I liked the earlier post about balance and weight, and would add that it makes sense to me to spend a few more minutes making a really comfortable handle. Even if my tool were to disintegrate after 8 hrs use, that’s a lot of time whacking, we need to take care of our sensitive wrist/ carpal connections if we are to have lifetime of working with hand tools.
One thing I’ve found that helps is having a slight knob on the butt end, ( too large will rub against your wrist) and a slight taper from the butt end towards the club. Any other tips/experiences out there?
Also, they may stick around longer than you think. The first mallet I made for greenwood working 10 years ago transitioned to the garden shed when I considered it too bear up for fro use. It still comes out once a year for pounding in tomato stakes and such.
To this end I like the one I saw that used a limby chunk for the club end. A good bit harder to shape but the crotchwood club I made way outlasted my first try, all that twisty grain is much harder to delaminate. The next one I need will come from an ironwood rootball. Anyone have experience with this? I’m not sure what diameter tree I’m going to need to cut to dig up the root ball size I’d need. While we’re making tools that last, species makes a huge difference, ironwood it is for me, as it has way outlasted my first mallet head, (locust). I’d be happy for any recommendations there
I've made a few mallets. I want to say there are merits to making hefty clubs that are too big to use for a long time. If you make them big enough, you can basically let gravity split your logs for you. I use my big guy for splitting and putting stakes in the ground. I use my small persimmon mallet for chisel work.
I don't have photos of when I made the small persimmon mallet, but it's pictured in my tool assortment photo just to the right of the chisel box. It's unorthodox in shape, but I find it extremely flexible having a narrow point at the end of a curve and a big blunt backside of the curve. I alternate how I strike depending on what I'm doing.
I don't have a picture of me holding it, but I guess I'll submit anyway. If I need that picture I can take it later.