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attaching the mallet head to the pole

What methods are folks using these days? I used two screws for awhile but now i'm using the t-nuts.

Road brake female caliper nut + disc brake adapter bolt =


This makes it easier to replace heads.

I'd love to see a method that doesn't involve drilling through the ski pole, the end of my poles is always when the hole gets enlarged. Plus it weakens the pole.

One our players doesn't use a bolt. He just drilled holes in both bottom and top sides of the head just big enough for the small end of the taper to fit through and just wedged it in there.
Sucker doesn't move.

awlawall wrote:

One our players doesn't use a bolt. He just drilled holes in both bottom and top sides of the head just big enough for the small end of the taper to fit through and just wedged it in there.
Sucker doesn't move.

At least for me, this eventually fails. Someone will knock it loose. I tried epoxy the other day, but it is too frail, they have other glues at Home Depot, but I've only tried epoxy. I eventually gave up and just put bolts in everything, much more sturdy. And no one here knows the difference.

I agree, that method failed for me to so I developed a different system utilizing 1/4 inch "all-thread" and 1/4 inch "Nylock" nuts, the difference is I placed the Nylocks on the inside so the hardware doesn't protrude on the outside of the head.

I utilized the taper of the Milwaukee shafts and under drilled the diameter and when forcing the shaft it enlarges somewhat and gives a perfect fit. I drilled the shaft once I had the shaft inserted almost perfect, the all-thread was kept long (wild) until I had (with some fiddling and work with a wrench) placed the Nylocks just perfect to force everything tight.

The all-thread is somewhat smaller than the hole drilled in the aluminum shaft so it self taps its own hole, any damage to the all thread is on the outside so it is cut off anyway. the all thread also threads its self through the small holes in the mallet head as well

I used a dremel tool to cut off the excess all-thread and shaft end and made it all smooth,

It is a very clean very strong method so far. I used the Milwaukee shafts and the red pipe they sell and the result rocks.

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Since this is Hawaii no one seems to care about the cutouts on this particular mallet, they fit the ball perfectly, but since the shot only counts from the end of the mallet I suppose there is no advantage.

Please do tell how you get those perfect cutouts. I find they help ball handling. In SF we call it the mullet cut and many people have something similar. Everyone seems to do it differently. Just last weekend I cut some heads with a 2" door hole bit, ovalized with a grinding bit. It's pretty rough looking. Another guy does his with a jigsaw and gets a really nice cut. The tools are not the only difference between us: he's a pro and I'm a hack.

I first "layed out" the exact center of the cutouts I wanted. Then I marked them with a sharpie and used a paper template to get about a 2" circle, then I cut the rough shape out with a dremmel and a small saw blade. It is still rough but I used a grinding/sanding drum to smooth it, it still didn't look right nor did it fit the ball, so I carefully used the ball as a guide and ground the cutouts to fit it , the cutouts become oval when they are shaped properly to really cup the ball

I used a sharp small knife to "Whittle" a bit to get the ball to sit in the cutout without any light showing. took a little while but you can seriously trap the ball and ride like hell down the court with this setup.

I think the type of plastic used helps a lot especially this red pipe, easy to carve, isnt brittle at all, wears fast tho=)

Wow. Well executed, but I don't see side-jointing as being any more useful than ball-jointing, where at least you have the advantages of downward pressure to help you keep the ball and not make your mallet so weak with cut-outs.

Also: Sardaukar? Really? If I see you in a tournament, I am totally changing my team name to Fedaykin.


Oh. You were slow and careful. I have problems with that sometimes.

Sardaukar: Consider attaching your pole at an 80 degree angle to the shaft.

I quit cutting pipe with a dremmel because it melts and gums.

Oh yeah, the "side joint" really is just a waste of time like Lucky said. The ball control benefit is mere fancy. Play on with your square pipe mallets.

Hmm I use a 30,000 rpm dremel with a fresh coarse sanding drum and the material doesn't melt it comes off like coarse sawdust, quite messy. Maybe the red pipe is better for such work=)

Side Jointing seems to work fine if you get a nice long run, I still have to release the ball and actually shoot it tho=)

Sardaukar wrote:

I still have to release the ball and actually shoot it tho=)

I call bullshit. You need to pass before you can shoot it.

Side jointing is the same as balljointinng, just because you are using a hole you cut in the side of the mallet instead of the end, doesn't make it any different.

There is variation across cities. Some cities/people do lots of bj-release-shoot. They will probably continue until they start playing in larger tourneys where it's not allowed.

Side jointing is a little different. It can be. Depends on the player. There are subtleties to no-bj rule (idea) that aren't clear to me. For example, can you ball joint it out of a corner and then shoot? Can you scoop to yourself and then shoot? Does any bj mean the player must pass?

I like the prohibition against bj-release-and-shoot. The bj-pass requirement is a little odd for me. If rigidly implemented it means you don't need to take the ball off someone who has balljointed, they are no longer a score threat. You should let them do whatever they want and put extra coverage on the (forced) pass. Then you have someone balljointing around the court undisturbed, struggling to make the mandatory pass. I don't think anyone is doing this but that's how I would interpret a bj-must-pass rule.

I agree with the bottom paragraph and way too much bj-ing goes down on the hawaii courts and needless to say no solid reffing of the pickup games to call a bj shot nor do I feel that all players have a solid understanding of the rules despite the fact the the hawaii blog outlines pretty verbatim NYC rules

"I call bullshit. You need to pass before you can shoot it."



x3 but we should take this conversation here http://leagueofbikepolo.com/forum/rules/2008/08/19/ball-dragging and save hi jacking the purpose of this thread - OK?

sweet as cuzzy-bro. (good call)


This is Hawaii, we don't have any leagues, or even teams, just a few dozen guys having fun playing bike polo. We aren't pretentious and we aren't trying to tell anyone how to play, and I am just passing on what I have found out and done here in Honolulu.

So... we don't NEED to do anything, We have simple rules Body/Body, Bike/Bike, Mallet/Mallet contact is OK, dab and you have to tap out, and finally the ball has to come off the end of the mallet to count as a goal.

Maybe someday when we catch up to the rest of the world we can implement a few dozen more rules to make it more FUN!

You might be interested in the term "side jointing" and the thread on mallet heads that trap the ball... Personally I reckon you've hit on a sweet solution.


if you just use a wood screw, it never moves and the hole that you screw into the pole does not widen and get loose or break-

Fuck off

Ben? I think the method your using is worth mentioning.

will post soon.

Questions? Drop 'em here. Thanks to Thick Bikes and Alex in Pittsburgh.




What's the T cross section made of... just small diameter alum rod?

5/16 aluminum rod, drilled and tapped. 5mm bolts.

Nice set-up! I've been contemplating something similar for awhile, just a bit different. Now that I've seen yours, I'm going to give it a go.

at what distace from the head do you make the hole in the ski pole?
I imagine that if too less, the screws pulling the rod could rip the ski pole and
if too much you are stressing the screws
also is not the ski pole cutting the head over time? or is this red pipe HDPE?
do you have any rattle between the haed and the pole overtime?

Zaragoza Bike Polo 2015
Berlin Bike Polo 2010 - 2015
London Bike Polo 2008 - 2010

I like this method it looks clean and solid next mallet im trying this

I use a flat screw with no bolt. I only drill a hole in one side and simply force it through the other and it "fuses" with the material. Then I just hack off the excess flush to the head. And since I use a tapered head (http://www.mcmaster.com/param/images/machine/91771a542.gif) there's little in the way of exposed hardware.
I was cutting the head off as well but this made re-heading mallets more difficult.

could be have picture of this set up, please?

Zaragoza Bike Polo 2015
Berlin Bike Polo 2010 - 2015
London Bike Polo 2008 - 2010

I use a single deck screw through one side of the head & both walls of the pole, in combination with the press-fit method of head installation (using the ski pole's taper). This lasts for a surprisingly long time!

the j is for jesse
Troy, NY: 2008 - 2010
Seattle, WA: 2010 - 2013
Austin, TX? polo!???

exactly, simple, effective.
I actually take the rubber mallet and give the bottom a good hit, just enough to put a slight bend in the screw. It'll never work it's way out.
I've made dozens of mallets this way and very few have problems.

....... __o
.... ( )/( ) \o

dc mike gave me this idea and i was all about it at first, as it weighs less and seemed strong enough. i press fit the living shit out of it: drilled a hole that was smaller than the ski pole, filed the paint off the tip of the ski pole and 'sharpened' it a bit, then hammered it on (putting a bolt in the top of the ski pole, wedging the head in a corner, and hammering it from the top of the pole), then took a piece of the tip of the pole that i cut off earlier, turned it around, and hammered it back into the pole (spreading it). the end result is a fit so tight it warped the pipe where the ski pole plugs in; seemed bomb proof.

the problem i had with this, and another mallet made in the same way, was that the screw just doesn't hold the head in place. it rides up the mallet. it's not the end of the world, just annoying when taking certain shots as it scrapes and shit. sometimes it helps to have a little bit of the pole sticking out, it grips the ground pretty well. still kind of annoying though..

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From the picture it looks like you're not coming in at a steep enough angle with the screw so there's no radial force holding the mallet head in place. Try moving the insertion point of the screw to either 11 or 1 o'clock.

Also, try this, get 9/16ths and 1/2 spade drill bits. Find the centers where the pole will go through (I use a paper template) and drill the pilot hole. On one side drill a 9/16ths on the other drill a 1/2. Then force fit, mark, cut and screw like you'd normally do... I use a 2.5" almost all thread deck screw and cut the remaining off with a pair of dikes. I've used this method with three MKE poles (they work with the bore diameters I gave you) and at least 20 other random ski poles. Out of all those, I've had two heads creep up like you're talking about, and they both had screw angles like the one in your pic.

I don't know for sure if it'll solve your problem, but try it out.

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i'll try to increase the angle with my next mallet, the reason i haven't done that yet is because it's more of a pain to drill and it has more risk on snapping the bit. i would try your 9/16ths 1/2 thing but i think i utilize more of the taper than it sounds like you do. anyway, i use 1.5" zinc screws used for metal fastening, just about pokes through the other side of the ski pole with 2" inner diameter pipe. i might try something else besides zinc screws with my next mallet. they spark, which i enjoy, but seem kind of brittle. i've had a few snap or bend, further allowing the head to ride up.

here was my quick fix to keep the head down, i've played with it once and it feels like it snugged up the connection between the head and shaft. we'll see if it lasts:

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you need longer screws, man. you need it to go all the way through, i'm pretty sure that's going to solve your problem.

i'm going to build a couple new mallets tomorrow and i'll make a step by step. broken bits were a problem until I figured a way around it.

back to mallet making and i looked our discussion up. how did you figure out how to not bust bits?

I use this same method but my heads rarely move. I can (but I don't) play them with no screw. Just hammer the piss out of them. Maybe it is different because I use ABS. How were you breaking bits?

jfawls wrote:

dc mike gave me this idea and i was all about it at first...

the problem i had with this...

you're doing it wrong joe.

posted this about four months ago. your comments are like your defense, too little too late chump

anyone using expanding anchor bolt like this?

interesting idea, but i think you'll rip the plastic apart in the first game. the abs that it looks like your using just isn't strong enough to withstand the force put on it by the ball.

well it's not mine
found this method on Japanese polo player's blog linked above.
sure ABS head will be ripped pretty soon,
but it looks clean and easy to attach in this way
dunno if it can keep head angle though..

i've seen that method used on solid rod that had the poll inset halfway into the head.


I'm intrigued by this idea....

One bolt right through! Why is this such a hard concept to understand. Why change the most convenient way to mount a head?

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...

why change your profile picture after so long. i like your laid back madison response to my west coast bravado

now THAT was funny

Okay catfish, I'm going to move my mouth like this...


I made one very similar to this (using this picture) and it very light but not durable at all. Get the head run over once and everything starts to fall apart. It's also quite a pain in the ass to build this took a few hours getting all the measurements right.

What once was an attempt at innovation is now lawltastic. Things changed so quickly, here we are approaching the mallet singularity

Also, LOL.

If you aren't sinning, Jesus died for nothing.

Does anyone else just use an extra long screw and cut both ends off?? That's what i use on half my mallets and i have yet to encounter a problem. Sure you can't re-tighten it, but once it's in place it ain't commin out til you destroy the thing...

Thats how mine is. I even use a small touch of jb weld when i make the final bolt once its dry i cut the bolt.

I use a 3" 1/4 20 set set screw right through the middle. Drill it out with a #7 drill bit and then tread the hole with a 1/4 20 tap. screw the set screw in all the way and cut/file the remainder. Then back it out, put a little epoxy on the threads and screw back in. This way you don't have any parts of the bolt on the outside of the mallet head. It holds quite strong since the threads are locked into the threaded plastic. I haven't had any problems yet but the only thing i could see being an issue is if you have very thin mallet material or if you are an excessively hard hitting player. This might result in the mallet material deforming and not holding the threads. If that were to happen I would recommend using cabinet connector bolts. Then you have a bolt head holding on to either side of the mallet. one end is male and one female and they screw together in the middle. Either of these options allows you to easily remove the bolt for replacing the shaft or head. I would recommend using a little loctite on the threads if you use the cabinet connector bolts

One bolt, one nut.
To Get the nut flat I thread it onto a bolt with the head cut off and drop it into the de-handled pole, then drop more bolts in.
Then I dump all the bolts out and unscrew the "bastard bolt".
Leaving a nice snug nut.

I then drill the correct bolt size and counter sink the hole enough that the bolt head won't stick out too much.

To ensure that any pole is usable with any head I have a "template head" that has either a 3/8 hole or 1/2 hole and holes on the other side that I can stick the pole in until the taper stops the pole and I mark a few millimeters on the inside up the pole on the "cut-off" end. I hope that makes sense.


now that is a simple and elegant solution. i'm going to try this method on my next mallet.

carve. smash. eat shit.

Does the ski polo come through the top of the mallet head, or does it rest on top of the head, and only the bolt penetrates?

If it's the former, I like it. Even though the hardware doesn't prevent the head from twisting on the pole like a cross-bolt does, it's still an elegant solution.


the pole goes all the way into the head to where the bolt comes through the bottom. If you twist tight enough nothing will come loose and you can retighten quickly if it does. I don't get credit for the concept, just the refinement.... My friend George was using a heat gun to deform the head to where the bolt head didn't stick out of the bottom and a magnet to lodge the nut into the taper, and as quick as I go through heads I needed something quicker.


btw I used weedeater line inserted into small holes I drilled into the shaft its really good stuff.


wait... what do you do with weed eater line? pic?

carve. smash. eat shit.

It's what I use to wrap the handle with, not the hockey tape, the ridges.
And, after repeated hard usage I suggest using a coin sized scrap of pipe put into the inside between the shaft and the head because it does carve out a hole like a cookie cutter. It's a design I'm still working on stay tuned.


This looks pretty rad.

Ever try sourcing aluminum nut+bolts? I'd guess the (relatively heavy metal) cookie cutter does tear up the pole pretty well. Not that an aluminum one wouldn't - but could make you think twice before over tightening tings.

Also - replying upstream a bit - if you've cut off both ends of a screw or bolt and want to save the shaft you might be able to hacksaw in a slot for a standard screw driver.

Credo quia absurdum

beer bottle cap between shaft and head. problem solved. And, if we all have something in common, it's that a source of bottle caps is always readily available.


if the red = ABS
the black= Pole
grey = bolts
and brown = UHMWPE

i hollow out the UHMWPE so there is about half and inch on either side of the vertical hole for the pole, insert the UHMWPE inside the ABS, then drill for the pole. i insert the pole the drill two holes through the ABS, UHMWPE, and the pole (designated by the two grey circles) then i use a long bit to go through hollowed out UHMWPE and through the pole, then use a bolt to fasten there.

this makes for a very strong, albeit slightly heavier mallet.

I diagram that needs it's own key is too complex for attaching a mallet head.

if i could have taken a photo it wouldn't need a key but i didn't have access to it.

I've had such great luck with a super tight press-fit pole into the head and a bolt all the way though with a nut on the end. I can't think of a reason to improve on it.

all this is really does is add an additional bolt through the z axis and two through the x instead of one. most of mine are just press fit pole with x axis bolt

though i guess i could add some holes to reduce the weight...

pole all the way through the head and a wood screw always works for me! never ever comes loose and the smaller screw never ovals out or splits the pole like the bigger screws do!

Fuck off

I am new to polo but but I have made a few things in my time. This is a variation of a French method that I saw in a video. It uses barrel nuts counter sunk in to the gas pipe toped off with a little thread lock. You guys are so creative, I will be trying some of your designs in the future. If I go into mass production I might get a reamer for the pipe to get the ski pole to fit good fast.

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One day bike polo will be as big as any other sport.

I bought a reamer, best investment for building mallets. it makes it super easy to create a nice tight fit between the shaft and the head, which is key for the longevity of a mallet.

Ah ha, so a reamer does work. Can you please tell me what size you bought? Do you drill a hole through both sides at once and then just make each side bigger with the reamer as you need to?

One day bike polo will be as big as any other sport.

just like the single bolt in the bottom from otera above, one of the mallets that i cut down recently had a thicker aluminum down near the bottom of the pole, i wonder if it would be possible to drill and tap that to accept a bolt and you wouldn't have to deal with dropping a hex nut down the length of the ski pole.

hopefully all my polo material will get here in a few days and i will try to post a picture so its not as confusing. i hope..

After reading all this before a new mallet building Saturday, I decided to try the nut-inside-the-pole option with a few modifications.

I got a length of threaded rod with a nyloc nut on the end and dropped this down the pole to ensure the nut was wedged well.
Didn't like the idea of just letting a tight fit on the wedge deal with the head twisting so I filed 4 teeth into the end of the pole.

Then I drilled the head only on one side so that the teeth bite into the hdpe held under pressure by the bolt which I countersunk.
The fit is very tight and the teeth grip well into the pipe.

Will update on how it goes.


London / Melburn

Clearly best way to attach the pole for me... Thanks to this thread!

uolmo wrote:

Clearly best way to attach the pole for me... Thanks to this thread!

x 2

I also use and like this system!

I make a lot of mallets for my MTL crew and I've been using this technique, (see also post #54 above) with only one alteration being wedging the nut closer to the bottom of the pole (so I can use a shorter bolt). Works very well. I have just discovered another "improvement" since we received our bulk pole order from Fixcraft. I found I could tap a 1/4-20 thread into the narrow end of the Fixcraft poles. It's not a perfect fit, a 1/4-20 wants a 13/64" hole and the poles are somewhere between that and just under 15/64". But, after cutting the thread, a 1" countersunk bolt is all I need for fixing a head to a pole. We've just started using them but so far so good. Maybe the Milwaukee poles could be made up this way too?

Our courts have an "aggressive" surface which wears our our ABS quite quickly. Easy head change over is nice.

NickD whipped up these mallet templates for easy drilling.

It makes adding drillium/speed holes really easy too. As you can easily mark symmetrical points to drill out.

Cut the template to the length of mallet you have tape down and wrap the head with the template.

Two templates right now for 2 1/4" OD and 2 3/8" OD. Nick can make other ODs on request.

mallet template 2.375 OD.pdf11.37 KB
mallet template - 2.25 OD.pdf21.88 KB

Easy and nice.

El Vaquilla hubiese jugado Bike Polo.

Mallet drilling template

Just like that.

Here is some new hardware Plowdozer showed me how to use.

Hardware used to make this mallet:
Hex Drive Threaded Insert
Flat Hex Bolt
Half Moon Brake Washer
Plastic washer (size variable)

The half moon washer does wonders for the rotational stiffness of this mallet.

Find a plastic washer or washers that fit tightly against the half moon and the hex drive insert.

The half moon washer seems a good addition. I've been using these flanged nuts for a while, a good way to simplify and lose mallet head weight (unless you're a wood screw fan). The size I use means I don't need spacers for the nut to reach the pole. It also helps that I need such things for "home renovation" or "artwork", hence the "need" to buy them in 100's.

I get them from here


Trapped nut down pole for counter sunk bolt from bottom, FYI.

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Just built a new one today. Tried to incorporate a couple ideas I had rolling around in my head.
I used 1/4" thick 2" UHMW Pipe for the Mallet head, and 1/2" Steel Conduit for the Shaft.
I stuffed a dowel inside the end, and a second cabinet making dowel through the shaft making a "T".
I cut a grove into the top of the mallet to sit the dowel.
Then I could counter sink a 2" Connector Screw (allan head) from the bottom. As the Connector Screw tightens, the mallet becomes wedged between the "T" dowel and the Connector Screw. This also allows for a flush mount application.

The head does not move and it allows all sorts of relief cutouts. I'm going to try the side cutout. So far have great control of the ball, it seems to stick right on the head!

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That is one sexy mallet

Winston Salem NC Bike Polo

great idea but looks quite heavy though (thick walls, steel shaft)...

That mallet is super heavy. My mallet has been ripped from my hand by that mallet on more than one occasion.

We started using the nut wedged in the end/teeth filed into & attatched with the one countersunk bolt...it's awesome strong.

It's a good system, we've been using it. Makes head replacement really easy. Did you find like we did that a few big teeth are better than a lot of small ones? I also found that I can cut a 1/4-20 thread into a fixcraft pole (one of the originals, I don't know the inside dia. of their new range). It's not exactly the correct hole size but it's only 1/64 larger. File in a few teeth add one countersunk bolt and we're away laughing.

3/16 " Threaded Rod. Why fuck with a tried and true winner?

Can you elaborate on this? Is this like a long bolt with no head? how are ya using it?


wood screw through pvc in golf club.

carve. smash. eat shit.


heh... nola my ass!

carve. smash. eat shit.

so i have a question. i usually attach my mallet using the coupler system with the bolt going through the bottom of the head and into the pole. my problem is that i'm an idiot and have cut the pole too short a few times making it impossible to use this system.

is there a technique you use to make sure you don't cut the pole too short?

Yes, put the nut in, and pull it tight, before you cut (some poles you have to cut down a tiny bit to get the threaded rod through).

yo if you cut it to short, just shim it with a alum can!

"rubber side down boys"

ApocalypseMaow wrote:

yo if you cut it to short, just shim it with a alum can!

doesn't work.

Mine's going two months strong.
So how does this not work...

"rubber side down boys"

ApocalypseMaow wrote:

Mine's going two months strong.
So how does this not work...

not playing hard enough i guess.

I personally prefer to take a hammer to the shaft near where the bolt would sit and pinch the pole a bit. It's worked pretty well for the past 3 months.

1. wedge the bolt
2. take a thin rod (stick, dowel, etc) and insert it in from the bottom
3. make a mark on the rod for how deep the bolt is when you can feel it touch
4. lay the rod next to the pole and mark the side of the pole
5. cut (leave the bolt a little ways to slip depending on how long your bolt is)

1) Cook it.
2) Cut it.
3) Measure it.
4) Bag it.
5) Sell it.

Nice way JOL!!

Been working on this for quite some time and it's finally ready.

The 1bolt system from Perro del Mallet.

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*Somebody please think of the children!!*

6 gram (alu bolt)
Coupler kit 10 gram (inox)

We, producer of [boon] mallet heads (www.facebook.com/boon.mallet.heads) decided to keep it simple and strong.Here is the way we do it...

  • the grinded shaft is ready pulled between the two paths