Turn a Carver’s Mallet
Shopmade tool is the perfect fit for hand-carved details
Synopsis: Every workshop needs at least two mallets, Michael Cullen says. Flat-sided mallets are extremely useful, but when it comes to carving and other tasks where a light touch and much movement of the chisel is required, a turned mallet is the best choice. Its tapered, cylindrical head and compact size permit you to approach the chisel handle from any angle while still ensuring perfect contact. And yet it’s not a light-duty tool. The solid, one-piece construction packs enough power to drive a large chisel or gouge. Here’s how to make one.
Every woodshop needs at least two mallets. A traditional square-faced mallet like the one I described making in FWW #230 (handwork: “Make a mallet”) is great for dovetailing and mortising, where heavy striking is required and the chisel moves only slightly between blows. But when it comes to carving and other tasks where a light touch…