Dead-Blow Mallet

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Project by CharlieD posted 04-11-2008 06:57 PM 3622 views 4 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I saw this dead-blow mallet in the Oct 2005 #165 issue of Wood Mag and had to make it. I made two of them one for myself and one for my friend and mentor Don Schmidt (Schmidt Cabinet Works), Glenview, Ill. Don had a way coming into my shop, taking a look at what I was doing and asking “Are you really going to ….. Etc. etc.” That translated into “that’s a stupid thing to do Big Daddy”.

For one mallet I bought the things I needed and the other one I ordered a kit from Heritage Building Specialties (1-800-524-4184, If you want to make one of these I recommend buying the kit for $16.00. The one I put together myself…..I spent about the same amount and a lot of time trying to find the leather, and opening shotgun shells to get the shot. The leather and the shot come with the kit. I made mine out of ash and morado (I think it’s been a couple of years….look like cherry doesn’t it). Any combination of hardwood would work. The finish is Waterlox.

This is a small mallet and not for giving things the old Wack-O-Mole hit. It is designed for things like taping together dove-tail joints. Haven’t undertaken dove-tails yet but plan to be trained in the art by a true Dovetail expert, master wood craftsman and follow LJ …... ChasHutch.

These were easy to build and look great. I had the most trouble cutting the leather to fit the mallet head. You can’t really be exact with leather fit and I like things to fit perfect.

-- Charlie - Texas

10 comments so far

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4339 days

#1 posted 04-11-2008 07:08 PM

really looks great. nice work

-- making sawdust....

View ChasHutch's profile


56 posts in 4255 days

#2 posted 04-11-2008 07:28 PM

Beautiful work…

Me a dovetail expert? That’s too funny. My dovetails look more like jigsaw pieces smashed together from different puzzles.

-- Hutch - North Dallas, Tx - Safety First

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4362 days

#3 posted 04-11-2008 07:31 PM

Hi Charlie,

This is a nice mallet and your wood selection was excellent. They compliment each other nicely.

Good luck on the dovetails. Just remember practice, practice, practice.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View blackdogwoodshop's profile


72 posts in 4268 days

#4 posted 04-11-2008 07:33 PM

The mallet looks good. I made some of these from the same plans a couple of years ago. A couple of tips: I bought lead shot in a bag (I still have 20 lbs of it) so I didn’t have to open shotgun shells. Also, I was able to get a large quantity of small leather scraps that worked great for this from a saddle shop (for free).

-- Daniel, Southern Indiana -- "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." --

View odie's profile


1691 posts in 4380 days

#5 posted 04-12-2008 02:17 AM

There is just too many dogs posting here !!!! Just kidding. I made one of those once, twice, or was three times. I do know your’s is much nicer. Very nice work !!!

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4608 days

#6 posted 04-12-2008 06:03 AM

Well Done, I remember that article. I agree in that the kit is the way to go a lot of times.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 4531 days

#7 posted 06-27-2008 03:20 AM

Looks good and thanks for the link!

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 3989 days

#8 posted 12-25-2008 10:35 PM

Just came across this…it looks great…I think I might get a couple of kits…thanks for the information…

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12785 posts in 3697 days

#9 posted 02-26-2010 11:30 PM

nice deadblow mallet… looks great…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View Robsshop's profile


921 posts in 3515 days

#10 posted 07-06-2010 05:54 PM

Great looking persuader tool You’ve put together there CharieD ! I am a big fan of making shop tools and jigs and have always planed on putting one of these on My to do list. Now with the supplied info it has been moved from the back burner to possibly next week( I procrastinate to much !). Thanks for posting and once again nice job.

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

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