antique wood mallets
Photo: José Picayo
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Marvelous Mallets

Q: I found these in my grandfather's toolbox. What are they, and what were they used for? —Mark Lionetta, Acton, Mass

A: What you have are wood mallets, which can knock together wood joints or drive home plugs that might dent or fracture under the force of a normal hammer. The iron or brass hoops on some of these mallets add weight to the head and prevent the face from splintering.
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