HDPE is the plastic used in many household containers including gallon sized milk jugs. I made an Instructable a while back on the processing of HDPE using a blender and toaster oven. Well, I've been banned from touching the kitchen blender! So now I'm just rough cutting the plastic with a razor knife. Honestly? It works fine.

I had to melt down about 7 milk jugs and 3 powdered lemonade containers just to get enough HDPE to make my mallet head. It took a number of hours to process it all. I think I watched a full season of Scrubs in the shop.... :)

The handle of the mallet is made from a cherry board and adds a nice warm contrast to the plastic! This mallet packs a punch and is quite heavy given it smaller size!

Thanks for looking!

<p>While it will NEVER compare to the Vitamix [or Blendtec], you can almost always find 'beater' appliances like blenders at a thrift shop [$]. The wife is happy &amp; you don't have to spend forever with the utility knife. The pieces will likely be bigger than the first time, but surely they will be smaller than the second time &amp; in much less time.</p><p>I have an old Vitamix. After ~15 years, it made 'chunkies' rather than 'smoothies'. We had to buy a new container because the lid pop out piece started to fall into the smoothies, &amp; the seal on the bottom was not 100% sealed anymore. I saved the first container for this type of project. </p><p>Speaking as a wife - if you bought a new container [$$$], she MIGHT let you have the one you theoretically abused. I 'frosted' the inside of my container grinding wheat, &amp; my hubby was a bit 'frosted' that it wasn't clear anymore.</p>
<p>I know what you mean about not wanting to use your wood mallet. I made one out of claro walnut with ebony trim. That thing will <em>never</em> see the end of a chisel!</p>
<p>I'm not really a carver but I would like to make a general purpose mallet from this materiel. Do you think it would be possible to take a piece of 1.5 or 2 inch cast iron pipe with a cap on one end. Then coat the insides with something to make it non stick and put the plastic in it with the pipe on a hot plate to melt the plastic, and use the pipe as a mold? I was thinking you could remove the cap and knock the new hammer head out of the pipe.</p>
<p>Hey, just watched this one and the one where you used the Vitamix (if anyone thinks that's not a good use of a Vitamix they've never seen the &quot;Will it Blend?&quot; videos by their competition Blendtec) and I really want to try this now. Just wondering though, have you ever tried heating it in a mold? I guess doing it that way might require a larger heating space than a toaster oven but it seems like if you made a small box mold that could be unscrewed and disassembled than you could melt the plastic inside of it and get a perfect cube or bar shape.</p>
<p>Seems like a lot of work to drill and shape the hole and insert the handle. Maybe an easier way would be to get a large, shallow, wide-mouth glass jar or cheap, deep glass/ceramic small casserole dish, melt the HDPE in that, and while the HDPE is still liquid stick the wooden handle into the melt and let the HDPE solidify. I think the HDPE would hold better to the handle (especially if you had drilled a few holes near the end of the handle or indentations on its edge for the HDPE to flow through) and you would need little machining. Just break the jar/dish off at the end and belt sand the HDPE into final form.</p>
<p>I like the idea of casting it with the handle. I wonder if letting it sit at or slightly above melting while in the form would get the bubbles out eventually. Figuring out a square mold what would fit the handle and able to be compressed doesn't sound impossible either though. I also don't have audio right now, what was the melting temperature?</p><p>Not enough milk cans at the house right now, but I'm totally gonna start a pile in the basement (shhh.... don't tell the wife)</p>
<p><a href="http://www.dynalabcorp.com/technical_info_hd_polyethylene.asp" rel="nofollow">http://www.dynalabcorp.com/technical_info_hd_polyethylene.asp</a></p><p>says the melting point of HDPE is 266F (130C).</p>
<p>That, is cool. I have to try this. </p>
<p>Thanks! If you do, be sure to send me a picture!</p>
<p>I don't know if it's the supidest or the greatest way to actually make a mallet. Anyway I love it, I'll probably give it a try !</p>
<p>Ha! Why not both... If you make one shoot me a link. I'd love to see it!</p>
<p>How durable is the mallet? Sorry if you mentioned it in the video, I don't have audio.</p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>I used it pretty heavily on Sunday. A few dents, but it seems quite durable!</p>
<p>Wonderful. I would bet that in a smaller size, these would make terrific coin-ring hammers.</p>
<p>You're probably right! And it would take a bit less time to process too! </p>
<p>Thank you!</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Come spend some time in the shop. I'm a hobbyist woodworker and professional computer geek in Northern California. I guess my projects will vary ... More »
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