Carpenters Mallet




Introduction: Carpenters Mallet

Make a carpenters mallet to knock wooden pieces together and drive dowels or chisels.

Step 1: Handle

Cut a piece of stock for the handle.

Step 2: Bevel

Cut the handle so that one end is 1.5" wide and the other is 1" wide. Tack a 0.25" piece of scrap to the side of the handle to make the first angle cut. Place a 0.5" piece of scrap to the side to make the second angle cut.

Step 3: Head

Cut pieces for the head of the mallet.

Step 4: Glue

Glue the head pieces together, clamp and remove the handle.

Step 5: Router

Round the corners of the handle with a router.

Step 6: Head Angle

Cut the head at a slight angle to match that of the handle.

Step 7: Sand

Give all the parts a light sanding.

Step 8: Finish

Apply a few coats of Danish oil.

Step 9: Complete



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14 Discussions

I was using scrap wood in the shop and there just happened to be holes in it. They serve no functional value on the mallet, but I did try to make them symetrical.

Why didn't you use a solid block of hard wood and carve out the mortise for the handle? If you did it right you could make several mallets out of one block.

Also relying on a single block of wood to keep the handle at the correct angle for the table saw looks really unsafe.

3 replies

I didn't use a single block of wood because I didn't have anything in the shop of that thickness. I do most of my projects with wood I already have or acquire for free.

I saw that the typical method of making a mallet is in the manner you described with chiseled mortise, but my open minded, creative and slightly contrarian attitude pushed me to a different approach. My method seems to have worked very well and probably holds some advantages to novice woodworkers over the more mainstream method.

I do concede that the way I cut the handle isn't the safest, but I didn't feel unsafe doing it. A tapering jig of some sort would be the best bet if your concern is reducing risk to its lowest possible denominator.

You forget to mention how humble you were. The reason that traditional mallets use a solid block of hardwood is because glued blocks weaken over time and tend to break the head before the handle, but I'm sure your enlightened mind already knew that.

Maybe you had a hard time understanding my response. I was using recycled wood and that was the reason a single block was not used.

I checked out your instructables page and I have to say you have an impressive amount of contributions.

I should also mention that another reason mallets weaken is internet trolls sitting on their handles.

While one can just go and buy one of these there is a certain satisfaction to making one's own tools. Nicely done, I'll base my own mallet on this 'structable as I would like to have a smaller one for certain projects. (Yes I bought my larger one)

1 reply

I agree there is always a struggle between what one should buy and make oneself. I tend to lean toward making my own, with the luxury of time on my side and because it allows me to become familiar with some of my newer tools. Glad the instructable was of use and you have found your own balance, 'buy one, make one' :)


1 year ago

Old-time tools often had different names, depending on who used them. I've often seen this mallets w/slanted faces called a wheelwright's mallet. The slanted faces were a convenience in knocking together the FELLOES -- sections of a wheel's outer rim. The carpenter's mallet I won at a yard sale years has the slide-out handle (to fit into a tool-box) but the usual cylindrical head. I can see this instructable with cause recycling of many a shipping pallet.

1 reply

Thanks for the semantic input. I am new to mallets and chisels and I try to use the most precise terminology possible in my instructables, but I wasn't aware of the wheelwrights mallet. After a little research I agree a mallet with a slanted face is or was more accurately described that way. I thought about changing the name of the instructable, but it seems at the current time carpenters mallet is interchangeable with a number of wooden mallet styles.

What length did you use for your handle for a mallet this size?

1 reply

This would also be an usefull way to make mjölnir (Thor's hammer). Nice!