When using a chisel, technique and tool design are very important. A good woodcarver's mallet can be a part of that successful equation too. There are two types: wood, the more common, and brass or bronze mallets which were favored by Europeans.
Although sometimes effective, wooden mallets have certain drawbacks. First, when wood strikes against wood, it bounces. There is contact, but the force moves in two directions, forward as well as backward. When we cut a mortise or carve wood we want to concentrate the force forward. The mallets I have designed have a weighted, balanced brass head. When brass strikes the wood handle of the chisel, it strikes dead and accurately. There is little bounce between mallet and chisel; the chisel yields to the higher density and weight of the mallet. This allows the woodworker to feel the activity at the tool edge.
In addition, wooden mallets tend to be oversized and consequently, awkward to handle. With the wooden mallets, momentum is the driving force. With the bronze or brass mallet all that is needed is a light controlled tap. My woodcarver's mallets are compact and delicate in the hand. They are modeled after those used by my teachers in their apprenticeship training.
THESE CALVO BRONZE WOODCARVING MALLETS ARE UNSURPASSED because they offer an evenly distributed strike that will give you accuracy, control, and enhanced woodworking skills. The bottom line is...they are the best on the market. The Calvo Brass Mallets are fitted with maple handles and are available in two weights, each appropriate for different applications.
Calvo Studio, 235 East Main St.
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930