|Project by JSOvens||posted 07-13-2015 06:16 AM||2002 views||3 times favorited||8 comments|
Shown here is a joiner’s mallet I recently made out of hard maple. It follows the general style and design of the mallet presented by Paul Sellers in both his blog and YouTube channel. My original plan was to make a “fancier” mallet with contrasting woods …etc, but when I saw his completed mallet, I became very much attracted to it, so decided to make one for myself.
For the most part, I followed Paul’s methodology as presented in his YouTube series with a few differences. I am not a “hand tool only” wood worker, thus I did the major milling using a table saw and planer. Furthermore, I did not have access to stock 3” thick (the dimension Paul used for the thickness of the head), so the head on my mallet is made of two 1.5” laminated pieces. This actually simplified the mortise, as I was able to simply make a channel in each piece of the head, which would form the mortise once glued together.
I used Paul’s series as a rough guide to the shaping, but mostly I just had fun with it! I had just acquired my first spokeshave (a Veritas flat) and was eager to try it out. Thus, unlike Paul who used a No. 4 for almost all shaping, I used my new spokeshave for nearly all shaping which included a slight rounding of the faces, roundovers on all edges and the little “divots” seen on the underside of the head. The handle was given a comfortable feel, also using the spokeshave.
Since my skills with a shave are not well developed, so I had a lot of smoothing left afterward which was surprisingly easily done with a combination of scraping and sanding at 220 then 320 grit. This is really my first foray into freehand shaping, so if you are on the fence about trying it out, it’s time to hop off of it because you will be surprised at what you can come up with (also it’s a LOT of fun)!
I used a pure tung oil finish. This is the first time I’ve used tung oil, and I thought a shop project such as this would be a good candidate to try out a new finish – it turned out great! It really shows off the depth of the maple, yet still retains the nice feel of a wooden mallet.
Well, I didn’t expect so much could be written about such a simple project, I hope you found the story enjoyable!
-- Jeffrey S. Ovens, Canada