A couple months ago, I made a hand-carved meat tenderizing mallet. Click-through for some stages of the process.

First we start with a block of wood.

Starting Block

Then we plane it.


Some nice Quarter-Sawn white oak grain.

Nice Grain

Tried and true.

All planed up

Oh hey, it’s starting to look like a mallet.

Almost a mallet!

Now to carve that pesky grid in to one side.

Time to carve

Done! That was easy!

Carved up

LOL. No. I screwed up a good number of times. So I just sawed off the mistake and did it again. Practice makes perfect.

A couple mistakes, just chop those off

Even more mallet like!

More mallet like now

Now we need a place to put the handle. The handle in this just slides in. It’s a tapered friction fit, so the mallet can be taken apart for storage, but is quite strong in use.

Layout the mortise

Mortise done. Took about 2 hours to get this perfect. Tall tapered mortises are difficult. The edges are chamfered inwards to avoid tearout when the mallet is assembled and disassembled.


Oh hey. More mallet-like again!

Even more mallet-like now!

Just take a plane to the edges to make it look a bit prettier. This also serves to avoid broken edge-grain in use as well.

Chamfered the edges

Just some filing and shaping of the handle now…


Now it IS a mallet. For real. Not too bad, and I love the grain patterns.


A bit of beeswax to stop things from sticking in the grain during use.

A little bit of beeswax

That’s it. Finished.

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