Shop Mallet

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Project by Fotodog posted 05-17-2020 02:39 AM 776 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been wanting a nice mallet to replace my old store bought one, so I finally built it. It’s made from walnut and maple, my favorite wood combination. The head is made from 3 layers, with the middle maple layer made from 2 pieces cut at a 2 degree angle to form a tapered mortise. Both maple pieces have a 1 1/4” hole to accommodate steel BB’s for added weight.

The maple handle has a wedged tenon, which combines with the tapered mortise for a very strong joint. The contours of the handle were shaped with a belt sander on my homemade jig which holds the sander perpendicular to a small shelf, and also a round-over bit in the router table. Followed of course with lots of sanding.

Since you are fellow woodworkers, I have to disclose 2 mistakes, and my remedies to fix them. The first is the middle maple layer in the head, which is slightly wider on the bottom than the top. Since I don’t own a band saw in my small garage shop, I had to resaw a small piece on my table saw, and it apparently tilted slightly when ripping and I didn’t notice it in time. I considered scrapping the head and starting over once I noticed the mistake after the head was glued up, but after some thought I decided to see if I could still make it work. Which I did by offsetting the tenon on the handle in order to center it.

The second mistake happened when I was rounding over the handle with the router. A large chunk chipped out on the end. Instead of tossing it and starting over, I decided to cut off the handle a bit and add a walnut accent on the end. Since it’s an end grain joint, I strengthened it with a dowel.

Now I have a proper mallet, with a couple of reminders that all is not lost when mistakes are made.

-- Tim

2 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7728 posts in 1704 days

#1 posted 05-17-2020 12:26 PM

Looks like it’ll do the job. Well done!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View jeffswildwood's profile


4911 posts in 3099 days

#2 posted 05-17-2020 12:34 PM

Well done mallet. I would have never seen the mistakes and still can’t find them. Mallets may start out pretty but don’t stay that way long. I wouldn’t worry about small errors.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

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