Instructables
Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

one piece mallet.jpg
3.jpg
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.
9000_red2 years ago
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!
I am in the shed! (author)  9000_red2 years ago
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.
I am in the shed! (author)  9000_red2 years ago
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.
I am in the shed! (author)  9000_red2 years ago
You're welcome, It can be addictive - as you have found.
Image didn't upload, here's a link: http://imgur.com/cbj7T
overblast2 years ago
"Take care when using sharp tools!!!"

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

I am in the shed! (author)  overblast2 years ago
Yes indeed... and the tools used to make the mallet.
spylock2 years ago
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)!
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.
i do have arms like Popeye, no joke. it helps that i am a young, healthy individual, but my health has been positively affected by all the exercise i get using hand tools. the main reason we live longer today is that we understand our bodies and have access to better medical technonogy, not the advent of power-tools.

I am in the shed! (author)  Dr Qui2 years ago
Well, both really... its usually my weapon of choice for anything which requires a good whack, we don't have any power in the greenwoodworking shed apart from a light, we are all relatively fit and healthy in the coppicing group - that says a lot I s'pose.
beats the use of a ten pound sledge all day for sure
meddler2 years ago
That, is a neat idea. Can't wait to try it.
GainEnergy2 years ago
VERY CLEVER IDEA!!! AM going to share this with my husband!!! He loves to make anything out any wood scraps!!! Thank you very much for sharing this!!!
I am in the shed! (author)  GainEnergy2 years ago
Thank you, You're welcome!
jongscx2 years ago
I misread the title and thought this was a mallet you brought "to the club"...
I am in the shed! (author)  jongscx2 years ago
and what club do you go to then? :P
Phil112 years ago
Great instructable, great looking mallet!
I made two mallets similar to the one in this instructable out of beech recently and the one that I have indoors has cracks. Adds to the character!
Have to disagree with the gent who says people live longer because they don't use tools like these, but heavy powered hand tools can give a good workout too!
r-philp2 years ago
that looks like a fantastic tool, and I may have a go a making one myself.
In your last photo, the bark still looks pretty green. Do you have any trouble with the wood splitting as it dries, or do you do something to address that?
Dr Qui r-philp2 years ago
From my experience of trying to dry timber blanks from fallen or log pile timber, I have found that when you chose the log that does not seem to have any cracks in it is best to actually take about 6 inches of the end of the log and then cut of the desired length to work with. I found that small cracks would be forming at the ends of the log and they stay hidden until you work the piece and it starts drying and at this point they just snap open. by cutting away the end to about 5-6" you should have less chance of it splitting.

Also avoid knots as they will give trouble.

The secret of drying out is absolutely no heat or dont leave it sitting in direct sunlight, keep it some where cool with a good air flow and you will be laughing, if you workshop is heated you are more likely to have it crack, I turned green wood bowls that came up lovely only to wake the next morning to see it crack from being brought into a centrally heated house. now they stay out in a drying box for at least 6 months before I dare bring them indoors.
I am in the shed! (author)  Dr Qui2 years ago
I'm involved in a local coppicing group and we work the wood green so we tend to leave it in big pieces outside and cut it as needed, sometimes the ends are waxed or painted but this doesn's always make much difference depending on the species.
Once the wood is split and the tension is released in the fibres, the risk of cracking is greatly reduced soI just over cut the length by a few inches. This mostly works.
Other than that I have several friends in forestry/timber who cut and plank, so I usually get my seasoned stock from them.
Awesome mallet, jumping on the dry/cracking wood thread. One trick that does take a little advance planning that some of my woodworking friends use is to dry your log out before you even cut down the tree. The tree in question has most of its branch tips cut off to where they are an inch or wider. Then go to the base of the tree and remove a 6 inch wide swath of bark around the bottom of the tree, and walk away for several months if you can wait that long. Drys out much faster this I find with less waist and reduce cracking. Anyway, this is not a new idea, and I'm sure it has its cons as well. Our user names are similar, though yours is a little more appropriate.
That's the same thing beavers do to kill trees, right? It's called Girdling or Collaring or something similar I think.
I am in the shed! (author)  r-philp2 years ago
To be honest its dripping wet! and now orange, I didn't have anything dry to use, and Cherry is notorius for cracking, but this has happened several times and doesn't usually affect the use of the mallet. We had one which lasted for over seven years, and was known as the 'clapper' due to the sound it made.
I suppose I should edit the text to warn people - thanks for mentioning it.
I am in the shed! (author) 2 years ago
These were not really intended to last very long - originally.
1hotpilot2 years ago
I am totally inexperienced with making my own tools. I have been taught the reason for wood splitting lengthwise (called checking) as it dries is due to the difference in density of the center core, heartwood, and the outer softwood. I can't help thinking that starting with a much larger diameter & using only the heartwood for the mallet that spliting & cracking would be much much less. I suppose if the material is stripped of the outer layers before drying it might hold it's integrity better. Those who know, please educate me of the downsides & pitfalls this method encounters.
morfmir2 years ago
I like your work, that mallet looks god and durable. To prevent the mallet from cracking it would be a god idea to soak the mallet in lineseed oil.
I have made a lot of this kind of mallets for my woodworking classes, my favorite wood is elm or hawthorn.

/Thomas
Dr Qui2 years ago
When i first saw the Title of one piece mallet i though that would not work from my own experience of turning mallets, but when I saw the traditional woodsman tool it was oh yeah big and clunky throw away thing made from what is growing on site.

I made a few mall work shop mallets from White thorn, I like them as they take no tile to make and you can be rough on them as they get recycled into the fire when they jet to tatty to work with.

I was glad to see that the wood you are using has the same dark inner core as the stuff I have, I had 2 large branches come down in a storm just before Christmas, I just got the last of it cut up yesterday. I plan to season it into turning blanks.
bricobart2 years ago
Nice work, I like!
I am in the shed! (author)  bricobart2 years ago
Thank you friend.