hard plastic removable insert on one face, 
softer rubber on the other. Some prefer this form for chisels works, I don't.

An antique hardwood one. A smaller version of 
the Whack-A-Mole circus version :-)

A modern No bounce hard rubber one.
The head has lead shot inside to make this no rebounce 
effect possible. It also leave ugly black marks on your wood :-(

Dead blow Unicast 2 lbs.
The whitish residues on it are from the plasticiser, 
which means the rubber is hardening. That one is 18 years old.
Chris Schwarz call them clown hammer for using on chisels :-)

And rounding up our mallets, a brass one is handy when you don't want to damaged the metal parts you are striking. Brass being rather soft, it will damages and mushroom over time. A quick work with a file will take care of that.
If yours is made of Beryllium CAREFUL don't do that, the filings and dust are very toxic !

Beryllium is non sparking and non magnetic, hence why we used them in the military.  You should keep them out of your shop, not worth the risks...

My day to day Whack-A-Mole collection 
of mallets in its rack.

Kid playing Whack-A-Mole.
Photo credit Emil Ovenar, Flickr creative

Bob, who suddenly has an urge to whack something :-)