Last fall, I found a piece of another tree in her firewood pile, and I decided to confiscate it and make a couple of mallets. I cut off a blank and turned it into a large carving type mallet on the lathe, which was fun and pretty easy. Beech turns well. I used the plan in Fine Woodworking's 2013 Tools & Shops issue as a baseline for dimensions. I think I've decided I don't particularly like big round mallets, and the handle is a little chunky for my hands. But it is pretty and does a really good job of sealing quart size paint cans when you use the round end as the whacker.
|Beech turning blank cut at the bandsaw|
|beech blanks for a joiner's mallet - they're bigger than they look|
|3/4" spigot on the end of the handle...|
|Mortising the head starts out with boring, and|
doesn't really get any more exciting later on.
Here's a photo of my three mallets. The smaller one is also beech, made a decade ago from scraps of trim material from the building I work in. I didn't have any pieces big enough to make a head out of, so I laminated several smaller blocks together. I think I used a chunk of 2x4 framing lumber as a mallet to cut the mortise in the head, since I didn't have any sort of mallet at that time. It was my first "real" mallet, and it's held up well. I've beaten a lot of things into submission with it and it turns out to be the one I still reach for most of the time. I guess I could make a new prettier replacement for it.