Making a Modular Mallet // How To - Woodworking
Hey guys! Introducing the “Modular Mallet”! #modularmallet We are starting with a total of 3 attachments with the opposite side being a regular large face for tapping or going full force. Yes, it looks nice but make no mistake I’ll give it a good run! The handle is crafted with a taste of axe handle design with two grips, each to fit the palm depending on which side is used. The lighter taps that require more control allow you to choke up on the handle and bring your hand closer to the base providing all the control you need.
For the attachments:
1) longer narrower round attachment made from hard #maple similar to the round headed mallets you often see. For getting deeper into a piece that isn’t a flat surface or just for generalized concentrated areas on a piece, perhaps smaller areas that need attention.
2) Partially pointed or coned shaped attachment for even more concentration on smaller pieces that are often harder to tap with a larger flat face. This piece has a Phillips head design detail
3) Rubber tip attachment for obviously a reduction/elimination of damage to the object.
This was such a joy to create. I had my hurdles which include some cracking from the wedges but all in all I’m really happy with the results!
I started by choosing the wood which was a mix of offcuts and some Walnut that I had laying around. The walnut sides for the mallet head had a little bit of figure in them which I knew would make for a nice look. The center pieces that would surround the mallet handle were highly figured offcuts from an oak stump. I have several other projects/pieces that I’ve created that have similar figure in them. Definitely blessed with a good score on free wood! I chose my pieces and then began working.
I started like I usually do by milling the wood and cutting to the proper dimensions. After the pieces were milled, I glued one side to the two center pieces. I cut a 12 degree angle for the center section where the handle and wedges would go. I think looking back I would go with a steeper angle because the gap was a little too wide which required an additional front wedge to compensate. All in all it worked out find but a good learning experience.
Once the one side and two center pieces were complete, I paused and started working on the handle. I wanted to take the comfort and contour design you see at the end of an axe and incorporate that into the mallet handle I then decided that if both ends are going to be used I could create a double palm contour and I think it turned out awesome. Feels so nice in the hand.
I cut the shape on the bandsaw and then took a rasp to the handle and then finally 80 grit, 120 grit, 220 grit, 320 grit, 400 grit and then jumped to 1000 grit. The higher you go obviously the smoother it will be and you can tell by the nice smooth shine that the handle just blew away my expectations.
I switched back over to the mallet head. I drilled holes for the BBs and added enough to make the mallet come in around 40 oz in weight. That might seem heavy but I needed a heavier mallet, my max before this was 24 oz. and that often lacked the weight I needed. I capped off the opening with BBs with the other walnut panel and used the Titebond II glue. I cut each side to final length and then began to sketch out where the tapered cuts would be for the attachments end. I made the cuts on the bandsaw and then makes the hole prior to threading the cavity using the threading tool. Somewhere in there I routed a chamfer on the edges as well. I went back and forth while also working on the attachment pieces. The attachments can really be any shape or design that you like, I chose the three that I did because they seemed to encompass all the designs from most mallets out there. I think I covered most of my complaints about other designs. I used the male threading tool to create the proper pieces to either glue or screw to each attachment and then tested those out. i was very happy with the results.
Once the attachments were ready and after thoroughly sanding the head, I proceeded to do the wedge work and drive them in to secure the handle. As I had stated before, this went well despite the extra gap that I filled with an extra wedge. After drying I used the flush trim saw to saw the excess off. Out came a superb design and some killer grain continuity in between the handle pieces. I had to add some CA glue in several spots, including where the handle split slightly. All that can probably also be eliminated by creating steeper angles. I’ll do that next time for the next mallet I build. I went across the top with the orbital sander and performed touch up sanding across the mallet, including trying to create some continuity from the handle to the head.
I used Minwax spray on clear lacquer simply because I wanted a bit of a shine to the handle and I also wanted the protection of the lacquer since I’d be pounding on stuff with this thing. Nice part about creating your own tools is that you can just fix or modify or whatever if something happens to the tool or mallet. Once the lacquer was applied (4-5 coats) the mallet was done! Time for the beauty shots! I hope you enjoyed this build. Leave a comment, thumbs up and subscribe to my channel!
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► Tools and Supplies Used:
Rubber Stop (Jeep Hood Bumper): https://amzn.to/30se1Kp
Rubber Stop Option 2: https://amzn.to/2LPqALK
Stick Fast CA Quick-Set Medium 4.5oz: https://amzn.to/2QBTKi4
Stick Fast Aerosol Activator 7.5oz: https://amzn.to/2Z1jPtU
Lufkin Measuring Tape: https://amzn.to/30Xuw28
Bench Dog Push-Bloc: https://amzn.to/2EI5smi
Milwaukee 6955 12” Sliding Dual Bevel Miter Saw: https://amzn.to/2Wf65yK
Incra IRSET 12-Inch Marking Rule Set: https://amzn.to/2QzyRDY
WoodPeckers Drill Press Table with Hold Down Clamps: https://amzn.to/2QxK9IU
Wood River No 6 Bench Plane: https://amzn.to/2SMIMWr
Big Horn Push Stick: https://amzn.to/2Euniti
TiteBond II - Wood Glue: https://amzn.to/2XeZ4KW
FastCap Glu-Bot Glue Bottle (16 Ounces) - https://amzn.to/2KrSxFo