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Materials Used For The Wooden Mallets:
Scrap hardwood, I used Maple, Oak, Walnut, Purpleheart and Padauk
Wood Glue :
Wipe-On Poly :
Tools Used Making The Wooden Mallets:
Powermatic 15HH 15-Inch Planer :
Laguna 1412 Bandsaw :
SawStop PCS 1.75-HP Professional Cabinet Saw :
Festool Kapex Miter Saw :
Mirka Deros Sander :
Parallel Clamps :
Veritas Low Angle Jack Plane :
Card Scraper :
HNT Gordon Block Plane & Smoothing Plane :
FastCap 10 Million Dollar Stick:
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► TRUNCATED TRANSCRIPT:
I’ve been hanging onto a few shorter scrap hardwood cutoffs for a little while now and decided it was time to use them up. The pieces I had included some Hard Maple, Walnut, Quartersawn White Oak, Purpleheart and Padauk.
Most of these pieces were really too short to do much of anything with, so I figured making some nice looking mallets out of them would be perfect. After a lot of research, I landed on this design which is evidently based on a ShopNotes article from 25 years ago, but the design has been built by a few other YouTube woodworkers, most notably Steve Ramsey.
The design is simple enough, with the head of the mallet made up of a few pieces of ¾” stock glued together with a pocket of BBs or lead weights on each end of the head.
Most of the scraps I used for this build were 8/4 or 2” thick, so I first needed to resaw them on the bandsaw and then plane them down to an even thickness on the planer.
Once the pieces were milled to a consistent thickness, I ripped them to 3 ½” wide at the bandsaw.
After ripping, I moved over to the miter saw and squared up one end of each of the pieces before cutting them to their final length of six inches.
Next, I marked the hole location for the 1 ½” hole I’ll drill to house the BBs. The hole is centered along the pieces longer edge, at 1 ¾” from each side, and is set in 1 ¼” from the ends.
After center punching the holes, I moved over to the drill press and drilled the holes using a 1 ½” Forstner bit.
Next, it was time to cut the pieces to their final length of 2 ½”. The blade was set at 2 degrees to form a taper on one end of the piece, and this will form a tapered mortise when glued up into the mallet head, which will allow the handle tenon to be wedged into place.
You can see here how the piece will look after cutting, with the taper on one end. When the two pieces are cut with the tapers on the inside edge, they form a perfect space for the wedged tenon.
I did the glue up in two stages, first gluing the center pieces to one of the outside faces, just to make things a little less stressful. It is critical here to make sure the tapered ends are mirrored during the glue up, otherwise this whole wedging system will not work. I just used the second face during the first glue up to help make clamping a little easier.
After letting the glue setup for about an hour, I removed the clamps and added the BBs.
After adding the BBs, I added a temporary clamp to hold everything together while I added the main clamps. This just makes sure you don’t end up with a couple hundred BBs on the floor of your shop.
Once the glue had dried, I scrapped off any squeeze out and then flattened the edges with my low angle jack plane. One of my goals this year is to do more with my hand tools, and this project really gave me a chance to get a little practice in. The low angle jack flattened the edges in a few passes and left a super clean surface. I did make sure to check for square and make any necessary adjustments there.