Hand Tool Journey #19: New Mallet No. 1

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Blog entry by Airframer posted 07-29-2013 09:20 PM 2079 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 18: Shop Made Dovetail Layout Compass.. Part 6.. Project Complete! Part 19 of Hand Tool Journey series Part 20: New Mallet No. 2 »

A few months ago I made a simple mallet out of an oak cut off and a 1” dowel. It has done a good job but has always been a bit on the light side and has started splitting on the top from trying to use it to chop some mortises.

Well, last night it finally just gave up. One face is still usable but I think it’s time for it to retire..

I have been planning an upgrade ever since I finished the first one but never really had the motivation to put some other projects on hold long enough to do it. Well…. this was my motivation. It was time to make that upgrade.

Gathered up some hard maple, jatoba and grabbed some BB’s from WallyWorld and got to work.

The head measures 7” x 3 3/4” x 2 1/2” . That will reduce some after final shaping but I want to keep it a bit on the biggish side of things…. I mean what can’t be fixed with a bigger hammer?

In the center laminate on each end I drilled a 1 1/2” hole and filled them full of BB’s to give it more weight. I have yet to actually weigh it but it feels good and heafty and makes my old mallet feel like it’s made of styrofoam.

The handle is being made from more maple with some jatoba accents in the shoulder area and down in the grip to help round that part out a bit.

First was to cut the tenon to fit and then leave that part alone and focus on rough cutting it to shape.

Attempted a resaw on some jatoba with my craptastic Ryobi band saw… it doesn’t do that so well.

Used some double sided tape to secure the 2 halves onto some backer board and clamped that board to the bench so I could plane these flat (really need to finish THIS BENCH!)

Cut out the pieces and glued them up. BTW DonW’s pointer on using some salt to keep the pieces from sliding around during glue up is boss! Works like a charm!

The ovals will have a recess cut into them and some leather inserted for comfort and grip (that’s the plan anyway).

Now just waiting on the glue to dry so final shaping can commence and final assembly. Stay tuned!

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

4 comments so far

View theoldfart's profile


9775 posts in 2508 days

#1 posted 07-29-2013 09:29 PM

Tell the truth Eric, you did in the old mallet so you could make a bigger, badder basher, didn’t you? Fess up.
Looks to be quite formidable. Do the BB’s stay loose in the cavity, or will you lock them with epoxy?

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2542 days

#2 posted 07-29-2013 09:32 PM

You’ll enjoy having a substantial whacker. Makes so many things much easier. And therapeutic, when necessary.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Don W's profile

Don W

18791 posts in 2625 days

#3 posted 07-29-2013 09:32 PM

wow, you worked an oak mallet to death. Impressive.

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

View Airframer's profile


3043 posts in 2010 days

#4 posted 07-29-2013 09:49 PM

I don’t know if impressive is the right word lol. I think I hit the top edge just wrong once and that started the whole snow ball effect on it.

Kevin – the BB’s are loose to give it a bit of a dead blow effect.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

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