Making a Joiner’s Mallet: Part 3

Joiners Mallet ep3

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To complete the mallet there is some shaping and refining to do. Paul shows the various techniques that can be used to do the shaping. This includes putting some scollops into the handle and rounding certain aspects of the head. This completes the making of your joiner’s mallet, ready for woodworking.

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  1. Eddy Flynn on 10 October 2014 at 6:31 pm

    fantasic series ,would the same techniques be used for a gavel i could do with one in this house lol

  2. Mike Goldfine on 10 October 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Another wonderful tutorial Paul. I have been woodworking for about 18 years and I always learn several new things from every one of your videos.

  3. Sebastian on 10 October 2014 at 7:22 pm

    thank you

  4. Gordon Clark on 10 October 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I’m off to make that! Thanks Paul. I made the rabbet plane last weekend. Didn’t quite look like yours but works beautifully.

  5. Brian M on 10 October 2014 at 8:58 pm

    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.

  6. jos bentert on 10 October 2014 at 9:37 pm

    thank you for this class
    i already made a mallet but i made a bigger one this time

  7. Dave Ray on 10 October 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks Paul. I have three mallets (different sizes) I made years ago and have used extensively but none look as good as yours. I will be building yours shortly

  8. James Savage on 10 October 2014 at 10:31 pm

    I would love to have a go at this project. I have a log of Black Alder (A. glutinosa), can anyone tell me if this would be a suitable wood to make a mallet from please?
    Kind regards

  9. Maurice Villari on 11 October 2014 at 2:56 am

    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.


  10. johnnyr on 11 October 2014 at 2:59 am

    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?

  11. Mark Burgess on 11 October 2014 at 5:21 am

    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.

  12. António on 11 October 2014 at 11:10 am

    Thank YOU!

  13. Kirk Zabolio on 11 October 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Thanks again Paul. What is the brand of rasp and file that you use, as you said they can get quite expensive what are some lower priced ones?

    • Philip Adams on 11 October 2014 at 10:58 pm

      Hello Kirk,
      I have just linked to Paul’s post re the rasp in a previous comment. The file used is probably a Bahco single cut mill bastard file as we use those around the workshop a lot.

  14. Mark Busby on 11 October 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Thank you Paul,

  15. adrian on 12 October 2014 at 12:48 pm

    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.

  16. STEVE MASSIE on 12 October 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Paul, Thank You for this series, I am defiantly going to make a few. My Grandkids need a couple so this will be a fun project.


  17. Andrew Young on 13 October 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Paul, thankyou once again for the videos. You teach and explain things very well. Once again keep up with the good work.

    Regards Andrew

  18. Jimmy Chrisawn on 24 October 2014 at 4:18 am

    Thank you Paul! Your teachings have moved me to renew a long family tradition of hand woodworking. I guess I shall sell a lot of machines soon. Love working the wood!

  19. HC on 28 October 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Thanks for another motivating lesson!

  20. smiley on 11 November 2014 at 3:16 am

    Would it be a terrible idea to use a laminated head stock of red oak?

  21. Matt B. on 18 November 2014 at 12:17 am

    Roughly how much would an oak mallet of that size weigh?

  22. John Verreault on 12 February 2015 at 6:20 pm

    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?

  23. sodbuster on 6 August 2015 at 4:11 am

    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,

  24. Berry Taft on 29 December 2015 at 1:25 am

    Thank you Mr. Paul.

  25. benhavo on 24 June 2016 at 12:03 pm

    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.



  26. rustifer on 9 August 2016 at 11:39 pm

    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.

  27. Thomas Hanson on 24 October 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I’ve been looking for the perfect mallet design for 45 years, think I found it. I’m making one now. 1 thumb up.

  28. buckboards on 28 April 2017 at 3:12 pm

    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?


  29. Larry Geib on 28 April 2017 at 6:41 pm

    The mallet takes up less room in a tool box if you can break it down

  30. Larry Geib on 28 April 2017 at 7:07 pm

    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.

  31. Gregory Menges on 10 May 2017 at 1:26 pm

    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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