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Scrap Wood Mallet

I have always liked the idea of making my own tools. While the complexities of an electric drill are far beyond me, a simple wooden mallet is well within reach. By making your own, you can customize it to fit your needs and aesthetic.

A wooden mallet is great for tapping chisels and easing joints together. Unlike a metal hammer, it isn’t hard enough to dent chisels or mar a wooden project. Additionally, it is less likely than a rubber mallet to leave black scuff marks on a wooden surface. The sound of a wooden mallet striking a chisel is also much more pleasant to my ears than the ringing of metal on metal.

Small pieces of scrap wood are glued together to form this mallet. Mallets are traditionally made of dense woods like ebony or persimmon, but this light duty version will use plywood. Pieces are measured and cut roughly to size. Two slightly angled blocks are sandwiched between pieces of blue plywood. This slight angle will also be cut into the handle to act as a wedge, to prevent the head from flying off.

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One could take care to align everything perfectly during layout and glue up, but a final sanding and shaping will account for these overlaps. Once glued together, I believe the mallet will be easier to work with, as opposed to shaping small pieces individually.

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Pieces are laid out and a thin layer of wood glue is spread over all the faces with a popsicle stick.

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Everything is clamped together and left to dry overnight.
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When striking a chisel or punch, the hammer makes contact much higher than the surface of the table.  Because of this, the faces of the mallet are often given a slight bevel, or angle. In this case, one face at 4 degrees, one at 2, to account for different user heights.

 

 

Finally, the handle is shaped to make it more comfortable.

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There are hundreds of examples of self-made mallets from the primitive to the refined. Make one of these mallets, then use it to make something else!

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-Derek

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