Joiner's Mallet from ShopNotes Issue 2

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Project by michaelray posted 07-20-2009 03:12 PM 16184 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

...or rattle hammer as my son calls it.

First of all thanks to Ben for his post and inspiration. I was able to find the complete set of plans from Shop Notes Issue 2 March 1992 which described making the handle in more detail.

Made from leftover Walnut and White Oak. I had a blast building this one and I’m planning to make more just because it was so much fun. I finished it with a couple of coats of Danish Oil. The weights for the head are split-shot sinkers (small ones) that I just happened to have in my tackle box. And the leather I found at a local craft store – a bag of remnants for 5 bucks.

I pretty much followed the plans exactly as they are except for putting the epoxy in the lead weights – hence the name rattle hammer.

-- [email protected]

10 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8653 posts in 4991 days

#1 posted 07-20-2009 04:18 PM

looks great. I have that issue of shopnotes put aside with that plan just waiting to get a chance to get it done. thanks for the reminder :) the white oak looks fantastic

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View woodisit's profile


61 posts in 4584 days

#2 posted 07-20-2009 04:35 PM

Nice job, I have look for that issue!

-- Woodisit

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4933 days

#3 posted 07-20-2009 05:09 PM

Nicely done!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 5071 days

#4 posted 07-20-2009 06:21 PM

i don’t follow what you mean about the epoxy. I’m plannign to make one though so if you don’t mind explaining, I’d appreciate it. Nice work. Mine is probably going to be scrap maple and I bought my leather the same way as you. mine was remnants that I got at michael’s crafts.

View michaelray's profile


232 posts in 4797 days

#5 posted 07-20-2009 06:46 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone.

- HokieMojo –
One of the steps involves placing lead weights in pockets drilled out of the center of the mallet’s head. The plans recommend putting some epoxy(hot glue would probably work as well) in with the weights so they don’t rattle when striking an object.

Hope this answers your question.


-- [email protected]

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 5071 days

#6 posted 07-20-2009 08:04 PM

i see. I actually thought it would be preferable to leave the epoxy out. That should give the same effect as a “dead-blow” mallet. It would allow you to hit hard and not have a mallet that bounces back.

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


118310 posts in 4920 days

#7 posted 07-20-2009 10:12 PM

View psquared's profile


46 posts in 4848 days

#8 posted 07-21-2009 03:52 AM

If I had a hammer…there’d be no more folk singers.

-- When the tide goes out you see who's been skinny dipping.

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 5419 days

#9 posted 10-19-2009 05:03 AM

The complete PDF file can be found online at:

There is a complete comentary, with photo limks at:

I am going to make one real soon, using this idea, but adapting the head in a more traditional sloped style.

I hope the links help.

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View cjsolo's profile


24 posts in 4242 days

#10 posted 08-25-2010 12:13 AM

Erg-ga. Why is every link to the plans for this only one page? You get a decent look at the head and maybe that’s all that counts, but I’d like to see the plans for the handle that goes with this bad boy!

-- Raisin' grain with blood, sweat, and tears

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