Dead blow mallet

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Project by Mark Gipson posted 05-24-2013 11:33 AM 4101 views 8 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A dead blow mallet built from the plans in ShopNotes #2. Both the handle and head are laminated beech and ‘makaa’, a Thai hardwood. Makaa is one of my favourite Thai woods. The rough boards are a very rich dark brown, almost red colour but freshly planed it’s quite light. I have no idea how long it takes for the colour to change, it will be interesting to find out.
Holes in the core of the head are packed full of fishing weights, they are loose but very full so the rattle is minimal. Finish is a couple of coats of teak oil followed by a buffing with a rag.

15 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2127 days

#1 posted 05-24-2013 11:43 AM

Nice mallet. Where do you guys buy the fishing weights in bulk like that?

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View woodzy's profile


418 posts in 2799 days

#2 posted 05-24-2013 12:16 PM

Nice work.

-- Anthony

View johnstoneb's profile


3001 posts in 2293 days

#3 posted 05-24-2013 01:07 PM

Nice mallet. That plan in Shop Notes makes for a very nice mallet and it is easily modified with different woods and shapes. The leather face really stops the mallet from marring a surface.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Mark Gipson's profile

Mark Gipson

189 posts in 3500 days

#4 posted 05-24-2013 01:16 PM

The ShopNotes plan is a good one and was easy to follow.
Joe, hopefully someone closer to home can help you with fishing weights. Here in Thailand I bought them from a local fishing store, they had tiny packets of weights but simply weighed out a kilo for me when I asked for a larger amount. I have plenty spare now for future projects.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21114 posts in 3225 days

#5 posted 05-24-2013 01:28 PM

That’s a neat mallet! So that is how they do it?? I thought you made a round hollow tube and glued one end on after it was filled with lead. Another place to get lead weights is a tire shop. Use wheel weights and cut them up to fit.
thanks for sharing!!..............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Mark Gipson's profile

Mark Gipson

189 posts in 3500 days

#6 posted 05-24-2013 01:32 PM

Jim, I have seen plans similar to your idea in Woodsmith I think. Their plan was to build up a hollow head with a small hole in it, pour in weights through a funnel and then glue on a cap. You could probably get more weight in that way. In total this weighs 22oz with most of the weight in the head. Should be enough as my joints aren’t usually very tight :-)

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2127 days

#7 posted 05-24-2013 01:33 PM

Thanks Mark. I didn’t look at your profile and wasn’t aware where you lived.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Sergio's profile


470 posts in 2812 days

#8 posted 05-24-2013 01:40 PM

Nice looking Mallet, the color changes with light, so if it is exposed to direct sunlight it will get not evenly darkened. You may want to store it near a window but no direct sunlight and change its position each week or so. Takes some months in that way, even more than a year depending on the amount of light it is exposed to. No problem at all, since this tool will last forever…

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View Gibernak's profile


124 posts in 1966 days

#9 posted 05-24-2013 02:30 PM

Looks very nice, thanks for the inspiration

View michaelray's profile


232 posts in 3574 days

#10 posted 05-24-2013 04:02 PM

Nice job! I made one about 4 years ago and it’s still going strong in my shop.

Got it on my to-do list to make some as gifts for my brothers one of these days.


View SPalm's profile


5321 posts in 4002 days

#11 posted 05-24-2013 04:33 PM

Nice job. Love the wood too.

I made on of these several years ago. I use it all the time for general whacking. I leave it on the bench because it stands up on its head and doesn’t consume very much space.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View madts's profile


1869 posts in 2460 days

#12 posted 05-24-2013 08:33 PM

I see a lot of mallets with the faces parallel to the handle, and others with an angle to the handle. I like an angle.
Does anybody have the right angle, if there is to be an angle?
Very nice mallet by the way.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2787 days

#13 posted 05-25-2013 12:57 AM

Nicely done Mark.
It’s good to use a tool you have made yourself especially one as nice as this one .
I like the wood combination ,well done !

-- Kiefer

View Mark Gipson's profile

Mark Gipson

189 posts in 3500 days

#14 posted 05-25-2013 09:36 AM

madts, here is a blog entry from swirt with some info and a link on a way to determine the angle for a mallet. This mallet has no angle as I will be using on the rare occasions I get a nice tight joint, on my chisel mallet I choose 5 degrees for the head angle.

View steliart's profile


2786 posts in 2808 days

#15 posted 06-26-2013 12:03 AM

nice wood choice

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

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