Home Defense Mace





Introduction: Home Defense Mace

About: My 30's have become a sort of renaissance for my tinkering and building.

Let me preface this 'ible by assuring you that I am not crazy. I feel the need to say that because whenever I tell people that I am making a mace, they look at me sideways.

I find a certain elegance to some old weaponry. Some of them seem like more work of art than instrument of death. Despite the title this mace is not meant to be an actual functioning weapon. It is intended more as a sculpture.

That being said, consider this, the sound of a shotgun racking could be a terrifying sound for a burglar to hear in the darkness. However, a gun lacks that certain crazy factor to instill confusion and terror. Nothing can make a person say "holy crap, i have made horrible life choices" like being confronted by a crazy eyed home owner holding a mace in their living room. Seriously, its a mace! Who does that?!

Materials and Tools

5" wood sphere

3" wood cones

1 1/8" wood dowel

3/8" wood dowel

3/4" board

Wood glue

Leather Strap

Clear coat spray


Drill press

Table saw

Scroll saw

Wood Burner

Wood Stain

Sand paper

Step 1: Marking Up Your Sphere

I did very little research about how to find uniform points around a sphere. The first method i tried was to just take a measuring tape and quarter the circumference of my sphere to mark out the poles. This proved to be harder than it seemed because the measuring tape veered off center enough to be noticeable when all the marks were made.

The second method proved to be much better. I made a 5" x 5" cardboard box with holes poked in the exact center of each side. I just dropped the ball inside and made a pencil mark at all six sides. This worked like a charm.

Step 2: Getting "jiggy" Wit It! Do the Kids Still Say That These Days...?

It didn't seem like such a difficult thing when i set out to do it but drilling a straight hole from exact pole to exact pole on a sphere is exceedingly difficult. Even using a drill press it is difficult to find the exact spot parallel to the axis and perpendicular to the tangent plane that touches that axis point (i didn't even have to google that sh%t. Take that old age). Meaning, anyone can drill a straight hole through a ball, but its hard to drill a straight hole through a ball that is exactly at its axis.

To fix this i had to make a box/jig similar to the cardboard box. This time I used the 3/4" board to make a box with a 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" x 5 1/4" space in the middle and drilled 3/16" holes in the center of each side. I lined up my pencil marks and put a screw in the four sides. This held the ball in place perfectly. I next went from corner to corner on the box to find the center axis of my sphere. My original mark from the cardboard box was about 3/16" off from this center.

Step 3: Drilling the Holes

I lined up my center and started the first side of the center hole. Unfortunately my drill press only has about 3 inches of travel so a little more than halfway through i had to rotate my sphere in the jig. This put my jig to the test. After removing two of the screws holding it in place I rotated the sphere and reinserted those screws. When i continued the center hole the two bore holes lined up almost perfectly.

Step 4: Marking the Spike Locations

Aside from the spikes at the poles i wanted eight more spikes, one in each quarter hemisphere. To get these locations i took the sphere from the jig and reinserted the screws. I then ran a piece of string from each screw to the next along every axis. This made eight triangles. I laid out the perpendicular bisectors of each side of the triangles to locate the center point of each quarter hemisphere.

Step 5: Toning It Down a Little

The spikes/cones I ordered were 3" tall with a 2" base. This would have made the total width of the mace 11". I thought this a bit unwieldy so I decided to cut the cones down about an inch. Again, cutting an irregular shape on typical woodworking tools proved difficult. The solution i came up with is to mount the cones in a row on a thin strip of wood and setting the fence on my table saw so that i could run the cones across the blade like cutting normal board. Worked like a champ. This would make to total width about 9".

Step 6: Adding the Spikes

At each of my marks i drilled a 3/8" hole about 1/2" deep and inserted a 1" long dowel. Next drilled a similar hole in the bottom of each cone. I noticed that the cones weren't going to sit flush with the curved surface of the sphere which meant i wouldn't get a good area to glue them on. To fix this I used my 6" bench grinder wheel to cove out the bottom of each cone. I'm sorry i don't have a picture of this. It would have been better if i had a 5" wheel to match the radius of the sphere exactly, but the six worked ok.

The hole in the first picture on the equator of the sphere is drilled clear through. There is a corresponding hole drilled through the handle. I drove a 3/8" dowel through both the sphere and the handle in order to lock them together.

Step 7: Decoration

I chose to add some squiggly line decorations on alternating hemispheres. Wood burning requires a steady hand and patience. Two things that I sorely lack but I think i managed ok. I drew the desing in pencil first and then went over it with the burner. It took about 4 hours to finish the burning.

Step 8: Stain and Paint

I had initially thought about giving it a faux hammered bronze look but instead went with wood stain. Next I added some light color to the spike tips and some random dots around some of the spikes. After the paint dried I clear coated the whole thing.

Step 9: Handle

I always knew that I wanted a leather handle for the mace. I did some limited research on weaving a leather strap handle and went with a simple four strand weave. I won't go into that process because there are some other instructables that cover it much better than I ever could. I haven't quite got the hang of finishing off the weave at the end so its just a series of tucked knots at this point.

So, there you have it. I am very pleased with the aesthetics of it all even with the end of the weave in its current state. This may end up being hung up in the front of my office with a NO SOLICITING sign under it.



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    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Did you hear that Nick is in the hospital?

    No, what happened?

    He took his mace to a gunfight.

    I'm a Thor's hammer sort of guy, but good work on a decorative conversation starter.

    Very nice. You've effectively made what Ukrainian's call a Bulava (булава) which was a sign of leadership with Ukrainian Cossacks. I hate to say it but you can walk into most Ukrainian Churches and they'll have a few usually nicely decorated ones to choose from in their gift shop for a few dollars, often less than your supplies cost you. I've had one sitting on my bookshelf since I was about 5y/o ;-)

    and yes, even ornamental wooden ones can very effectively cause a lot of destruction and pain.


    3 replies

    Wow! Those are way fancier than mine. I wish I had known about those before I started. I could have gotten some more design ideas to make mine better. Thanks for sharing the link.

    Just means you have more ideas for the next one you build. Maybe a bigger two handed version for those really tough home invaders.

    Can't make it too nice as it won't have the same craze factor. Personally I loved it! Crazy, but in a good way.

    Place a piece of 3/4" plywood on your drill press table.

    Clamp it down.

    Use hole saw to create a 2"-ish hole.

    Change bit to one to use to get through ball.

    Place ball in hole you just made.


    If you can go all the way through you have a perfect axis hole.

    If not, double up your plywood.

    After you create your hole in the first sheet create a hole equal to the size of the ball hole in the next.

    After you drill your hole half way through ball. Put qa matching dowel in the second sheet hole, then place the ball back in the hole with the dowel inside your ball hole.

    Continue drilling

    Hi Nick, There were 7 of us in the band I was traveling with in 1977 and we were in Dothan Alabama as I recall... I found it in an old tool box I use to carry in my Econoline van. It ain't pretty like your piece but it will do ! OUCH ! ! !

    I'm not sure what you would call it but I took a poolball (#7), drilled a 1/2" hole 3/4 of the way into it, drilled a few smaller holes on angles inside the 1/2" and a few smaller holes thru the 20" (hollow) steel pipe, filled the hole in the ball with epoxy, jammed the steel pipe in it and let it dry. Showpiece ? Not really except to show any robber that they are not welcome in my house. This is only in case I don't have time to get my gun(s). Your mace looks way better than mine but I'm sure my poolball will do almost as much damage if not more because it weighs a bit more than wood. Nice mace there !

    1 reply

    I pool ball sounds a lot more painful to be honest. Any significance to the choice of the #7 ball?

    I just have to say, the name's hilarious. XD "Home Defense Mace"

    If you make another one, don't make the points so sharp or long. The purpose of a mace is damage by concussion/crushing. With the points as long and sharp as they are, you stand a very good chance of the mace getting stuck.

    Omg i love this!! awesome !!

    Technically that design was known as a Morning Star.

    1 reply

    The morning star was a type of mace named for the head which was a sphere with conical spikes on it resembling a star. So calling it a mace is still correct, just like calling a Ford Mustang a car or automobile is technically correct.

    beautifully made!

    This might be ornamental, but it's still a formidable weapon. Even if the points broke off, you would still be left with a large wooden ball on the end of a thick handle. You could easily crush someone's skull with that. If I were a burglar and some homeowner came after me with that thing, I would certainly clear out. Remember that most burglars don't carry firearms.

    Battlespeed, it is intended to be ornamental, despite the click bait title.

    RayJN, there are plenty of other illegal things in my house to distract the authorities.