A little while ago a friend popped in with some presents for me – three logs. One of apple, one of ash and a smaller one of acacia (myrtle). I had put word about that I was interested in some big lumps of seasoned hardwood to make a mallet from.
It was after watching these videos from Paul Sellers that I first became interested in making my own mallet. He uses oak in the videos, but I had read somewhere that apple was quite a traditional wood for mallet heads, so I decided to go with that.
I began by cutting the basic shape of the mallet head from the log. I slightly cheated here and used a chainsaw, but everything from then on was hand tools only.
I then dimensioned and squared the head, made a 7° chamfer on each face and marked out the tapered mortise hole for the handle.
Chopping out the hole was laborious. I began by boring holes through the head at an angle and finishing up with a chisel. I then dimensioned a piece of ash for the handle, taking care to replicate the angle of the tapered mortice exactly.
Final shaping of the head and handle was done with a plane, spokeshave and scraper, and the whole thing was finished with three coats of boiled linseed oil, 24 hours between coats.
As Paul Sellers suggests, I am going to leave the handle protruding for a few weeks before cutting it down to 1/8″.
Watch the videos for more details.
I really enjoyed this project, and in the future I might make some more mallets from the ash. I’m not sure what to do with the acacia though. Any ideas?