Walnut Mallet

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Project by Bovine posted 10-24-2010 04:01 AM 3545 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The wife and kids went out of town for the weekend and I got a little bored. I found a 9/4 slab of Walnut and decided to make a mallet with it. I’ve been getting into making my own tools lately—nothing like using tools you’ve made yourself to make other things. :)

This is my first attempt at making a mallet. I’m sure that within a year I’ll find several things wrong with it and make another one but you have to learn sometime, right?

The head and handle were both cut from 9/4 thick walnut. I didn’t have a plan per-se for the handle…I just marked where I like to hold a mallet and shaped it with sandpaper until it felt good in my hand. Where the handle would go through the head, I left it rectangular and pretty much untouched.

I first bored a hole through the head at the drill press (darned bits weren’t long enough!) then cleaned it up with a chisel. I must’ve done something right because the handle fit snugly into the hole. A little gentle persuasion with another mallet got the handle in.

Lastly, I glued on some leather to the striking surfaces of the mallet and finished the wood with Danish Oil. It was getting late when I finished, so tomorrow I’ll drive a couple brass pins through the side if I can find any. Otherwise I’ll use dowels.

Except for the leather pads, I didn’t use any glue. It is very tight and I hope with the pins it won’t move after use. The only thing I’m worried about is wood movement. Do you think it will blow out the head when the handle expands?

-- Kansas City, KS "Nothing is as permanent as a temporary solution"

9 comments so far

View woodgrain411's profile


172 posts in 3876 days

#1 posted 10-24-2010 04:38 AM

Nice job ! I think I need one of these , I know how you feel about making your own tools I feel the same way !

-- I love this site !

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2949 days

#2 posted 10-24-2010 04:42 AM

Very nice! It might move a bit, but not a lot, and looks like you have room to tighten it up a bit if you need to. Do you need the pins if it fits tightly?

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 2997 days

#3 posted 10-24-2010 04:55 AM

Looks really good. Well done and off to favorites it goes. What leather did you use??
I love those rare moments of quiet when the wife and kids are gone and no guilt for sneaking into the shop

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Bovine's profile


114 posts in 3351 days

#4 posted 10-24-2010 05:42 AM

I’m not sure if I need the pins or not, but the light color of the dowels or brass will look nice and it can’t hurt.

I founds some stroping leather at the local Woodcraft. It’s about 1/8” thick—nothing fance, but hopefully it will keep the mallet from marring things too badly.

By wood movement, I’m worried that when the handle expands/contracts over time that it will crack the mallet head.

-- Kansas City, KS "Nothing is as permanent as a temporary solution"

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4006 days

#5 posted 10-24-2010 05:48 AM

sweet hammer

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4048 days

#6 posted 10-24-2010 04:43 PM

Nice job, and nother good use for leather – I need to do that to one of my mallets. Generally, the handle will tighten up in the mortise over time as the tool is used. My concern with the pins might be that they would stop this natural wedging process, and the handle might actually loosen over time. Don’t know, though.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View NormG's profile


6137 posts in 3027 days

#7 posted 10-24-2010 06:34 PM

Great striking device. I would leave the pins out, just to allow for tightening should it be needed

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View steliart's profile


2696 posts in 2712 days

#8 posted 02-10-2011 03:56 AM

I want one like this.
Excellent mallet

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of all inventions

View ColoradoMtn's profile


55 posts in 899 days

#9 posted 10-30-2016 06:05 AM

Nice colors looks good

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