Patchwork shop mallet, with attitude

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Project by JayT posted 03-14-2014 01:54 AM 3634 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Time for a new shop mallet, so went though the scraps and patched together this one using the two American hardwoods with the most contrary attitudes I have worked with—hickory and Osage orange (aka hedge, Bois d’arc or bodark).

Handle is actually part of a factory made hickory axe handle. The top was used to make a handle for a single bevel hewing hatchet, so the bottom was going to get tossed unless it found a use like this. Trimmed the top into a wedge shape, fit a couple larger blocks of Osage around it in opposite directions, then layered in the rest. After taking out of clamps, the head was squared and faces angled. I didn’t like the square look with the top being straight, so used a spokeshave to give it a slight curve.

Quick and easy project, but needed and useful. Heavier than my previous mallet and should be both more ergonomic and tougher.

Thanks for looking

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

8 comments so far

View woodcox's profile


2386 posts in 2898 days

#1 posted 03-14-2014 02:55 AM

Nice JayT. I’ve been thinking ordering some Osage to try out, I’ve never seen it locally. Seems a favorited dense hardwood for these types of projects.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3951 posts in 3138 days

#2 posted 03-14-2014 04:08 AM

@JayT—Looks like a nice banger there—good use of scraps. How much does it tip the scale at?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Woodknack's profile


13504 posts in 3267 days

#3 posted 03-14-2014 05:22 AM

Great combination for a mallet, nice springy hickory and hard as nails osage orange.

I have a couple hickory handles I’d like to use in mallets, any tips on cutting a square tenon on a roundish handle?

-- Rick M,

View JayT's profile


6413 posts in 3098 days

#4 posted 03-14-2014 10:29 AM

Thanks guys

woodcox Osage is hard, tough and resilient, perfect for mallets. It is also a challenge to work with. If you can’t find Osage, black locust would be another good wood to use. The sawyer I got the Osage from says “black locust is Osage without the attitude”.

Don B I haven’t weighed it, yet. Have to do that one of these days

Rick M All I did was cut the top off pretty square and then marked off a rectangle on that surface. Just eyeballed the first line and squared off of it. Hand saws to start the cuts and finished with chisels. I did have to do a bit of trimming once the notches were cut in the Osage blanks, but not very much. I knew the notches/dadoes were square so that helped square up the handle.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View terryR's profile


7636 posts in 3195 days

#5 posted 03-14-2014 12:56 PM

Nice mallet, JayT! Around here, Osage is used for fence poles by the unknowing. The saying is, “Place a stone on top of the osage pole, and when the stone rots, it’s time to replace the fence.”

‘Course I’m a wannabe bow maker, so Osage is sacred and highly sought after! :)

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View TerryDowning's profile


1146 posts in 3004 days

#6 posted 03-14-2014 06:41 PM

Nice looking mallet Jay T!

I wish I had Osage/Hedge/Boi D’ Arc more readily available for projects like this.

-- - Terry

View Mauricio's profile


7165 posts in 4038 days

#7 posted 03-19-2014 06:13 PM

Sweet mallet man!

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

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3062 days

#8 posted 03-20-2014 03:39 PM

Looks great, like the wood colors and grains. I’m sure it will be very handy around the shop. Great job!

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