Make a One Piece Club Mallet

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Introduction: Make a One Piece Club Mallet

This is how to make a club mallet from a log, Cherry in this case.
A traditional woodsmans tool.

Step 1: Warning Triangle Time

Take care when using sharp tools!!!

Step 2: Tools:

Saw
Axe or large chisel
Drawknife or sharp knife

Step 3: Choose Your Log

Around 30cm long and 150mm diameter is a good starting point, but you can make it any size you like.
Any hardwood is OK, Apple, Plum or Cherry is very good Holly is too, and Hawthawne, if there are any knots or branch points these will make the mallet tougher, so keep these at the head end.
I should point out that if using some green woods particularly Cherry, there is the possibility of cracking when drying, so maybe go for a mostly dry log.

Step 4: Mark Out

Mark a circle in the center on the handle end of the log about 20mm larger than the handle will be.

Step 5: Next

I usually mark the saw at the depth at which you want to cut to, and then use it as a reference all the way around but allowing for the log not being perfectly round.
Start to cut around the circumfrence half way along the 30cm log, you want to leave the middle or 'core' intact and depending on the size of the user's hand this can be anything from 30 - 50mm (see diagram).
**Take care not to cut too deep as this will weaken the handle.

Step 6: Cut

Now take an axe or large chisel and split the wood away from around the handle, start away from the circle you marked and work your way inwards, if using an axe, as you get nearer the to the circle change to a chisel for more control.
Taper the handle in from the end, towards the head - this will improve grip and stop the mallet from slipping from your hand in use.
Then use a drawknife or a sharp knife for a smoother finish.

Step 7: Amost Done

Cut off the mallet at the required length and saw off any branch stubs.

Step 8: Finally

Take off the bark and any sapwood then chamfer the edges.
There you have it, a simple and effective tool.

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41 Comments

There are a lot of good books around but I suppose the main man is Mike Abbott, often considered to be a leader of the green woodworking revival, the two books which come to mind are : 'Green Woodwork' and 'Living Wood'

http://www.living-wood.co.uk/index.html

Just wanted to say thanks for the brilliant, simple guide. I followed the steps and made my own rough n ready monster. It's made of Yew and it's full of knots so hopefully it will last me a while. I'll be using it for hedgelaying and log splitting.

1422311516145-576912691.jpg
4 replies

That looks like it could do some damage, Good choice of wood, just a thought but if you took a few inches off the handle it would balance better, although you're probably happy with it as it is, the 'knottyness' should hold it all together nicely - well done.

Cheers I am in the shed. Believe it or not, the balance is pretty good. That club is pretty dense! It's also just long enough for me to get both hands round for a more 'persuasive' swing, too.

I am planning to make a few more of varying (smaller) size, though. It seems to be very addictive!

It's so satisfying to make something personal to you, I have made many of these in various styles to suit the user, dry stone wallers, hurdle makers, basket makers and lumberjacks included.... Make more and spread them around - I heard recently that one of mine made in North Wales has been to Canada, and now lives in Ireland, that feels good.

That is very cool, and a well travelled mallet!
I get the feeling I'll be making lots of them now. Could you recommend any good literature on the subject, btw?

The measurement should be taken from the teeth up, not from the spine of the saw down. You marked it correctly in your photo, but the drawing is slightly misleading. Great article and something I plan to try!

6 replies

I didn't take a measurement, I merely marked the saw as an indicator as to when to stop sawing. I didn't say anything about measuring from the spine.

I thought I would share the finished product.

Well done, that looks like it would be good for carving, thanks for sharing.

Thanks for the plans! I plan to make a few more.

You're welcome, It can be addictive - as you have found.

Image didn't upload, here's a link: http://imgur.com/cbj7T

"Take care when using sharp tools!!!"

Goes very nicely with a wooden mallet !!!! :D

1 reply

Yes indeed... and the tools used to make the mallet.

I made one of these about 8 or 10 years ago,and it gets used alot,a real handy tool to make.

once again, excellent work. i made a two piece mallet from apple wood a while back, but this seems to be a much better method. skal (thank you)!

2 replies

Thanks, The two piece mallets are good for most things but when you want to really give something a good whack - like log splitting - then this is the job. One I made from Holly has a 13" long x 9" diameter head, which can't be used for too long without damaging your shoulder.

When you say log splitting i take it you mean splitting a log along its length with a series of wedges and not as in something to hit the head of a axe that is stuck in a block of firewood?  

You would have arms on you like Popeye if you worked with one of these all day.

Its no wonder that we now live longer, its because men no longer have to use tools like this on a daily basis and you don't wear out as quick, I don't even go into my shed on days that the power is switched off lol.

Good to see the old skills kept alive I hate to see them just being forgotten.