The Perfect Mallets

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Project by Waldschrat posted 01-11-2009 01:36 AM 1790 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are what I like to call the perfect mallet set…. well for me they are made custom by me for me!

Locust, Maple and Hornbeam, oh my!

Wood mallets are great every shop needs them, but are a bit expensive for my tastes when you can make them yourself. Plus your chisels love them too, because they dont destroy the handles

The square one we call in Germany the Cabinetmakers Mallet and the Left one is acutally called a Woodcarvers Mallet. I must admit that I perfer the round ones. But the square ones are good too. Generally here they are made out of beech, sometimes ash or elm… The higher quality ones are made sometimes out of tropical hard woods, but I am not into tropical woods for a number of different reasons, not to mention there are enough very heavy and very hard local woods (what ever local means, perhaps more acurate to say temperate woods).

The Square one on the left is made of Ami. Sugar Maple… (perhaps you recognize the wood from my Iron Fist Plane) It is Very Hard and Very Heavy, especially the heart wood or more accuratly the wood in the middle of very large trees as this one was.

The Round one is made of Hornbeam, a Very Hard and Very Tough, heavy wood. When you strike it it almost sounds like a piece of ceramic tile. It is white in color and pretty much stays that way as long as it is not varnished.

The handles are made of Locust which is smokes with amonia to react with tannic acid in the wood giving it the rich coffee color, it is a very hard heavy wood as well and has great bending and break resistance similiar to ash but looks cooler in my opinion.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

7 comments so far

View dirtclod's profile


169 posts in 3861 days

#1 posted 01-11-2009 03:48 AM

Those look like they’re ready to take some punishment…as well as do some fine work. I can imagine them still being solid after many years of use.

Both sugar maple and black locust (I’m assuming it was black locust) are native to North America. Do you know if they were imported or grown locally? There are many varieties of hornbeam scattered throughout the world and most are called ironwood. Hornbeam wood from different varieties can be difficult to tell apart. We have out local variety and it also has traditionally been used for striking tools, tool handles, high wear applications, etc.

-- Wonderful new things are coming! - God

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4400 days

#2 posted 01-11-2009 04:16 AM

A great set of mallets. Nice job on the construction and the description.

-- 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 Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 3436 days

#3 posted 01-11-2009 07:49 PM

Thanks for the compliments!

No sorry, I could not say if it was imported or grown locally, I assume somewhere in europe, but i guess it would be good to find out!

Ironwood, thats a cool name! I like it! good info!

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View acrollet's profile


9 posts in 3018 days

#4 posted 02-20-2010 06:56 AM

Hallo Nicholas,

I love your projects! I was wondering how the handles of these mallets are joined to the heads?


View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 3436 days

#5 posted 02-20-2010 07:17 PM

Good question, simply/shortly said there is a hole drilled through the mallets and when turning the handle I turned a through going mortise on the end of the handle…. an exacting work, and the handle needs to be 1/10 mm smaller diameter than the hole drilled.

if you would like a more detailed description of the steps involved, I would be happy to provide them!

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3585 days

#6 posted 02-20-2010 07:39 PM

I made one of the round ones a while ago.The square ones we used to use in school.Hey wald schrat I bought a bunch of hand wooden planes recently from Deutschland Germany they make some beauties too did I tell you I lived there for five years Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 3436 days

#7 posted 02-20-2010 10:18 PM

Scotsman, Thats pretty cool, I prefer the round ones too. They are actually traditionally used for wood carving, but I find them better most of the time compared to the square ones. Yes, you did mention that you lived here, but I do think you mentioned where. Where in scotland do you live?

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

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