Sunday 14 November 2010

Do you use a mallet?

On Tuesday I was removing some wood from an opening using a chisel when the young apprentice sparky came up to me and asked what that "wood thing" was I was using to hit my chisels with.
I thought he was joking at first, and I said that he must have seen one on other sites or at college but he said he hadn't, the chippies he knew just used their hammers.
I was referring to my mallet.

(A 7 year old picture of me cleaning out a mortise to accept a large oak beam with a slip tenon, using my mallet and chisel)

I know that chisels have changed and plastic handles are much less likely to split with a hammer blow, but aren't we loosing something by using our hammers instead.
I'm fussy with my chisels, I keep them sharp and I only hit them with my mallet.
In an age where it seems craftsmanship is dying, on site at least, I'm glad that I was taught the "proper" way and it'll be a cold day in hell before I put my mallet on the wood pile.
Who's with me?


  1. I am! I hate it when people use hammers on chisels. Mind you I dislike plastic handles on chisels too. They're a bit too hard for some mallets!

  2. Glad your with me!
    Yeah, plastic handles are a bit of a love hate thing with me. With site work you need the hardest material as its not just when you use it but if someone treads on it or borrows it without asking, other people being the bad point.
    Out of the 9 chisels I carry with me for general site work only 2 have wooden handles, much nicer to use and hold, but you have to be careful not to let anyone else use them (which I am!) Slowely I'll probably change over to all wooden handles one day.
    Cheers for the comment


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