I ordered some bench chisels earlier this week, but chisels aren’t very useful without a mallet to pound on them with. Instead of purchasing a mallet with my chisels, I decided to save my money and make my own. While watching a cubs game I knocked out this design in SketchUp. It’s pretty simple, the head is a lamination of 4 1/2″ thick boards, and the handle is 3/4″ thick stock rounded over with the router. The only non-trivial design element was the wedged tenon that secured the head to the handle. Thankfully fine woodworking came to my rescue with this article about wedged mortise & tenon joints.
Assembly was pretty strait forward and only took a few hours spread out over 3 days. The first evening I spent an hour or so rough milling the stock to size. I spent about two hours in the shop on the second night. I profiled the handle on the table saw using my dado blades, and then rounded over the edges at the router table. Making the head was a three step processes. The first step was to glue two 1/2″ thick boards together to make one 1″ thick board, that was then cut in half to form the two sides of the head. Step two was to route a half thickness tenon into each of the head halves. The final step was to precisely glue together the two halves forming the head with a tapered mortise in the center of it. On the final day (yesterday) I finished up, by fitting the head to the handle, & applying a couple coats of boiled linseed oil.