Poor Man's Tools #6: The Other Mallet

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Blog entry by handsawgeek posted 03-16-2015 01:17 PM 1608 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Turning Accessory Part 6 of Poor Man's Tools series no next part

Venkman: “Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole through your head, remember that?”

Egon: “That would’ve worked if you didn’t stop me!” -from Ghostbusters

A few posts back, I wrote about an old well-used mallet that I had purchased at a yard sale. This reminded me of the other mallet that graces the handsawgeek workshop with its presence.

This wonderful work of art dates back to the early 1990’s and represents my first neophyte attempt at producing a shop-made tool. Since I knew next to nothing about hand tool woodworking at the time, this mallet is downright primitive.

I still scratch my head over why I bothered to build it in the first place…at the time I was a power tool guy who didn’t even own a chisel or a carving tool. Neither was it fashioned to allow me to assemble any fancy joinery… It was ‘butt-joint, glue & screw’ all the way.

Perhaps it was merely a hint of things that were yet to come to pass.

The business end of the mallet is made from some un-identified large chunk of wood I had hanging around at the time, I believe it might be Doug fir. Whatever the wood, it is too light for a proper mallet.

The hole in the head (of the mallet, of course) was made using an electric drill and a spade bit.

The handle is a piece of oak dowel with a couple of decorative embellishments on the end. At least I had enough sense to kerf and wedge it into the head piece.

As a nice added feature, the striking faces are decorated with numerous dents and divots.

These were put there by my young daughters, who discovered that the tool made a splendid hammer for pounding nails.

At the time, I was irritated by this, but now these defects only make me smile when I remember the quality time spent in the garage with the kiddoes!

Despite its glaring shortcomings in design and construction, this is still my go-to mallet, and has been a part of the construction of many a handsawgeek project.

-- Ed

3 comments so far

View ruddhess's profile


117 posts in 2021 days

#1 posted 03-16-2015 04:39 PM

I like it! It is unique and “speaks” of it’s unique origins!

-- Rodney, Arkansas

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 2206 days

#2 posted 03-16-2015 05:31 PM

Thanks for reading my inane ramblings!

I’ve been following your series on the bench build with interest. Looks good. Anticipate seeing the finale product.

-- Ed

View retired_guru's profile


838 posts in 2170 days

#3 posted 03-25-2015 02:36 PM

Character and good memories. That’s what it is speaks of. I’ve been using my mallet for some chiseling work—yeah, I promised it wouldn’t be subjected to such punishment, but now the novelty of it existence has worn off, its time to work for it pay—and though too light for hardwood and heavy work, the faces have done well in taking a beating. It still feels just as good in my hands, too. Ten years from now I hope to smile and remember, just as you have.

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

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