From the Horse’s Mouth: Tech Review of the Karl Bolt

The Karl Bolt (as I’ll dub it for the sake of the article,) is the least complicated and most “4 years ago” mallet mounting system in this multi-installment review.  I’m going to go over the materials needed, tools needed, and a quick how-to; along with my opinions on the system.  Let’s get started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Materials needed:

That one is pretty simple and straight forward.  You need a sturdy screw, preferably around 2.5-3”.  Done.

Tools:
A drill with a small bit to drill a pilot hole, and a Phillips head bit or screwdriver.  Possibly a hacksaw as well.

We’ll shortly get into the install, but first, a disclaimer: since all mounting systems require you to drill a hole for your mallet shaft and insert it into the head, I’m not going to cover that every time.  See my video if you have questions about that.  The Fixcraft Fix-Nut system is the only system that varies from this, so pay attention when I review that.

Install How-To:
With your top and bottom holes drilled in your mallet head, and your shaft inserted snugly, you simply drill a pilot hole near the top (shaft/handle side) of the head. What I aim to do is have the screw contact as much material as possible, with as little flowing screw place as possible. Once the pilot hole is drilled, use the Phillips bit to drive the screw through the head, shaft, and back through the other side of the head. If there is excess screw sticking out, cut or grind it off. Done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opinions:

I recently used this system on my go-to mallet at the Carolina Classic Hoedown.  A few of our club members use this system exclusively.  I can honestly say it is worth trying. The pure simplicity of it is attractive, and the minimal to zero cost is also attractive, especially if you’re already spending 30+ on a mallet build.  The head is held fast and snug, and even after repeated abuse it doesn’t loosen or move.

The only con of this system that I’ve seen is if you use a weak or short screw, eventually it will bend, and you may get some movement. In which case you unscrew it, put in a fresh screw, and you’re good to go.

There’s not much to say about this really. It’s the oldest method in the book, just modified slightly by placing the screw higher on the head to contact more material and resist failure.

Rating:

Overall, while I normally love things that are trick and fancy, I have to give this system 4 out of 5  NAH balls.  It loses  a ball because of bent screws after a while.  Try it out.

 

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