That green mallet
Over the last several months, quite a few people have noticed and asked about the “green mallet” in the background of many of my photos. Here is the story...
I have never used or owned a proper mallet and when my friend Andrew Dix heard this - his wheels quietly started spinning. A few months later a package arrived.
Everything about this simple looking tool made sense to me and more importantly - every detail had been carefully planned out... nothing was accidental. The shape of the head was elegant, but also performs its function perfectly. The slight taper put a bit more weight at the top - where maximum force can be applied while striking. The handle is shaped in a way that your hand holds the mallet in a balanced position.
But the above photo is what really did it for me. This tells me the person who made this tool is aware of function first, but the aesthetic is just as important. Andrew took the time to rotate the endgrain of the handle so it lined up with the endgrain of the Verrawood head. And the Padauk wedge bisects it perfectly. This may seem like an insignificant detail - but this is the sign of a toolmaker who is passionate, thoughtful and knows when to add a “touch”.
I have been using this mallet daily ever since it arrived, and I have not a single complaint or comment to improve on it. There is a lovely dark band around the head where it has struck the ends of many of my Imai chisels. Aside from the discoloration - there is no damage. I suspect Riley and Lucas will be using a pristine mallet when I am long gone.
Very shortly after this mallet arrived, I contacted Andrew to (strongly) suggest that he consider making these available to the public. He was at first a little surprised and reluctant - but every time someone sent me a note to ask about the mallet, I contacted Andrew to let him know of the interest. I am thrilled that he has gathered appropriate materials and is now prepared to take on a few commissions.
The base mallet has a Verrawood head and either Cocobolo or East Indian Rosewood handle (any wedge material) . The price for this mallet is $250 US. He also has a good supply of African Blackwood, Kingwood, Ebony, Palisander Rosewood, Brazilian Tulipwood, Bois de Rose and Zircote as alternative handle material. The mallets can range from 16oz. to 24oz.
Andrew Dix can be reached by phone (804)678-9246 or email; firstname.lastname@example.org
If anyone is interested - an offcut from your plane would make a wonderful wedge in one of Andrews mallets.