DIY Mallets

This is a blog about how to make your own mallets. As a music therapist I need a lot of mallets. And a lot of different types of mallets. So I decided to make a bunch of them myself. In this first post I will show you how I made the rubber and wooden mallets, in a next post I will show you how to make a mallet which is winded with yarn, like a mallet which will be used on a marimba or wooden slit-drum.


I worked with two different sizes of roundwood to make the mallets. One with the width of 6 mm (0,24 inches) , and one with the width of 12 mm (0,47 inches).

Necessities rubber mallets

  • Bouncing balls
  • Round-wood sticks
  • A fretsaw
  • A drill
  • A big wood clamp
  • Superglue
  • A paper towel

 

Rubber Mallets

For the rubber mallets I used the smaller sticks, the roundwood of 6 mm (0,24 inches). I measured the length I wanted and gave an indication on the sticks. The short sticks measure 28 cm or 11 inches and the longer ones 33 cm or 13 inches.

I used a fretsaw to saw the sticks.

After that I smoothed out the ends of the sticks with a piece of sanding paper. Nobody wants pieces of wood coming off while playing.

The next step is the preparation of the rubber balls I used. I bought some cheap bouncing balls in nice colours. The adhesion of the balls to the sticks has to be very strong. To achieve that I decided to make a hole in the bouncing balls, that was a fragment smaller than the diameter of the sticks. So I used a drill for safe metals, plastic and wood in the size 5,5 with a stick in the size 6. This way the rubber ball, helped with the glue will hold and keep itself better and sturdier around the stick.

I used a big wood clamp to keep the rubber ball in place while drilling.

The clamp was necessary to keep the ball in place, so I could hold the drill with my both hands. It is a tricky task to drill the hole neat and right down the middle. I noticed that while working with one hand, the drill was more prone to dodge and make ugly little indents in the rubber ball. Handling the drill with both hands avoided that. Mind you, it was still a tough task.

I love the color of the debris! Fairy-dust…

And now it is time to glue the rubber balls on the sticks.

I used super-glue to make the connection of the ball with the wood a permanent one.

After filling the hole with glue, I used a piece of paper towel to put around the bouncing ball while inserting the stick in the hole, because of the fluidity of the glue. When the stick fills the hole, it will splash all around with little drops that will stay on whatever surface it reaches. The paper towel was a great way to protect everything from the glue.

I love the way they look! And they do the drumming and percussion work perfect!

Necessities wooden mallets

  • Round-wood sticks
  • A fretsaw
  • A wooden knob or big wooden beads
  • A drill
  • Wood glue
  • A paper towel.

Wooden Mallets

For the wooden mallets I used the sticks with the width of 12 mm (0,47 inches). I measured the lengths I wanted and sawed the round-wood with a fretsaw. I sanded the ends down, just as I did with the wood of the rubber mallets. These mallets were easy to make, for I used a system of curtain-rods with their decorative round knobs.

I added a lot of wood glue in the knob, let it dry for about 20 seconds, and push the stick in the hollow the knob.

I gave the mallet a quick clean with some paper towel.

And I let it dry for a night. It needs at least half an hour to dry. I left the stick-part on the table, and the knobs hanging free during this time.

I hope this post inspires you to make your own mallets. I would love to see pictures of your mallets in the comments.

 

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