I’ve been using a rubber mallet and poorly constructed rubber hammer to get tight joints together and to help with using chisels. They don’t work super well all the time, and I use them enough to warrant some investment in a better tool.
So I used some scrap walnut and a chunk of maple to create this mallet! It’s based on Paul Sellers’ design, and I followed his method of construction as well (though I used a drill press instead of a mechanical hand drill).
Roughly shaped, next step is cutting out the mortise where the wedge-handle fit in. I drilled out most of the material using brad bits on my drill press (not pictured), then used chisels to make the hole the right dimensions to fit the handle. Just big enough to slide in, tight enough that it’ll stay in place as the wood contracts/expands over time. Also, the handle isn’t glued in, it’s just held in place from the wedge + swinging it.
I also did some rough shaping on the lower handle to make it more comfortable to hold.
And after some finishing touches: