The Combohead Mallet is a combination of a carvers mallet and a joiners mallet. I made a couple of videos early on when I first made the discovery of what is now the official Combohead Mallet design and every time I get asked if I’m going to make any to sale or do I have a template. I’m happy to announce that I now have a template available for download. For the ones that haven’t heard the story before, I’ll briefly explain how I came up with the design (watch the video above).
While on the lathe turning one day with no real plan in mind, I knew I wanted a mallet. When I got to a certain shape, I stopped and thought to myself “I like this”, but the cool thing was that it had two flat sides and two round two sides. I immediately knew I found a design I liked. So, ever since that day I have referred to it as the Combohead Mallet.
Combohead Mallet design
Because the head of the mallet is unusual, you don’t see many like it, in fact after I discovered the shape, I Googled all possibilities describing the mallet and I didn’t see any images that had the round and flat sides on the same mallet head. If you were to Google Combohead Mallet today, Stone and Sons will be the first four or five in the “all” category and the first twenty or so in the “images”. So, I’ve thought of the design and name as my own.
Let’s look at the round and flat sides, if you’re working with a chisel and a mallet you’re more than likely going to be striking the chisel with the round side of the mallet aka a carvers mallet. The flat side of the mallet is useful when needing a joiners mallet and it will also prevent the mallet from rolling off of the work surface.
The original design basically had a round handle and a head with round and flat sides, but as I made more mallets I started adding more design elements for visual interest.
One feature that I added in a later design is what I now call the finger grip. The finger grip is a groove below the mallet head that allows the middle finger to rest in as your thumb and pointer finger grip the mallet head for more control. It’s kind of like choking up on a bat in baseball to swing faster and have better control.
Other design features that I like to incorporate are minor, like the grooves and such on the bottom of the handle. I also like to add contours above and below the head of the mallet to give it a look and feel of a separate head. The top of the mallet features a round cylinder shape smaller than the actual head to give an illusion of the handle extending through the head of the mallet.
The turning blank
When I first turned the Combohead mallet I used a random chunk of cherry. Since then, I’ve come up with a blank with specific dimensions that allows a consistent shape for the mallet to result in having round and flat sides. This can be a solid piece of wood or several pieces of wood glued together.
Either is fine and I have used both. Once you have the blank ready you can either take it to the bandsaw or table saw to cut the corners off, but don’t cut off too much. If you cut off too much the mallet will turn out round without any flat sides. This is why I like to start on the lathe and turn the entire mallet on the lathe including knocking off the corners.
While the mallet is still on the lathe and completed, I like to sand the entire mallet with several grits. I start out with 150 grit and finish up with 600 grit. This leaves a really smooth feel to the mallet.
I don’t usually apply any finish to my mallets, although I have used butcher block oil just to give it a shine. You could apply whatever finish you prefer at this point as it would be easier to apply the finish with the mallet still on the lathe rather than trying to rub on a finish after the fact.
When it’s time to remove the ends that are left over from the blank I like to cut those off with a small hand saw. You might have to clean those ends up with a hand plane or a sander. To customize the mallet further, the ends are a great place to add your brand, logo or inlay a challenge coin.
What I learned
From the first Combohead mallet to the ones I’ve made at the time of this post, I can say that I have learned a lot. Product development is something that I have little experience with, but with something I use on a daily basis it’s easy to know exactly what would make a thing better.
I have also taken advice from fellow woodworkers to improve the overall Combohead Mallet design. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the design and what you think is important with any mallet. Please leave a comment below with your thoughts.
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Tools I use: http://www.stoneandsons.net/tools
Tools Used In This Project
• Shop apron/vest, Atlas 46: http://bit.ly/atlas46
• Hats/shirts: http://www.stoneandsons.net/product-category/apparel/
• Lathe, Jet: http://amzn.to/2nmLGXc
• Full face shield, Honeywell: http://amzn.to/2vPwTYg
• Mid size easy rougher, EWT: http://amzn.to/2t79m0V
• Mid size easy finisher, EWT: http://amzn.to/2t7h2Aw
• Mid size easy detailer, EWT: http://amzn.to/2u59tKR
• Drill and impact 20v, Porter Cable: http://amzn.to/2txekak
• Drill and drive bit set, Kobalt: http://amzn.to/2stIbf6
Gluing, Finishing and Accessories:
• Glu-bot: http://amzn.to/2s9rpm8
• Wood glue, Titebond III: http://amzn.to/2u6CEgo
• Butcher block finish, Howards: http://amzn.to/2j8Mn1U
Clamping and Accessories:
• Spring clamp 9 pc set, Bessey: http://amzn.to/2su6eKX
• 6.5″ woodworkers vise, Irwin: http://amzn.to/2uryNtK
Measuring, Marking and Layout:
• 6’ nylon tape measure, Milwaukee: http://amzn.to/2s9xteh
• No. 5 bench plane, Stanley: http://amzn.to/2spdcFP
• Safety glasses, 3M: http://amzn.to/2txHtT7
• Fire extinguisher: http://amzn.to/2ururTy
• First aid kit: http://amzn.to/2urwR4B
Video Equipment and Electronics:
• DSLR camera and mic, Canon/Rode: http://amzn.to/2urN0qA
• Camera battery pack, Canon: http://amzn.to/2sudLcx
• Tripod, Manfrotto: http://amzn.to/2s9MHjB
• Backpack for laptop (modified for camera): http://amzn.to/2sppNsC
• Memory card, 64gb: http://amzn.to/2s9hPzC
• Memory card waterproof case: http://amzn.to/2suLliC
• Laptop, MacBook: http://amzn.to/2urnDFx
• Network Attached Storage, 6TB: http://amzn.to/2suvRLu
Other tools I use
*Most of the links listed above are Amazon Affiliate links
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