Maple and Indian Laurel Mallet

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Project by nfang posted 09-08-2011 09:27 AM 2196 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got into woodworking about a month ago when I bought a dazuki saw and some chisels. Since then, I’ve made a couple of dovetail joints and some mortise and tenon joints. Those joints were made using a rubber mallet so I figured that my first real wood project should be a mallet that I can use with my chisels.

From the suggestion of one of the fine people at Wood Craft, I decided to make the mallet out of maple. I found a piece of 1/2”x3”x2’ piece at Wood Craft for pretty cheap. After playing around with the design some, I decided to cut the maple into three 5” pieces and stack them to make the mallet. I also decided that only three 1/3” pieces wouldn’t be thick enough for a mallet so I grabbed a 1/4” piece of dark wood that happen to be Indian Laurel.

I sawed the Laurel into 5” pieces as well and glued them in an alternating fashion, leaving a tapered hole in the middle to slide the handle in. I sawed a couple of kerfs in the top of the handle and sawed some wedges to keep the handle in place. Cutting the wedges was the hardest part of this project for me. I now realize how important having well cut wedges are and you can see on the top of my mallet how “even” I was able to cut them by hand.

After gluing everything together, I sawed off the excess on top and sawed a slight angle onto both sides. Gave it a quick sanding, sprayed on a couple of layers of shellac and now you see the finished product. I still need to practice my sawing a lot more. You can tell it’s not completely even on all sides. All in all though, I think it was a successful first project.

9 comments so far

View A Slice of Wood Workshop's profile

A Slice of Wood Workshop

994 posts in 2596 days

#1 posted 09-08-2011 01:00 PM

Looks pretty good. Are you leaving the edges of the handle squared off?

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View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

742 posts in 2854 days

#2 posted 09-08-2011 02:04 PM

Nice looking simple mallet. Time for me to get off my butt and make one too. I like the contrasting wood.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2116 days

#3 posted 09-08-2011 02:05 PM

I love what the shellac did to this sweet little mallet.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View MShort's profile


1767 posts in 2841 days

#4 posted 09-08-2011 02:12 PM

Very nice.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View woodzy's profile


418 posts in 2102 days

#5 posted 09-08-2011 02:23 PM

Great hammer.

-- Anthony

View nfang's profile


8 posts in 1879 days

#6 posted 09-08-2011 04:28 PM

I actually took this little $4 planer I got from Harbor Freight and shaved the corners of the handle just enough so that it’s comfortable to hold. The handle is already a little small for its head so I didn’t want it to look even more disproportionate.

View JoeinDE's profile


416 posts in 2746 days

#7 posted 09-08-2011 05:19 PM

I’ve been planning on making one for myself ever since I invested in some nice chisels. Making one sure beats the $24 that one costs at Woodcraft, and you get the satisfaction on using a tool that you made.

-- A bad craftsmen blames his cheap #$%ing tools

View SgtSnafu's profile


960 posts in 2694 days

#8 posted 09-08-2011 07:01 PM

Well done mallet – the contrasting woods look great.

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View nfang's profile


8 posts in 1879 days

#9 posted 09-09-2011 12:26 AM

Yeah, that’s exactly why I made this mallet, seeing how much the mallets were at woodcraft.

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