Introduction: How to Make a Mallet From Milk Jugs!

Picture of How to Make a Mallet From Milk Jugs!

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!


lsimonalle (author)2016-04-07

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 & 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 & in much less time.

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, & the seal on the bottom was not 100% sealed anymore. I saved the first container for this type of project.

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, & my hubby was a bit 'frosted' that it wasn't clear anymore.

jreidy1 made it! (author)2016-03-20

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 never see the end of a chisel!

actionjksn (author)2015-05-10

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.

The Rambler (author)2015-03-17

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 "Will it Blend?" 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.

wbogen (author)2015-03-05

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.

josuchav (author)wbogen2015-03-06

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?

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)

wbogen (author)josuchav2015-03-06

says the melting point of HDPE is 266F (130C).

meddler (author)2015-02-22

That, is cool. I have to try this.

kludge77 (author)meddler2015-02-24

Thanks! If you do, be sure to send me a picture!

Megazord (author)2015-02-22

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 !

kludge77 (author)Megazord2015-02-24

Ha! Why not both... If you make one shoot me a link. I'd love to see it!

jackowens (author)2015-02-24

How durable is the mallet? Sorry if you mentioned it in the video, I don't have audio.


kludge77 (author)jackowens2015-02-24

I used it pretty heavily on Sunday. A few dents, but it seems quite durable!

boatingman (author)2015-02-19

Wonderful. I would bet that in a smaller size, these would make terrific coin-ring hammers.

kludge77 (author)boatingman2015-02-20

You're probably right! And it would take a bit less time to process too!

cdstudioNH (author)2015-02-19


kludge77 (author)cdstudioNH2015-02-19

Thank you!

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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