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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hand's-eye View

Lee Valley ran a special on brass mallets recently.  I've been looking for an inexpensive brass mallet for a while and as luck would have it, I had a Lee Valley gift card burning a hole in my pocket.  I found out about them from a banner ad on

I was only looking for one, but got both of the Journeyman's mallets simply because of the now expired 2-fer special.  However, now that I have them they have to be called aspiring apprentice's mallets.  The purpose is to use them to drive some small carving tools.

Mary May, a renowned woodcarver, received a lot of ink and film coverage last year.  I have absolutely no artistic talent.  After Mary appeared on The Woodwright's Shop carving to a paper pattern glued to the wood, I figured I could at least attempt a simian imitation of carving.  I did a little research and purchased several very inexpensive carving tools.  I practiced a bit on balsa and it went well.  Poplar was a bit more work but still 'doable'.  Walnut on the other hand may have been wingnut for all it succumbed to the chisels.  So, I put a small carving mallet on the neat to have list; there was also the hope that it would be useful for adjusting planes.

The purpose of this post is to talk about their size, not their usefulness.  Catalog photos all too often leave out a natural human relation scale.  Here are some photos of the mallets in my admittedly large paw.

Small Head

Large Head

Gentle Taps

Mallet Parade

Firm Convincer

Precision Control

Just Because


  1. I recently purchased a pair of these brass mallets while the special was on. I used the larger one with my chisels to clean out dovetails in the Traveling Anarchist's Toolchest I am building. I found it very suitable for that purpose. I felt like I had more control with it than with my wooden English style mallet. It also appeared to have all the weight I needed to drive my chisels across the end grain.

    1. Thanks for the insight on how they perform. I'm going to use them exclusively in my next project. I generally do not like the rounded mallet on rounded chisel backs, but I want to tempt my comfort boundaries.