Miserable Marimba Mallets

August 28, 2012


One thing that I am terrible at, and therefore hate, is upkeep. I am mad about the camera that I broke because now I have to buy one to replace it. (It’s different when I want to buy one.) I kill plants because they require regular watering. (It’s a miracle the cats are all still alive.) The very wallpaper that I replaced in my classroom has already been picked at.

I seethe. Now I have to do that dumb job again.

Which brings me to mallets. We have a big outdoor marimba on the playground that cost a whopping $2,500, and have gone through endless, endless mallets for it – often purchased by me out-of-pocket.

We break them.

It is so frustrating. We’ve had mallets with plastic handles but the handles get bent. We have mallets with wooden handles and the handles get broken. Regardless of the kind of handle, the knobbie thing at the top comes off and gets lost. It makes me crazy.

After the last mallet was broken (we learned to only have one at a time, instead of the four that the storage area can hold), I just let there be a time of No Mallets, and didn’t open the marimba. The good mallets cost $24 for a pair that won’t dent the marimba, and I wasn’t doing it again.

But then I had an idea. How about buying a pair of $9 mallets (that are really too hard to use on wood), and dipping them in that stuff you dip tool handles in? It would make the mallet softer – like the more expensive pair, and also ‘glue’ the head to the stick. It was worth a try.


Ok! One dip, let them rest in the ultra-fancy holder:

I guess we know where Lloyd's secret cereal went.

Time for the second dip – dang it!! I held both mallets in one hand and let them touch!! Dang it!!

They look like tootsie pops.

Ok, wipe it off and start over.
Dip, dip, dip.
Dry, dry, dry.

Success! They lasted pretty well. Not too hard to dent the marimba, and the head stayed intact.

Ummmmm…. I forgot about the wooden handle. A 3-year-old grabbed the handle while it was dangling in the holder and pulled.

Dang it!!!!

At least it broke under the plastic.


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5 Responses to “Miserable Marimba Mallets”

  1. Gretchen Said on:

    Those really look like Cake Pops (www.bakerella.com) If I had wandered into your kitchen I might have had a big surprise….


  2. Brad Said on:

    I’ve always wanted to experiment with that stuff. It looks like it was holding out pretty well until the handle broke.


  3. Peggy Said on:

    Lauren YOU. ARE. A. GENNIUS!!

    And are you sure it’s just the little kids that are breaking the mallets?


    And now I want a Tootsie Pop.


  4. michelle Said on:

    Make a trip to your local craft store. What about wood beads, alder wood beads, and glue them onto some dowels? Would the wood not hurt the instrument? What is the wood on the


  5. Jane Sommerer Said on:

    How about dipping the handles to? Thankless job but would it keep them from breaking? wish I was a kid there. I would have fun.


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