My home made chisel mallet

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Project by WhoMe posted 11-17-2012 07:25 AM 18061 views 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got tired of using a standard claw hammer with my plastic handled chisels and since I was planning to buy some Stanley sweetheart 750s, metal on wood chisel handles was not a combination I wanted to do. It also helped that I missed the chisel one or two times and the hammer hit my hand. Ouch…

SO, I did some searching here on LJ’s and found some basic plans as well as watching a couple of videos including the one by Steve Marin. All this gave me enough information to make my own mallet.
The plans I used as a basis for my mallet are here. LJ Mallet thread.

The mallet is composed of hard maple surrounding cherry. I followed the assembly of the head like Steve did with his mallet. I glued the two cherry pieces onto the first piece of maple then when that dried, I glued the second piece of maple onto the previously glued assembly. The cherry pieces were cut with a 3 degree angle on the inside edges to allow for the handle to be wedged in with some maple wedges. Once the head was completely assembled, I used my table saw to cut the 5 degree angle for the faces. the top arc, I used a hand plane to shape it and then did a fair amount of sanding. The radius on the edges of the head was routed with my trim router.
The handle also has two maple accents. I cut a pair of 3/8 thick maple pieces and glued them to the handle. I then got to learn how to use a spokeshave. I then used a sanding drum to do the final shaping and smoothing. The end of the handle with the bulb on it is really nice. One of my biggest issues was always having the feeling my hammer would slip out of my hand or gloved hand because the handle was pretty straight. Not now. My hand fits really nicely in front of the bulb without the feeling the mallet is going to fly out of my hand when i n use.
I cut slots in the tenon portion of the handle to accept the wedges and glued everything together and sanded it all down prior to putting 2 coats of a 50/50 blend of BLO and mineral spirits. The last coat was concoction of 50/50 BLO/mineral spirits and dissolved beeswax.

Overall, it was another fun project and I learned about BLO and BLO/beeswax finishes and I built something that I can use. It works great on both my plastic handled chisels and wonderfully with my new Stanley 750s. It has a nice balance to it and the handle is shaped good enough to my hand that I can choke up on it for lighter hits or move my hand back for heavier hits.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

9 comments so far

View Sergio's profile


448 posts in 1962 days

#1 posted 11-17-2012 11:16 AM

Very nice, your new chisels deserve it.

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View Don W's profile

Don W

17462 posts in 1837 days

#2 posted 11-17-2012 06:07 PM

A great looking mallet for sure. Certainly a better tool for the job of striking brand new 750s than a claw hammer.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Don W's profile

Don W

17462 posts in 1837 days

#3 posted 11-17-2012 06:11 PM

You should post it on the mallet of your dreams thread

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View chrisstef's profile


14826 posts in 2276 days

#4 posted 11-17-2012 06:23 PM

Super slick job on the mallet. Excellent results brother. Deserving of some fine chisel smackin.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View vakman's profile


301 posts in 1673 days

#5 posted 11-17-2012 11:43 PM

Slick is right! Excellent build, looks like an ideal handle shape.

-- - Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true. -

View johnstoneb's profile


1881 posts in 1442 days

#6 posted 11-18-2012 01:44 AM

Beautiful mallet. Cherry and Maple real nice combination

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View WhoMe's profile


1369 posts in 2513 days

#7 posted 11-18-2012 03:05 AM

Thanks for the compliments, It was a fun project that will be useful for years to come. .
Don, yea, I feel MUCH more comfortable using the mallet on those stanleys than a hammer. It even works well with my other chisels too.
And yes, I have already posted it on the mallets thread quite a while ago. I am just getting around to posting all my projects in my project file.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View lysdexic's profile


4993 posts in 1893 days

#8 posted 11-18-2012 03:05 AM

Well executed and the results reflect it.

-- I love Jeeps

View ShaneA's profile


6143 posts in 1868 days

#9 posted 11-18-2012 03:25 AM

It looks great.

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