Everyone had a reason. And pretty soon all of those reasons added up and we were left with half a dozen mallets or so. I wanted to build myself a heavy hitter for chopping with a little more authority; David built himself a smaller mallet for adjusting wooden planes; I wanted to make my father one so that he could truly enjoy his new set of lie-nielsen chisels; and Brian need a new mallet after wearing out his old workhorse. The tough white oak stuck ensures this round of mallets is going to come out swinging for a while. We stuck to Roy’s method of using a wedged tenon to attach the mallet heads – a firm tap releases the head from the base of the shaft and even more importantly a firm hit doesn’t fling the head off the other direction.
What a great project for clearing out some old scraps – we selected different woods for the handles – David used left over hickory for his handle and I found some pieces of white oak left over from a tool cabinet I built when I first got my shop.
David’s smaller mallet for adjusting our wooden planes. These mallets are trickier than they look – the angle on the shaft needs to be flat and match the angle inside mortise or it doesn’t quite grip right. This time around I used a bed float to help flatten out the side walls of the mortise. All things said and done, as long as you keep the mallet in your hand, there is only so much that can go wrong.
All in – the complete set of my mallets. I have got the heavy hitters for the froe on the left, and gentle tappers for adjusting planes on the right. The photo is a little deceiving as David and I will have to split the pile when we split up shops – leaving us with a perfectly acceptable five mallets each.