A trio of tappers for your tool chest
By Ken Burton
If you enjoy making your own tools, as I do, you’ll find these three mallets to be a great weekend project. They don’t use a lot of material, they go together fairly quickly, and the final result yields tools that become a regular part of your shop workforce. The designs include a simple onepiece turned mallet used for striking chisels and carving tools, a cylindrical-head joiner’s mallet intended for assembly work, and a square-faced joiner’s mallet for both chisel work and assembly purposes. The first two designs are made primarily on a lathe (a mini lathe works fine), while the third relies heavily on the tablesaw. Note that the 5° taper on the head of the turned mallet and the angled striking faces on the square-faced mallet accommodate the swing of your arm to create a more direct blow in use. In contrast, the faces of the assembly mallet are parallel to the handle to help keep your orientation square when coaxing joints together. Making these mallets provides a great opportunity to pull into play those precious wood scraps you’ve been hoarding, while creating tools that should take care of most of your joint-cutting and assembly needs.