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Variable flex poulting mallet

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Those of you who've ever tried to lay a traditional English hedge-and-wicket will know that you need at least two different poulting mallets, unless you want either (a) skinned knuckles andor (b) uneven wicket-lays. At the minimum, you need a whippy, flexible one for the hurdles and a stiffer one for dead-laying the mains.

But, poulting mallets are bulky and awkward to carry around, and two of them are doubly so.

So.

MaxCo. Tool and Die (inc.) is proud to announce the launch of the VariFlex Poulting Mallet. The flexible, tubular polypropylene shaft of the mallet contains a strip of spring- steel, as wide as the internal diameter of the shaft. The end-cap of the shaft can be rotated, so that the steel strip lies either parallel or orthogonal to the direction in which the mallet is swung.

When turned parallel to the direction of swing, the steel strip gives the shaft just the right stiffness for dead- laying. When rotated 90 degrees, the same strip gives the shaft the cheeky whippiness for hurdle-driving.

The rotating cap of the shaft, of course, still contains a holder for storing spare crowthers, corks and the other paraphernalia that hedge-and-wicket layers seem to consider indispensible.

(Note: this is obviously no use in Norfolk, where they use heavier or lighter mallet heads instead; but to be honest they've always been a bit weird in Norfolk, and they can sort their own problems out.)

MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 10 2012

Seems familiar http://www.vivarchi...cles/playscript.htm
[Phrontistery, Jul 12 2012]

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       //two tick marks on the shaft. //   

       Not a bad idea - mind if we adopt it?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 10 2012
  

       There's a special tool for that.
Alterother, Jul 10 2012
  

       Tsh boom.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 10 2012
  

       Hmm… Seems like this design would make it tricky to maintain a sufficiently thick layer of flenting wax. I suppose one could do without, but it hardly seems dignified to give it up for the sake of mere convenience.   

       //storing spare crowthers//   

       If you have a spare crowther, why not just get him to hold your second mallet?
ytk, Jul 12 2012
  

       //If you have a spare crowther, why not just get him to hold your second mallet?//   

       Ah, I see the error here. You're thinking of a crowther, in the sense of a player of the Welsh crwth. Understandable error, but a crowther in this context is the little plaited twist of willow bark used to splint the wicket-lay to the warp hurdle.   

       (There may, after all, be some connection between the two etymologies, since the arrangement of branches in a well-made run of hedge-and-wicket can resemble a series of crwths standing upright. Also, the traditional way to test the quality of the lay is to pluck the crowthers, which should be taut.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 12 2012
  

       Ah, I'd always wondered what those were for! Some sort of musical instrument, then? I'd figured they were used to attract cats during the mating cycle.   

       As for the splint, I'd always heard them called "Dutch teeth" or just "Dutchies", but I suspect that's a term regional to Wilkes- Barre, which is one of the few remaining regions in the United States where the old method has survived the trans- Atlantic journey intact. Most places, you can't even get traditional wickets anymore—just the self-looping sort, which obviates the need for a crowther.
ytk, Jul 12 2012
  

       //I'd always heard them called "Dutch teeth"//   

       Interesting. They used to be called "German Notches" in some parts of East Anglia, but any German-related names were dropped during WWI or WWII (eg, "German shepherds" became "Alsatians"). Perhaps the "Dutch" in the American term is actually "Deutsch" (as with "Pennsylvania Dutch")?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 12 2012
  
      
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