Not breaking news necessarily, but Vert Design’s flat pack mallet is a wonderful example of creating functional three dimensional objects from a single sheet of wood. The design is minimal, using only one board of plywood with little waste, with some very cunning fittings. If you’ve been puzzling over how to fit some troublesome pieces together, you might want to give this design a look. If you’re just interested in tenderizing, for $40 USD and requiring no adhesives, you can construct a fully-functional mallet and hit things to your heart’s content. Incidentally, if you’re looking for more inspiration, they also make a functional windvane toy with — in my opinion — a very clever rotating joint and a spectacular example of flat pack ingenuity.
I really enjoy the utilitarian nature of both of these designs. There is something very evocative about creating something as solid and multipurpose as a mallet. I doubt it would be as effective as a solid mallet of the same size, but for many of the purposes a wooden mallet is suited for, this looks looks like it would do the job.