Making a Joiner’s Mallet

Joiners Mallet 2

This is the introduction for a free series. Want to watch the whole thing? It is free to do so, you just need to log into the site and you can enjoy this series and many other videos we think you will love.

Making a wooden mallet is a traditional apprentice piece in which you can practice your mortise and tenons as well as shaping skills. It also provides you with a handmade and very useful tool to have in your toolbox for years to come. Paul shows you how to construct and finesse the shape of his favourite mallet design.

Please note: This project does not have a downloadable drawing.

Cutting List


Size (inches)

Size (mm)

Head6″ x 4″ x 3″150 x 100 x 75
Handle3/4″ x 1 3/4″ x 14″19 x 45 x 355

Tools needed:

  • Knife
  • Square
  • Combination gauge (or marking gauge and mortise gauge)
  • Chisel hammer
  • Chisels (3/4″ and 1″)
  • Tape/Ruler
  • Smoothing plane
  • Spokeshave
  • Handsaw
  • Bowsaw (optional)
  • Tape/Ruler (or both)
  • Sliding bevel
  • Brace/drill driver & 11/16” bit
  • Rasp/File

The joints used in this project:

  • Tapered Mortice and Tenon


  1. bcullen on 1 August 2016 at 1:03 am

    Do you think mesquite would make a good mallet? Here in Texas I can get it fairly easily from just about anyone selling firewood.

  2. Michael Barnes on 1 August 2016 at 9:36 am

    Is this the same mallet we saw a couple of years ago? The date suggests it was added recently but I know I’ve seen this before

    • Mark Hawkins on 3 August 2016 at 11:00 am

      @barrygee Yes, this is the same mallet. We are in the process of neatening things up a bit on the Tools & Techniques page to make it a bit more comprehensible. To that end I am trying to get all the videos from one sequence nested under a Main Page. At the moment, this means that this new main page will pop up with a very recent date, so you will probably see a few more examples of this before we finish.

  3. Mike Bulger on 9 August 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Is that a ‘flat’ spokeshave? I would like to acquire a spokeshave for this project, but am unsure of which type I need.

    • David R. on 9 August 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Paul usually uses a flat spokeshave, it works well for this task. Since the blade is protruding below the plane, it can create a hollow shape. A round bottomed spokeshave is apparently not as easy to use and intended for tighter radii. In “Essential Woodworking Hand Tools” he states that the flat sole one works best for concave curves with a radius down to 6″.

  4. Brian McCarty on 9 November 2017 at 11:29 pm

    I just completed this mallet out of some left-over white ash. Such a simple design. I don’t know if it is that simple pride, or great design/materials, but this is for sure my favorite mallet. My daughter thinks it looks like Thor’s hammer.

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

  5. Kalman Grof-Tisza on 25 January 2019 at 2:47 pm

    I am relatively new to woodworking and Just finished my mallet last night and it came out pretty good. I made it head out of wenge and the handle out of tigerwood. The wenge has some crazy grain in it and was pretty hard on my planes and chisels. But without your videos to guide me I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I posted the pics in the gallery. Thank you for the great instruction!

  6. Dmitry V on 14 August 2019 at 10:05 pm


    It’s seems like that link does’t work –

    • Izzy Berger on 15 August 2019 at 9:18 am


      Thank you for letting us know.

      This is one of our older projects which doesn’t have a downloadable drawing. We are working on removing the link to this to avoid confusion.

      Kind Regards,

  7. Larry Geib on 15 August 2019 at 9:34 pm

    There are still these drawings up on the web.

    • Benoît Thomoux on 14 February 2020 at 12:27 pm

      Seeing the drawings in the above link, it seems the angle of the head stock is about 13°. Isn’ It too much ? I heard more of 5° which is the natural angle from one’s elbow to the mallet head.
      I think too much angle would cocked one’s wrist too much during the swing of the mallet ?
      Thanks in advance for any input.

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