We wanted to share some more details on the connect system for folks who ordered them and those who have no clue why this is such a big project.
For those who got the complete mallet kit or the shaft plus connect, you will have the easiest time of anyone putting your mallets together. It really is as simple as putting the shaft and cleat in place, and tightening it down. Anyone who has had mallet making parties, or screwed up a $15 shaft before will find a real zen quality to having a modular mallet building experience. We recommend putting the shaft through the mallet head almost to the other side, then insert the cleat as your mallet is head side up. Once the holes align, insert the bolt and hand tighten it. Don’t use a drill gun or get all crazy. As soon as it’s flush, you are done.
One of the cooler features folks who have used the connect system are excited about, is how they didn’t expect the bottom of their mallet to be so flush. There is actually a reason for that. The bottom of the cleat is countersunk so that the plastic of the mallet head pushes up into the cleat. This forms a tight fit, and the bottom of your mallet stays nice and straight with no crazy bulges. That being said, do NOT countersink your mallet head before assembly. There will not be enough plastic holding your mallet head in place. If you are using a Fixcraft brand head, just put it together. If you are using pipe or any other brand head, just drill the holes and put it together, DON’T countersink them.
The Connect system is unbelievably light. The cleat is only 3.5 grams and the bolt is only 1.5 grams. At a combined weight of 5 grams it’s less than half the weight of it’s closest competitor. Both the Cleat and the bolt were custom cnc machined for Hardcourt. The bolt is made out of high strength 7075 T6 aluminum, the same material as all Fixcraft shafts. The cleat is made out of 6061 aluminum. The reason for the different material is we needed the cleat to have a little give since the shape of your mallet head changes over time. Long time use shows that the cleat may or may not take on a concave shape. This is normal if it does, and it’ll work on the next head you got lined up just fine as is. You can also tap it flat if you are so inclined.
Testing on the 7075 T6 bolt showed us a couple things. The first was that our tests were so far out into the limits of abuse that we’re confident there will be no stripping or breaking issues. The second was that the bolt will push through the mallet head well before you reach any danger zone. There really isn’t a lot of pressure built up on the head due to the unique convex design of the cleat. You simply tighten it till the bolt head sits flush and you are good.
It’s important to understand that the connect system is designed to be used over and over. It is NOT meant to be a disposable product. For those of you using the connect with a Fixcraft pole, you are set. For those of you who prefer to use ski poles or some other brand, we got you covered too. To connect the cleat with your own non-Fixcraft brand pole you have to have 2 things.
1. have a drop nut that takes 6m threaded bolts. The Retro-fit pack we offer comes with the super slim fixnut but any 6m threaded nut will do.
2. file a 4mm notch to fit the cleat.
We designed the notch for the cleat to fit a standard 4mm file. We were serious about having a non-proprietary system and think that this is the key to have a truly successful product. We hope the new connect system works as well for you as it has us, and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Thanks! - Fixcraft Team