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Project by ChrisJ posted 01-23-2012 05:33 AM 1848 views 3 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It seems almost like making a wooden mallet is a rite of passage in the woodworking world, so here are mine. I used oak scrap and a little poplar. I doubt that those are the best woods for mallets but they’re what I had in the scrap bin. I originally was set to make one all oak but I figured that if I used poplar in the middle I could make two—and two is better than one. I got to use a few techniques I’ve never used: 1) I was trying what I think is called a “compound curve” on my bandsaw (cutting the curve on one plane then taping the cutoffs back on the piece then cutting the curve on the other plane). The cutting/taping/cutting system worked well but I jacked up one of the curves and ruined the handle. 2) Wedged through tenons. Even though the mortise is made up of two pieces of wood. 3) Grain filling. I used info from this article. They were pretty fun to make, both finished with my current favorite, Danish Oil.

Pic 1: Both mallets, crossed in such a way as to look super-cool.
Pic 2: Mallet 1. My favorite. The bottom curve is messed up a little—gives it character, right? It’s just under 19 oz., face cut to 3 degrees. Grain filled using the paste filler method—I think it worked better.
Pic 3: Mallet 2. I think I like this handle better—it’s modeled after my dead blow mallet and feels pretty good in the hand. Just over 20 oz., face cut to 5 degrees. Grain filled using the oil/sanding dust slurry method.
Pic 4: Tops of the mallets, showing the wedged tenon.
Pic 5: Both mallets. Not crossed and not as cool as pic 1.

4 comments so far

View Brandon's profile


4382 posts in 4243 days

#1 posted 01-23-2012 05:47 AM

Great mallets! I made some a while back and use them all the time. They are really nice to use with wood-handled chisels.

Poplar is an interesting choice because it dents easily—but that could be very useful when you’re trying not to dent whatever you’re pounding with the mallet. Also, the center wood in the rectangular mallet looks more like pine than poplar. :-)

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4868 days

#2 posted 01-23-2012 05:54 AM

Very nice mallets good job.


View ChrisJ's profile


65 posts in 4110 days

#3 posted 01-23-2012 06:01 AM

Brandon, I think you’re right about the pine. Must have had some of that in the scrap bin, too. I knew that poplar was a softer wood when I made the mallet, but I wanted to make them without having to get wood for the project. Plus, when these get too dented up, I’ll get to make more!

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3699 days

#4 posted 01-23-2012 02:58 PM

Nice tools. You’ll get good use outta these.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

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