Dead Blow Mallet

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Project by VTWoody posted 05-06-2007 10:01 PM 2860 views 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This mallet was a project in a Better Homes and Gardens woodworking magazine for the workshop. The two woods are Ash and Purpleheart (it was on sale at my local Woodcraft Store). The head is hollow and has lead fishing weights in it. The ends are capped with some leather (I think buffalo but can’t remember). It is finished with a grain raiser (that I can’t quite remember the name of) and several coats of poly. I made two of these, one for my brother for Christmas and then one for myself. I also made a nifty box for his that was an excuse to use my dovetail jig, but I didn’t take pictures of it. Whenever I get a chance to go up and see him, I will snap some pictures of it. It was made of Purpleheart, Ash, and Lyptus. The colors were nice, but I definitely need to practice with the jig.

8 comments so far

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4267 days

#1 posted 05-06-2007 10:59 PM

Beautiful mallet.
I’ve been thinking of making a dead blow carving mallet someday.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4106 days

#2 posted 05-07-2007 01:51 AM

Wonderful work. Should be a great addition to the shop!


View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4368 days

#3 posted 05-07-2007 05:07 AM

Nice mallet VT. The ones that I buy seem to have weights that move around kind of like shotgun shot. Because them seem to roll around in the head.

What size fishing weights did you use and how much weight.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4214 days

#4 posted 05-09-2007 03:28 PM

Nice mallet, yea what size weights did you use, I’m thinking of making one too. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4045 days

#5 posted 05-09-2007 04:51 PM

Great job VT! Is this and older magazine? I haven’t heard of B H & G Woodworking Magazine. Maybe it was a special edition?

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View VTWoody's profile


95 posts in 4025 days

#6 posted 05-09-2007 06:16 PM

Yep. It was one of those special edition ones like FWW puts out. It had a bunch of tools, jigs, shop storage in it. I am not sure when I picked it up, but it would probably have been sometime last year or so.

I am sorry I haven’t responded to the lead weight questions. The plan called for putting 3/16” hole in the head cap piece and then to shove lead shot of a certain size into the head of the mallet. I am a fairly literal person, so I roved the streets of my local area for Gun stores and tried to find a place to buy lead shot just by itself (I certainly wasn’t going to buy shotgun ammunition and try to take it apart in my shop) and there just wasn’t a place to be found. I was walking through my local Longs Drug store that has a fishing section and the light bulb went on over my head. DUH! Why not use fishing weights? I found a size that looked like it would fit through a 3/16” hole even if I had to smoosh (technical term) them a little. Of course, you want size and I am at work, and the shot is at home, so I will have to try and remember to come back write in the size when I get home. I just eyeballed the weights though, and I was pretty close. I did buy more than I needed for the two hammers, but I am sure they will collect much dust until I decide that there is no other earthly purpose for them in my shop about 15 years down the line…:)

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4368 days

#7 posted 05-09-2007 11:56 PM

I’ve got a couple of 25lbs bags of lead shot from when I reloaded shot shells. so I don’t think I’d have any problem. They also have 5lb packages of buckshot which is larger in diam. The double “0” and triple “0” are getting to over 1/4” in size. I’m sure that you could also use BB’s from Walmart, I think they sell them in bulk packs. They are probably steel but that shouldn’t be a problem.

Or go to your local tire place and get some old tire weights. You’d have to melt them down. I think that the way that they make lead shot is pour molten led down a tall open air space and the lead solidifies in the air and forms into a sphere as it falls. They then grade them to size for selling.

So go into the stairwell of a tall building and pour your molten lead. Then you go down to the bottom and collet it all up. LOL

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Davesfunwoodworking's profile


278 posts in 3842 days

#8 posted 10-19-2007 04:12 AM

Hey!!!! Looks great. If you get time check out the one I made. Nice.

-- Davesfunwoodworking

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