1. Thank you for this class Paul. I made a smaller version based on your mortising technique a few years ago. Your technique works great, and the mallet has been working pretty well, although it lacks “punch” due to its size (approximately 1/3 the volume and mass of yours). A larger one like the one you show in this series definitely makes more sense, so the mallet does more of the work. I look forward to making a bigger one!
    I like the curve you put on the mallet head, too. In addition to being more aesthetically pleasing, it seems like it would be easier to use in close quarters.

  2. Thank you again!
    Your estimation of measure and the marking using the fingers as a guide is almost uncanny.
    I’ll be practicing with the spoke-shave. I have one, but I haven’t mastered its use yet.


  3. Paul, thanks for the video. I see you using a rasp from time to time and was wondering about a brand and size if only one or two were able to be purchased. I know they are relatively expensive . Your thoughts?

  4. Paul thanks for taking the time in your 3 videos to explain the do’s and the don’ts in the making of a mallet. You are a great teacher with always a soft spoken word that’s very clear to the ear. I enjoyed it tremendously, and soon I’ll give it a go myself.

  5. Thanks to Paul, and his great production crew.
    Not only is the woodworker excellent but so is the camera coverage.
    So many so called instructional videos are lacking what your production has gotten down pat. That is the following of the craftsman’s hands at the point of cut lines.
    So many lessons are learned by watching the technique of the master craftsman as he moves about the project.
    A real treasure of teaching to those who love wood and making things of use.

  6. Paul,
    I plan to make a mallet using a cutoff from a large 12/4 plank of purple heart for the head and using either white oak or dogwood for the handle. I haven’t worked purple heart before and was wondering if it was suitable for the head?

  7. I just finished a mallet using beech for the head and ash for the handle. The beech was split from the log still green. The wood was harvested from fallen trees around my cottage that would otherwise have gone to the woodstove. The beech is very dense, and I made the (first) mallet a bit bigger than the video example. With handle it weighs 1.3 kg, although this will come down as the wood dries. I am usig an acrylic soaking solution to prevent end checks.

    I have really enoyed this project. Watching it time and again has given me insights into subtleties that are helping my woodwork outside this one project.

    A couple of questions –

    The video handle is 3/4″ thick. I went with 7/8″, which I find very comfortable in the hand. I have seen other mallets with 1″ thick handles. Why did you use 3/4″? (I am not disputing the choice. I am trying to learn more aout the “why” of some design elements to improve my own understanding.)

    The angle of 7 degrees for the head is a bit steeper than what I have seen in other examples. Some seem to be as little as 2 degrees, others at about 5. Can you comment on why 7, and maybe what the implications are for shallower angles? Again, I am asking with the goal of learning.

    Many thanks,

  8. Hello everyone,

    Has anyone has tried a mallet made of cherry? I have a large chunk that would dimensionally work well, but I’m not sure if it’s hard enough. It is American black cherry if that makes a difference.



  9. A beautiful thing no doubt.
    Head and shoulders above the shop bought article.
    I’m definitely going to make a couple of these. i think i know where i can get hold of a bit of elm.
    as an aside when i did woodwork at school we were told that on a well balanced mallet if you put a straight edge on the face and leave it on to the handle, the bottom corner of the handle should just touch the straight edge.
    Thus the width of the head and the length of the handle dictates the angle of the face.
    i have one like this an it feels ok.
    just a bit of useless information.

  10. I like that you reminded us that this is actually intended to be a technique-building exercise rather than a project. Although, many of us will build the tools and furniture and remember you each time we use them. Also, I agree with Adrian about the excellent quality of your videos. It’s nice to be able to see what you’re describing, as if we’re standing on the other side of your workbench and occasionally we lean in to get a closer look.

    One question occurs to me: Would there be any reason to finish the mallet with the handle removed? Or would that, in fact, cause a problem when the finished handle is wedged into the finished inside of the head?


  11. Sorry, Iat first glance I though you were asking if the handle should be removable.

    To answer your question, the only result of prefinishing might be that the handle might stick out the top of the head a bit more and need to be trimmed. There isn’t much harm in allowing a little extra room for the handle sides.

  12. Could you show us how to make high quality marking gages? I have a very expensive veritas double barrel one but am always needing more for various projects. Ive seen youtube videos of people making them by sharpening washers on drill presses etc. All those look amateur. I attempted to make some a few years ago with pins but had trouble just using nails for pins. they wouldn’t stay sharp long and oft bent.
    I love that you teach us how to make our own tools. I loved this video and the ones about making bow saws. I got to teach a high school wood shop class last year and we made some of your benches. You have been a blessing.

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