DIY: How to Build Timpani Mallets

These directions are aimed at the customers who have purchased a DIY Timpani Mallet Kit from DK Percussion.

How to wrap:



Materials needed:

  • Two-part epoxy (5-minute drying is recommended)
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • 1/4" or 5/16" dowel rod and matching drill bit (optional)
  • Tung oil or other finish (optional)

(Click on photos for a larger view.)

1. Mix enough two-part epoxy to glue two cores to their shafts. If there is a significant gap between the shaft and the wall of the core, mix more epoxy. If the cores do not fit onto the shaft, sand the tip of the shaft.

Note: make sure your bamboo shaft fits the hole of the core first. It is better to have a loose fit rather than snug when using two-part epoxy. If the shaft is too wide, sand it down just at the top using a rotating motion.


2. Heavily coat the inside of the core with epoxy.

3. Coat the top of the shaft with epoxy.

Note: the DK Percussion DIY Timpani Mallet Kits come with the top of the shaft marked for easy assembly.

4. Put the core onto the shaft and be sure any gaps between the core and shaft are filled with epoxy. Be sure the core is on straight and centered and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat from step 2 for the other mallet.
5. Dry the mallets core down for the time recommended on the epoxy's directions.
6. Decide if you'd like to plug the ends of your shafts. If not, skip to step 10. The shafts on the left are plugged.
7. Drill the center with the size bit that matches your dowel rod plug. It is recommended to use a lathe. Otherwise very carefully use a hand drill or drill press and table clamp. You only need to drill about 3/8" to 1/2" deep.
8. Put some wood glue (or two-part epoxy) in the drilled hole, coating all sides. Insert the dowel and lightly tap on a bench while holding the shaft.
9. Saw the excess off, close to the end of the shaft. You can also use a lathe to get a nice even cut. Sand down the excess wood as well as some of the bamboo. At this point, you can shape the butt end of the shaft using sandpaper.

10. The bamboo provided in the DIY kits is polished, so no additional sanding is needed prior to applying a finish. A tung oil finish is recommend.

11. Use a clean cloth soaked with the finish, and holding the mallet by the core, start at the butt end wiping the finish on. Work the finish into the grain of the bamboo.

12. Work the finish into the grain of the bamboo. Hang the mallets by the cores and let dry. Apply more coats if wanted/needed. Follow the directions for wrapping provided in the links above!


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Feel free to print and use these directions, but please do not copy them.

© Daniel Kirkpatrick

© 2017 DK Percussion
DK Percussion
Daniel Kirkpatrick