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Wood for carpenters mallet head?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 1000 days ago 5195 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brett

620 posts in 1288 days


1000 days ago

What types of wood are suitable for making the head a carpenter’s mallet (the kind with the boxy head, not round)? I know that beech is traditionall, but are there other, more plentiful, woods that have enough impact resistance?

-- More tools, fewer machines.


18 replies so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1679 days


#1 posted 1000 days ago

Any hardwood will do. The harder and heavier the better. I have a mallet made of maple many years ago. If I ever make another one, I may try an exotic that is even harder and heavier. Lignum vitae would be the ultimate. It has a specific gravity of 1.3 and a Janka index of 4000.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4137 posts in 1556 days


#2 posted 1000 days ago

I made one out of jatoba and one out of bocote. They both are holding up nicely. Click for details

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Don W's profile

Don W

14672 posts in 1172 days


#3 posted 1000 days ago

both cherry.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1259 days


#4 posted 999 days ago

Mines walnut. Hard heavy woods are good but don’t go crazy on the hardness scale since the harder your mallet is the more likely you are to blow up a chisel handle. I would rather make a mallet than re-handle a chisel.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View pariswoodworking's profile

pariswoodworking

379 posts in 1090 days


#5 posted 999 days ago

I made a mallet (round head) out of bodark (osage orange) once. It was really hard and heavy. I don’t know how well it would work for woodworking. I traded it to a friend who is a leatherworker before I ever used it for woodworking (I did use it a little when I was trying to learn leatherworking). He said it was great for punches and stamps. It might also be good for woodworking. You might try that. You could probably find some on ebay or somewhere else online for a decent price.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

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pariswoodworking

379 posts in 1090 days


#6 posted 999 days ago

Cherry Walnut and maple are also good choices without going overboard on hardness.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6123 posts in 1405 days


#7 posted 998 days ago

Different woods for different weights for different uses. There’s even a place for pine in mallet heads!

By the way, EVERYONE please do me and Charles a favor: click over to the Charles Niel vs Stumpy Nubs contest thread and help judge the boxes! Then come back here and continue your discussion with the warm inner feeling of having done another good deed…

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1557 days


#8 posted 998 days ago

Beech. I have a massive beech hammer for all around bench use and it holds up very well to the abuse.

-- Mike

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2253 days


#9 posted 998 days ago

As stated – any hardwood. I used hardwood from old pallets:
Click for details

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Chris 's profile

Chris

1867 posts in 2596 days


#10 posted 998 days ago

I made several of these a few years ago and they are still going strong. The laminated head seems to work extremely well.

Click for details

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View CodyJames's profile

CodyJames

78 posts in 1011 days


#11 posted 998 days ago

StumpyNubs said it best, different mallets different jobs, soft woods for softer, harder woods for harder. Different shapes and sizes as well. One of my favorite mallets a round handle, with a fatter round head. All one piece of wood, Maple. It’s “officially” a chisel mallet, but, I use it for darn near everything and if I want a softer dead blow on it, I have a leather bag I found at a garage sale that I put over it.

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

464 posts in 1856 days


#12 posted 997 days ago

I made mine out of maple and jatoba. Jatoba is extremely hard, dense and heavy. I use it regularly to bang on chisels and pound in dowels and it has held up very well.

Ryan

-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View jace_robert's profile

jace_robert

20 posts in 1080 days


#13 posted 993 days ago

I am currently researching about hand tools and in Woodworking Magazine from Autumn 2008 there is a list of tools reprinted from Charles H. Heyward and modified by the author Christopher Schwarz that recommends a mallet as haveing a 5” head and made from Beech.

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2498 days


#14 posted 993 days ago

just 2 observations

a “carpenters” mallet tells me how many stripes a person has on their shoulders, and to ask that question and read the answers leeds me to the next observation

nobody asked

whatcha doin with it ?……………here in lies the answer

you probably dont need one but they are fun to make, especially if they work when your done making one so I’m gonna go with, what ever you have on hand and agree with the crowd.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Moron

4666 posts in 2498 days


#15 posted 993 days ago

a “mallet’ quickly teaches both “its” limitations, and “yours”

: ))

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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