Wooden Joiner’s Mallets


I made three wooden joiners mallets this year, following the Paul Sellers videos (1, 2, 3).

The first has a head of laminated Beech and an Ash handle. Mostly because that is what I had around!

There are no nails or screws in these, just wooden joinery. The handle and mortise in the head are both tapered to ensure a snug fit.

The process is pretty simple: Cut the head and handle to size, find the centers, plan out your mortise, drill out the mortise, chisel the mortise the rest of the way, shape the head, shape the handle, then coat!

Drilling the mortise with a brace and auger bit

I finished it with a mixture of boiled linseed oil and beeswax.

It is rougher than the next two I made, which is to be expected for my first time cutting deep mortises like this with a chisel. I also didn’t pay as much attention to the corners as I did with the later ones. I don’t love the way this one looks, so I use it as my main mallet for chisel work and don’t mind banging it up.

After learning a few lessons on the first one, I made two more with Oak heads. One was a Father’s Day gift for my Dad with an Ash handle and the other has an Oak handle as well and is kept on the house bar for crushing ice. I didn’t take any progress pictures unfortunately. I did get to use my first mallet to make these, though!

I opted to let the heads soak up mineral oil to give them a little extra heft and to help keep them from splitting. After they soaked up oil for a few days, I let the surface dry out a little bit and then coated them with Mighty Bull’s Wax from Corey’s Bio Blends.

The ice crusher has a shorter handle and a smaller head. It works great with a Lewis bag!

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