How to make a Joiners Mallet (part 1) | Paul Sellers

  • Published on Jan 26, 2015
  • (Episode 1/3) Paul sellers shows you how to make a wooden mallet while practicing your mortice and tenons as well as shaping skills. After completing this project you will have a useful handmade tool for years to come.
    In this episode, Paul discusses the features that make a good mallet, including choice of wood. The stock is then cut to shape using a few different methods including splitting with an axe, cutting the tapers with the bow saw and handsaw and creating reference faces with the smoothing plane.
  • Howto & StyleHowto & Style

Comments • 343

  • Paul Sellers
    Paul Sellers  6 months ago +2

    To find out more about Paul Sellers and the projects he is involved with visit
    For more project videos, visit:

  • sgtish
    sgtish 2 days ago

    Hi Paul,
    Any tips on making a 4x4 round hammer with no power tools? I did one with a handsaw and a couple of hand planes a couple of years ago to make an oval hole using a bit and brace at angles, a hand saw an old Stanley Bailey #3, some outside gouges (or is it inside? the ones with the bevel on the outside), a jig I made up to work on a welding table jig and a cheap new Japanese plane that I tuned up. It took a while, lots of fine tuning looking for shiny spots work out on the handle hole and handle best I could. The whole hammer involved about 6 months without a wood working bench using my legs below the knees and upper thigh to match the hole to the handle for a lot of it.

  • Jay Clark
    Jay Clark 11 days ago

    A master at work!

  • Don Jackson
    Don Jackson 15 days ago

    Thank you for sharing all the great working assistance and fantast ideas. Don Jackson Remington Magnum

  • George Hart
    George Hart 23 days ago

    where do you find such thick pieces

  • Rocky Mountain Bear
    Rocky Mountain Bear 29 days ago +1

    This is a wonderfully helpful video. Thank you kind sir. I had to cut down a honey locust tree in my yard. It's almost dry enough to start working it. It's surprisingly hard, and beautifully coloured. The grain is similar to oak, but with more density.

  • 2333 6666
    2333 6666 Month ago

    The mallet is perfect for assembling. I prefer an axe or hammer for chisel.

  • 1959Berre
    1959Berre Month ago

    Wood dust is not a joke. 15 years ago I suffered from a nasty lung infection that nearly killed me. I had been sanding teak without wearing a mask. I learned a painful lesson the hard way. BTW, Paul, that flimsy paper thing you are wearing is a sad excuse for a mask. You need something with a decent filter. When the machines have stopped, the air is still full of dust, so wear the mask a longer time.

  • 1959Berre
    1959Berre Month ago

    English is not my language, so I wonder what is the difference between a mallet and a hammer. In my language they're all just hammers.

  • Jeffrey Goldsmith
    Jeffrey Goldsmith 2 months ago

    Great Teacher, you are leaving life long impressions, even for a 61 year old. Thank you

  • 2 Shoes
    2 Shoes 4 months ago

    Excellent training and how-to. It’s like a one on one class. Thanks for all your videos Paul.

  • Michael
    Michael 4 months ago

    You go on a bit, but you do a good. I'm learning thank you.

  • Seth Warner
    Seth Warner 5 months ago

    OOOH! I can tell, by the screeching , that wood is tenacious!

  • Tarman The Champion
    Tarman The Champion 5 months ago

    You remind me of the gentleman that had a wood working show on PBS here in United States! Its called The Woodwrights Shop. It's a great 30 min show about old antiquetools amd wood working techniques!

  • jlinkels
    jlinkels 5 months ago

    It is jut not fair. The grain the the block to be split looks like a quarter of a circle. But when Paul splits it, it parts almost straight.

  • youvegotsmail
    youvegotsmail 6 months ago

    Did he mention how thick the stock was for the handle? Wondering if there's anything better than my random guess for what works nicely over time.

  • Tomas Borromeo
    Tomas Borromeo 6 months ago

    in your use of hand saws, what do you think of the Japanese version of hand saws ?
    It cuts opposite and the shapes quite different from our usual 'western' saws.

  • Sammy Campbell
    Sammy Campbell 7 months ago

    Can never forget the great artist William Alexander, who always said, "Just fire in there".

  • Sammy Campbell
    Sammy Campbell 7 months ago

    Had to watch E01 again to realize that my fear of making a mistake was holding me back from completing this project for myself for many months. I will be able to complete it now. Thanks Paul for your symplicity in explaining this beautiful project.

  • Gary Goldring
    Gary Goldring 7 months ago

    I still have a mallet I made in 1979. Now that I'm getting back into woodworking it will be very useful.

  • MrSpeedweasel
    MrSpeedweasel 7 months ago

    That axe is sharper than all my chisels.

  • claymccrea
    claymccrea 7 months ago +4

    I'm watching this from Texas. Imagine my joy when I hear your preference of a native wood. Time to go on a walk!

  • Hassan Al-Mosawi
    Hassan Al-Mosawi 8 months ago

    Thanks for showing how and sharing that

  • Brian Landry
    Brian Landry 8 months ago

    Thanks Paul, made a mallet after watching your videos.

  • Matthew Cain
    Matthew Cain 8 months ago +1

    "Nothing laminated seems to last 50 years or more"
    Love your content, Mr S, but making a new mallet after 5 years of developing my skills seems like a fairly good idea to me.

  • Brian Innes
    Brian Innes 8 months ago +2

    Love watching you work, I'm a jobbing joiner looking to get into woodworking and I wish I served my time with a guy like you!

  • Pjotr B
    Pjotr B 9 months ago

    wonderful how Paul manages to put in so much useful information into a video about a relatively simple project.

  • Roger Dirkx.
    Roger Dirkx. 9 months ago

    I really enjoy your videos. There very informative. I like all the hand work. My dad was a pattern maker by trade it brings back many memories. I had a question, when you were planing the mallet head were you applying wax to the plane?
    Thanks again, I’ll be watching.
    Roger D.

  • DR Dan
    DR Dan 9 months ago

    Both Osage orange and Cedar elm are considered weed trees here in the Southern US. Warning about Osage orange, it will dull a tool like a chain saw amazingly fast. It can be found from Oklahoma to Louisiana.

  • Mike Mastrangelo
    Mike Mastrangelo 9 months ago

    It's called Cedar Elm because it is an elm that grows among the cedars (juniper) in Central Texas

  • Jeffrey Lombardo
    Jeffrey Lombardo 9 months ago

    Now......everyone knows that Paul Sellars---does'nt put on a dust mask or ear protection----dont we? Lets stop being so goddamned silly for a change and enjoy watching a master craftsman at work. Enough P friggin C.

  • Jeffrey Lombardo
    Jeffrey Lombardo 9 months ago

    What a great explanation of the strength of an area around a knot in the wood! Been woodworking for 40 plus years and never heard that! Shame on me! Good Show Paul!!!!

  • jochanan
    jochanan 9 months ago

    Great video... thanks for the info, a very functional knife... good for the 1st beer, maybe the 2nd also, but... could get dangerous opening the 3rd.

  • kenneth smith
    kenneth smith 9 months ago

    I can send
    some Osage

  • Lewis Clark
    Lewis Clark 9 months ago

    That guy could circumcise a gnat with that axe

  • Laurence Lance
    Laurence Lance 10 months ago

    Very useful. I have some beautiful quilted maple that will be perfect for this .
    I will be making a mallet for the Past Master of our Masonic Lodge. He's a very large man so the extra size of this will fit perfectly. Thank you.

  • Theophilus Jedediah
    Theophilus Jedediah 11 months ago

    Thank you for distinguishing between “carpenters” (-those who use a tool infrequently or an amateur) and “craftsman” (-those who spend a lifetime earning a living with the correct use of the correct tool..therefore use tools lasting generations). My mallet of that design is three generations old and has no significant chips or damage. I found a ship builders mallet from the 1800’s that has been poorly treated and has been added as a useable backup in my tools. As lovely as these are i made my own maul set simply because it is such a refined tool for carving, chiseling and working through wild grained woods like many walnuts.

  • Gary Lundberg
    Gary Lundberg 11 months ago

    Hi Paul,
    I was thinking about making a mallet from “Live Oak”. Are you familiar with the species?

  • P Flores
    P Flores 11 months ago

    Thank you Paul for the most excellent videos.
    They are a real joy to watch.

  • LassetUnsSpielen
    LassetUnsSpielen Year ago

    he does a better job with the axe than me with a chisel

  • Sophia Smith
    Sophia Smith Year ago

    You the man!

  • dale leibfried
    dale leibfried Year ago

    new sub. your pretty good

  • 738polarbear
    738polarbear Year ago

    I think 5 degrees is a better head angle .I just measure in 1/4 inch and join it to the top corner.i think his videos are just the best . The other Woodworking masterclass chap Steve Hay in Australia is equally as good with a slightly different take on things but between Paul and Steve you actually get an apprenticeship. I wild say that a learnt 80% from Paul though as he is a wonderfully relaxing teacher.

  • Daniel Portella
    Daniel Portella Year ago

    Paul , primeiramente você é um professor excelente !!! Muito grato !!!! Por favor poderia incorporar legendas em Português !!!

  • Green Building
    Green Building Year ago

    22:22 The movement from the Master 😬 very astonishing

  • n2theson2
    n2theson2 Year ago

    rock maple works well also

  • Will Brenner
    Will Brenner Year ago

    I've just obtained rather a large amount of cedar elm, now I know what I want to do with it!

  • Robert Maggi
    Robert Maggi Year ago

    G'day Paul great tutorial as always sir... thank you for all your time and shared knowledge just would like to ask you y did you split the grain on that peace of oak after u cut it on the band saw as always great work and always a pleasure watching your tutorials

  • Gabe Lanciano
    Gabe Lanciano Year ago

    Where do you rank Beech (Common American Beech) in the hierarchy of woods suited for mallets

  • omzig18
    omzig18 Year ago

    You have to be a true master to make a mallet with a damn axe

  • Jeff Wiebe
    Jeff Wiebe Year ago

    I am almost wanting to sign in on an alternate account so I can give this an extra thumbs up. So fantastic to see/hear/learn these mastercraftsman tips, like the quarter chisel at the end.

  • MultiShiznit
    MultiShiznit Year ago

    I'm curious to see how fire hardening a mallet works, if it makes a hell of a hard strike surface or not.

  • Sloanirrigation
    Sloanirrigation Year ago

    You should put some mallets up for sale on eBay. Love your videos, sir. I truly believe you're the best tutorial on youtube. your love for your work is plainly evident and contagious.

  • Craig Mooring
    Craig Mooring Year ago

    "Everything laminated seems to come unglued, at some point". I didn't know my wife was laminated til now. ;^)

  • quo guitars
    quo guitars Year ago

    When selecting the wood for the mallet head would you recommend quarter sawn or flat sawn blanks?

    • Paul Sellers
      Paul Sellers  Year ago

      It makes no difference. It’s your choice.

  • Crystal Soulslayer
    Crystal Soulslayer Year ago +19

    Me, going through the Lee Valley site: "Why do they sell axes in the woodworking section?"
    Me, watching this video: "Oh."

  • Fishhunter2014
    Fishhunter2014 Year ago

    Would desert ironwood be too hard for a mallet head? I've got a beam of it lying around but it's so dense that I'm afraid it'll dent any other kind of wood I'd be hitting with it.

    • Paul Sellers
      Paul Sellers  Year ago

      No, you can use desert ironwood, you just use a lighter touch.

  • Christopher Rees
    Christopher Rees Year ago

    I agree. I think it’s dangerous to use a metal hammer on any chisel regardless of the material of striking surface.

  • Englishman French

    This would be a good project for some of the Box that the Asian Box Tree Moth has killed off in my garden, a nice small mallet is sometimes very handy. I suppose Lignum Vita would be a nice wood to make a head from, with an Ash shaft.

  • ekimosurac1
    ekimosurac1 Year ago

    Ever use Robinia for a mallet?