Making a one piece wooden
Great for bashing in tent pegs, or using with chisels.
Also handy when making other mallets.
You will need
1. An unseasoned log : about 12 inches long and five inches in
diameter. We use sycamore because we are trying to get
rid of it.
2. Some tools : A saw, billhook or hand axe and perhaps a
3. A hard surface to work on is essential.
What you do
1. About half way along the log, cut around the
circumference to a depth of just under 2 inches.
2. Now working at the narrowest end of the log, use an axe or billhook
to remove the wood down to the cut. Leave the center of the log, this
is your handle.
3. Tidy it up a bit making the handle as round and smooth as you can.
You can use a billhook or a sharp knife for this.
Some people split off one side of the head to provide a
flat surface to hit things with.
A two piece mallet (see below). It takes longer to make
but you can use a longer and stronger handle making it
more suitable for bigger jobs like bashing in fence posts
or driving wedges for splitting logs.
Making a two
piece wooden mallet
Once you have used one of these beauties you'll
how you ever managed without one. Erh.. well maybe you
We did, but then we do live in the woods.
You will need
1. For the head, a log about 8 to 10 inches long and 6 inches
2. For the handle, a 2 to 3 ft length of pole wood about 2 inches thick.
3. Tools : A drill (hand powered is fine) with a 1¼ to 1¾
inch boring bit. As well as a billhook or sharp knife and
4. A hard surface to work on and another mallet would
help (see above).
What you do
1. Drill a hole through the width
of the head, about half way along.
2. Use the billhook or knife to whittle one end of the
handle down to just fit inside the hole.
3. Cut a 2 inch slot down the handle at the end you
4. Bash the handle in and then drive a small wedge of wood into the cut you made before trimming the
surplus off a little above the head.
A better way to keep the head on is to taper the handle
along its entire length and bash the handle in all the
way so that the narrowest end is the handle and the
thickest bit is stopping the head flying off in use.
Cleft wood handles are much stronger than pole wood.
What wood? The choice is pretty
easy for us. We have loads of unwanted Sycamore which we
are trying to get rid of and so we use it for all kinds
of construction and for firewood. It is fine for the one
piece mallets and even the two piece mallet we made using
just Sycamore has held together pretty well. In theory
the heads of two piece mallets will be stronger and less
prone to split if you uses knotty wood. Heavy wood such
as fruit trees should make good heads. Ash makes good
handles. Hardwood such as oak makes the best wedges.
Don't fancy making your own but in need
of a good quality mallet? Don't despair, we have more than enough
and are willing to share. We can trade in old money (pounds sterling)
but would prefer something useful in exchange or LETS credits.