My Wife's Mallet

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Project by RGtools posted 07-09-2012 03:41 AM 2506 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While waiting for the glue to dry on the table top for the class I had a few hours to kill in my shop. While trying to think of a quick project to pass the time, my wife came in and stole my mallet to pound in some garden stakes.

This is a very quick and sturdy design. I started with two blocks of walnut and a tapered piece of beech. I clamped the walnut together after roughly squaring it and drilled holes for two drawbore pins to hold the pieces together while laying out the joint. I used a pencil to lay out the joints and it has a gap here and there but is still quite strong. I used a saw and chisel to waste out the two dados that become this mortise for the handle and glued the works together with the pins to serve as guide dowels. I shaped the handle with a spoke shave and it is favored for my lefty wife.

Once the head was dry, I took the pins out and worked the handle in has far as it could go…then I used the holes to make my marks and drilled offset towards the top of the handle. With the pins driven in the wedge is pulled as tight as it ever need be…not glue, just some engineering.

Only trouble is….my wife’s mallet is nicer than mine.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

12 comments so far

View AnthonyReed's profile


10196 posts in 3894 days

#1 posted 07-09-2012 04:00 AM

Beautifully done Ryan. What did you use to shape your chamfers? They look impeccable.

Only fitting that the wife gets the more refined mallet. :)

Thanks for sharing.

-- ~Tony

View Bill729's profile


241 posts in 4536 days

#2 posted 07-09-2012 04:33 AM

I’d rasp a little more (off of the top) until the grip of the handle is comfortable to hold. I like the way the handle is tapered. If the wood was handy, I might shape 3 handles and sand and finish the one I liked best.

Bill Whig

View Brit's profile


8508 posts in 4297 days

#3 posted 07-09-2012 06:58 AM

Nice little project Ryan. Are you going to put any kind of finish on it?

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 4109 days

#4 posted 07-09-2012 12:17 PM

Tony, I did the chamfers with my wooden scrub plane if my memory serves. The high angle of that tool leaves a pretty decent surface even on a heavy cut.

Thanks Bill. I kept bringing the handle back to my wife to comment on for comfort. She likes it….though it feels weird in my right hand.

Andy, no finish. I thought about BLO or Walnut oil for some protection, but I think the raw wood should hold up OK.

Not feeling great today. I think I might post a few of the projects that I have finished but never got on LJ’s.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View mafe's profile


13872 posts in 4543 days

#5 posted 07-09-2012 12:56 PM

Fine mallet for the wife.
She is happy – you have your own mallet in peace – you are happy.
What more can we ask for?
I think it is called love.
You are a good man RG.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Don W's profile

Don W

20381 posts in 4022 days

#6 posted 07-09-2012 01:10 PM

Nice job Ryan. Just a note, the wife’s mallet should be the nicest.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27696 posts in 4560 days

#7 posted 07-09-2012 06:07 PM

Ryan, that is a very well done mallet!. Don’t get cross with her, that mallet will produce some very big knots on one’s head!................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Mosquito's profile


11755 posts in 3746 days

#8 posted 07-09-2012 06:22 PM

Looks good. I should get around to making one of these sometime…

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 4109 days

#9 posted 07-11-2012 04:32 PM

Mad’s thanks again for the simple way you word things. You leave out the uneeded and make me smile each time.

Don, you are right. Hers should be the pretty one.

Jim, She has let me know I am to behave, But my attitude does require the occasional adjustment. I guess it’s good to give her the tools for that.

Chris. 3 hours if that….worth the time.

One tip, offset the top hole a bit more than the bottom one. Drive the bottom one in first. Both pins will serve to draw the handle progressivly more tight. Use a flexible wood (I used poplar).

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Mauricio's profile


7170 posts in 4606 days

#10 posted 07-12-2012 02:41 PM

I missed this project earlier, Sweet mallet. I like your simple construction method. Nice work.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View balidoug's profile


536 posts in 3933 days

#11 posted 08-12-2012 01:30 PM

Don’t know where I was a month ago; missed this one too. Looks easy on the hands, and is easy on the eyes.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 4109 days

#12 posted 08-13-2012 12:43 PM

^thank you sir. I need to make another that fits my hands since my mallet is starting to give up the ghost.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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