A wooden mallet is mostly used in carpentry to knock wooden pieces or to drive dowels or chisels. Using a wooden mallet will not deform the striking end of a metal tool. It is also used to reduce the force driving the cutting edge of a chisel, giving better control. Mallets are readily available in the market; however, you may create a mallet if you wish to have a personalized mallet. There are ways on how to make a round wooden mallet. Some instructions are posted online, which are easy to follow.
Making Your Wooden Mallet
If you want to make a personalized round wooden mallet for yourself or as a present, you may do so. All you need is to know the step by step procedures on how to make a round wooden mallet.
- Table saw, or miter saw
- Drill press or hand drill
- Bank saw (optional)
Step by Step Procedure
Step 1: Select Your Wood
You may use a variety of food. If you plan to use the mallet for chisel work, you may use a harder wood like Oak or Maple; however, if you use it on more delicate assembly work, you may want to use softer wood, e.g., Poplar. You may also use up-cycled, reclaimed, recycled, reused, old rescued pallet wood in making your mallet.
Step 2: Prepare Your Material
Determine the mallet head you want to make. For this mallet, use about 3 1/8″ wide head, 6″ long and a 1 3/4″ wide handle about 12″ long. Start with material that has a good size or larger than you prefer, towards the end, we will cut it off later.
If you are unsure on the size yet, check your hammer, make adjustments from there; this is your mallet, customize it according to your liking.
If you’re using big, solid wood, skip step 3; however, if you are using smaller pieces, keep going through step 3.
Step 3: Laminate
If you are using small pieces of wood or wood scrap, laminate them according to your desired size. It is better that you go a little longer than your desired length; you will trim it down later. Use enough amount of glue to cover your pieces of wood.
Use plenty of clamps. We want the most reliable possible we can make, using plenty of clamps, which means you will be successful with this step. You are aiming for 40lbs of pressure per square inch (PSI) with the clamps. Hand-tight as hard as you can, and you will hit your mark.
Let the blank sit overnight, but 4 to 6 hours will do. Remove the clamps and use the miter saw to square off the ends of your mallet head blank. Use your table saw further to square up the blank into a perfect square.
Step 4: Prepare the Blanks for the Lathe
Draw a line from corner to corner with a pencil or pen to get the center.
Step 5: Attach the Head Blank to the Lathe
Get the centers as perfect as you can, adjust if need be. The more square it is to start, the easier it will be to turn down.
Step 6: Put the Handle Blank to the Lathe
Same as the headpiece, after marking your centers, turn the handle to a size that feels comfortable for you. Ensure not to turn the top of the handle down past the size of the Forstner bit that you will use later to cut a hole in the head. For this mallet, use a 1-3/8″ bit.
Step 7: Turn It Down
Use whatever method you’re comfortable with on the lathe to turn down your head and handle. You do what works for you, be smart, and stay safe.
Step 8: Turn the Handle
Play with your grip. Add some curves, ridges, finger slots or grooves, or go the quick and easy route to make it smooth and round.
Step 9: Sand the Parts
You will do most of your sanding on the lathe and only need to do any hand sanding if you find something you miss; go as smooth as you like.
Step 10: Ready the Head for Assembly
Make it simple: 90-degree holder to accommodate the head’s size. Then used a 1 3/8″ Forstner bit to drill a hole into the head of the mallet. Ensure you know what size you’re going to use before taking the grip off the lathe. Get it as near as possible using some calipers; then, you can fine-tune the shape with sandpaper during assembly.
Step 11: Cut and Form the Head and Grip
Take the head over to the miter saw then cut off the ends to make sure they are good and square. This procedure will also remove the holes and marks from your life centers on the lathe.
Step 12: Measure for Placement
Cut one end of the head then measure back to the edge of the grip hole. Take that measurement to the other side of the head; that is where you will cut to make sure both sides of the mallet are the same.
Step 13: Clean Up
Use a trim router and a 1/8″ round-over bit to give the head a final look. Just run the bit throughout each end of the head. This procedure provides a beautifully soft, finished look to the head of the mallet.
Step 14: Ready the Handle for Assembly
Cut a slot at the end of the grip, roughly 1/8 of an inch wide so you can cut a custom wedge to fit into the grip. This procedure will secure the handle to the head with some wood glue and friction. Use a contrasting shade of wood for this step.
Once your grip and wedge are attached, cut the excess off as close to the head as you can at the band saw. Use your disc sander, stationary or handheld, to obtain the head’s top and handle flush.
Step 15: Make a sloth in the handle
Use a band saw then cut a roughly 1/8 inches wide slot about 2 inches long at the top of the grip. This procedure will be used to drive a wedge into the handle and press it out against the mallet’s head.
Step 16: Apply your finish of choice
I used some wipe-on Polyurethane for my mallet. You could use lacquer, shine juice, polyacrylic, or just an oil finish if you wanted. You will likely be needing to reapply some finish as you use it, and it wears off, so go with something user friendly.
You now know the steps procedure on how to make a round wooden mallet, you may now try and make one, or you may share this with your friends who love to do woodworks.
By simply following the above procedures, everyone will be skilled on how to make a round wooden mallet.
Making a personalized wooden mallet can be easy and fun. Follow the instructions above on how to make a round wooden mallet carefully. You can certainly add it to your collection of tools. Here’s how to learn more about wooden mallets.