Introduction: Make Your Own Hot-Glue Mallet! (Rubber Hammer) | DIY Woodworking Tools #4

Picture of Make Your Own Hot-Glue Mallet! (Rubber Hammer) | DIY Woodworking Tools #4

Why would I buy a Rubber Mallet? Why should I pay almost $10 for a small piece of rubber and a handle?Well, I can make one with several sticks of Hot-Glue!

In my experiments, A Rubber Mallet is even BETTER than a Wooden Mallet for Chisel-work. Keep this in mind, Fellow Woodworkers! ;)

This project was originally inspired by Chitlange Sahas' Rubber Mallet using Hot glue Instructable. His method didn't work very well for me, So I thought of a different method. Also way funner!

It was a super fun project to make, And I'll keep the intro short. Let's not keep you waiting ;)

Let's get started!

Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

Hardware & Materials:

4 Sticks of Hot-Glue (The 30cm X 11mm ones)

Some Water

Steel Rod w/ a Threaded Tip (Unused part from an Ikea lamp)

Glass Pill Bottle (The bigger the diameter, The bigger the mallet...)


2 Plastic Bags

Tools (+Attachments):

Hot-Glue Gun (The big ones that have a high wattage)

Homemade Wooden Vise

10mm Drill-Bit

Utility Knife

Glass Cup


Electric/Power Tools:





Why: I need a Rubber Mallet!

Safety Gear Needed: Ventilated Area, Leather Gloves, Goggles

Cost (for me): $2.50

Skills: Basic

Approximate Time: 3 Hours (~60% of that was waiting time)

Step 2: Heat Up a Glass of Water

Picture of Heat Up a Glass of Water

It all starts by heating up a glass of water. This is to stop the glass from cracking from the temperature differences, And to help the Hot-Glue cool down slower (Next step)

I put a glass of water for a little over a minute in the microwave, But a kettle would work too.

I slowly submerged the jar into the water, While being careful to not let it crack

Step 3: Squirt the Hot-Glue Into the Glass Jar

Picture of Squirt the Hot-Glue Into the Glass Jar

I started squirting the Hot-Glue into the jar, While making sure that no water would enter through the top.

I find it easier to push the Hot-Glue inside, While holding down the trigger

Step 4: Let the Hot-Glue Cool Down

Picture of Let the Hot-Glue Cool Down

I let the Hot-Glue cool down for an hour outside. In case you're wondering, It was only slightly warm after 60 minutes.

I later put it in the refrigerator, And (kind of)(maybe) forgot about it. It's actually a good idea to forget about it, Because it's better for the Hot-Glue to harden.

Step 5: Smash the Glass Jar on the Floor!

Picture of Smash the Glass Jar on the Floor!

I first wrapped the jar in two plastic-bags, And then threw it on the floor. Surprisingly, It took me about 5 times to even get a crack in the glass!

Just make sure to wear safety glasses, You can never be too safe

Step 6: SAFELY Remove All of the Glass

Picture of SAFELY Remove All of the Glass

I looks easier than it actually is, But Hot-Glue adheres pretty well to glass. I smashed it several times with a hammer, And peeled if of with my hands, Obviously with thick leather gloves

Step 7: Wash the Hot-Glue Mold

Picture of Wash the Hot-Glue Mold

I wanted to remove all of the excess dirt, And if possible, Also small pieces of glass.

I gave it a quick rinse, Rubbed it with soap, Rinsed it again, Applied more soap, And washed it off. I then dried it off with a towel

Step 8: Cutting Off the Excess Piece of the Hot-Glue Mold

Picture of Cutting Off the Excess Piece of the Hot-Glue Mold

There was some extra Hot-Glue from the jar's "neck". I used a utility knife to cut that off. A "Hot-Wire Cutter" would be better for the job, But I still haven't built one...

I also not learned that this was a different type of Hot-Glue compared to what I usually use, It is way tougher. I was at a Home-Center buying several clamps for my workshop, When I spotted the Hot-Glue and remembered that I'm almost running out...

With that said, Don't mix several different types of hot-Glue in the same mold

Step 9: Drilling a Hole for the Handle, & Screwing It In

Picture of Drilling a Hole for the Handle, & Screwing It In

I clamped the Hot-Glue mold in my Homemade Wooden Vise, And used a drill to drill a hole in the middle of the mold, About ¾ of the way in. This will serve as a hole which the Mallet's handle will get inserted into.

I next screwed in the handle. Perfect fit!


Don't forget to Follow me on Instructables, I have over 60 Instructables that I'm sure you'd like!

And a Vote... Is the biggest the biggest compliment you can give me! Thank you so much!

Liked it? Let me know! Didn't like it? Let me know why!


Orange robot (author)2017-01-12

Cool project
How durable is it?

Yonatan24 (author)Orange robot2017-01-12

Thanks. Define durable!

I don't use it very often, but when I need it, I'm always happy that I made it. What are you planning on using it for?

Orange robot (author)Yonatan242017-01-13

Just wondering how it compares to a rubber mallet.

Yonatan24 (author)Orange robot2017-01-13

Don't have one, don't know. Maybe you can make an HDPE mallet., which I think should be stronger...

you should totally do that i would be very interested in process

It has been on my to-do list for like 2 years!

I'm currently working one, but am stuck on something. Instructable to be published soon, hopefully! :)

mrsmerwin (author)2017-01-29

I don't think you can get glass pill bottles around here. Any idea how to remove a plastic one if you substitute?

Yonatan24 (author)mrsmerwin2017-01-30

Do you have glass mason jars?

Do you mean to pry the hot glue cast off of the plastic bottle mold? I'm not sure if that would work. If you can find a plastic that doesn't even soften at the temperature that hot glue melts (ie ABS/HDPE/PP/PS, I don't know), I'd use some type of oil to lubricate it.

Looking forward to see it! :)

Addition: I seem to forget what I write in my I'bles... I forgot that I broke the jar. Maybe cut the plastic bottle in half with a hot knife, remove it, and then re-melt the part of the hot glue that got damaged? Just an idea...

elvisecrevisse (author)2016-10-11

Thank you for this instructable, now i can finish the fretting job on my ukulele, without spending big money for a little sized rubber mallet. Great.

Yonatan24 (author)elvisecrevisse2016-10-12

Cool! I'd love to see how your turned/will turn out!

electric guy (author)2016-09-07

hi, great idea but after awhile the hot glue will wait out
thanks eg

Yonatan24 (author)electric guy2016-09-08

It looks like new 6 months later. We'll see...

electric guy (author)Yonatan242016-09-08

well hey whatever works great idea yonatan

ridalyn (author)2016-04-14

I suppose, if one were to insert a smaller pill bottle half full of BBs, while the hot glue was still liquid, one could make a dead-fall hammer.

Yonatan24 (author)ridalyn2016-04-14

I've never heard of that hammer, And Googled it...

What would be the difference? Would it just be heavier?

Dead-fall or (as they're more commonly known) dead-blow hammers don't 'bounce' when they strike something.The shot inside the hammer keeps moving forward when you strike something, keeping the hammer face solidly on the object you struck.

This does two things: it makes sure the full force of the blow is transferred to the object you're hitting and that all the force goes in one direction (instead of rebounding). Second the force is applied over a longer time, which can minimize denting by lowering the peak force applied to the struck object (go look up plastic versus elastic deformation, you get dents when you exceed the elastic modulus of a material)

This is very useful when doing things like knocking dovetails together or mortises into tenons, you get more force put into moving the joints together but don't dent the wood, and it's more controllable than a simple rubber mallet.

I just built a dead blow mallet from an old transformer and some wood!:

I love it so much! (Though my Awl didn't because I accidentally broke it :)

Thank You, I didn't know that! It's actually pretty interesting...

I've done some slow-mo experiments, And the Mallet does bounce up a bit when hit (Only once). The Mallet weighs only 225 grams, But it does feel heavier than that.

My Homemade Plywood Mallet weighs 100 grams, And bounces up pretty much the same as the Hot-Glue Mallet. The Plywood Mallet does feel too light when I strike something, But the Hot-Glue Mallet doesn't.

I like the Hot-Glue Mallet not only because it is slightly softer than my Plywood Mallet, But also because it just weighs more...

Anyway, I have some lead which I wanted to use for making a Mallet, And this is another reason too :)

ridalyn (author)Yonatan242016-04-14

Dead-blow hammers are great tools for removing dents from sheet metal, or when you need precise blows on softer woods without worrying about scuffs from a rebounding hammerhead.

srilyk (author)Yonatan242016-04-14

Usually called dead blow hammer. The lead shot gives it weight but the loose nature of the fill prevents the hammer from bouncing back.

Yonatan24 (author)srilyk2016-04-14

Makes a lot of sense! It's already on my To-Do List! :)

tekLyn (author)2016-05-18

Instead of glass why not a plastic sort of something from the kitchen lined with foil and wax paper? And instead of drilling a hole with a drill for the handle wouldnt it be possible for the sturdyness to set the handle in the glue before complete cooling or dry time with a hole on the mold of course to push the handle in?

bobdole1221 (author)tekLyn2016-06-09

I did my not so pretty one down there using a plastic pill bottle. I had to heat the screw driver up for it to go through the plastic. I did it while glue was hot so i was able to control the angle of the handle. Then just used what i had at the moment that was just tall enough to support the weight of the handle until it cooled.

Yonatan24 (author)tekLyn2016-05-18

I don't think there would be that much of a difference. You can always Drill, Fill the hole with Hot-Glue, And then insert the handle...

I tried to drill a hole in a plastic cup, But they are way too weak... They also melt easily.

gravityisweak (author)2016-04-18

Another great instructable Yonatan! Nice work. What country are you in, if you don't mind me asking? I wasn't able to figure it out from the writing on the bottle. HDPE is fairly common here in the states in all kinds of packaging.

If you are clever you should be able to guess where Yonatan lives by examining that pill bottle.

Yonatan24 (author)JimTheSoundman2016-06-09


I think I live in either North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, or Australia, but I'm not sure. It might be Antarctica.

I haven't checked, but I don't think Google Translate has the Antarcticanian language

Yonatan24 (author)Yonatan242016-06-09

Though if you understand what the language is, it might not reveal where I live. Someone might have bought this on a trip, or maybe it was exported form ______ (I almost accidentally typed it :)

Yonatan24 (author)gravityisweak2016-04-19


I̶t̶'̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶e̶c̶r̶e̶t , I believe HDPE is pretty common where I live, But I don't drink milk...

Lactose intolerant ➡ Cannot make HDPE Mallets :(

rogersba17 (author)Yonatan242016-04-19

HDPE is high density polyethylene, has absolutely nothing to do with milk....

rogersba17 (author)rogersba172016-04-19

If I could one up this I would hahahaha

Yonatan24 (author)rogersba172016-04-20

What do you mean?

Yonatan24 (author)rogersba172016-04-20

Lactose Intolerant ➡ Doesn't drink milk ➡ Doesn't have any milk jugs ➡ Cannot make any HDPE Mallets

gravityisweak (author)rogersba172016-04-19

Absolutely nothing to do with milk.....

bobdole1221 (author)2016-05-17

Not to pretty but i only had a plastic btl to use. So it was a chore to get out

Yonatan24 (author)bobdole12212016-05-18

Cool! A screwdriver can be a good idea, Because it already has a handle. Thanks for sharing your picture!

bobdole1221 (author)Yonatan242016-05-18

Ya like i said a plastic mold doesnt make for a pretty mallet. But it is functional lol

Yonatan24 (author)bobdole12212016-05-18

(You posted that on your Orangeboard, not here)

no joker (author)2016-04-15

you should of hot glued the handle to the hot glue rubber ?

Yonatan24 (author)no joker2016-04-16

I think it wouldn't be strong enough-- It would break when I used the mallet...

no joker (author)Yonatan242016-04-17

I was joking

gilligoon (author)no joker2016-04-17

Your name says different

no joker (author)gilligoon2016-04-23

my name was actually was supposed to be NUMBER 1 JOKER. but know i usually go by JOKER

Yonatan24 (author)no joker2016-04-24

You didn't get the point. Nevermind...

Yonatan24 (author)no joker2016-04-18

***Your name***

Didn't sound at all like a joke... (And still doesn't)

pfred2 (author)2016-04-12

You can make these out of recycled HDPE too. Hot glue sticks are not free. Scrap plastic is though.

Yonatan24 (author)pfred22016-04-12

Yes, I've seen Peter Brown's video on that, And I'm still collecting HDPE. I find HDPE actually pretty rare, Maybe 1/10 containers. From what I've seen ~90% of the containers I have are made of PP (Polypropylene).

This has been on my "To-Do List" for several months already, But I haven't been able to find a lot. Also, I believe I will have a problem, And won't be able to melt it

The reason that both were on my "To-Do List" was because I needed a Mallet: Hot-Glue is Cheap, Easy to find, And easy to work with, But HDPE is free, Fairly hard to find, And pretty hard to work with...

mspevak (author)Yonatan242016-04-21

Many plastic cutting boards are HDPE (sometime are UHMW-PE, which might work also) and are often given away for free. I save them as they are handy free flat stock plastic for all sorts of projects.

Yonatan24 (author)mspevak2016-04-23

Interesting, I didn't know that

I'll try looking for those, But we use compressed wood/paper cutting boards, So it'll be a bit harder :)

Dunno where you live, but just this weekend doing chores around the house I ran across a LOT of HDPE: windshield washer, dish soap, laundry detergent (a lot, as it was a big heavy bottle), bleach, all fabric bleach (guess you can guess what my weekend chores were! :-)

Also I think the big plastic pails that restaurants get bulk foods in are also often HDPE, and they'll usually let you have those for free (or you can just dumpster dive for 'em..sometimes they need serious cleaning!) Places that sell lots of pickles like delis and sandwich shops usually have 'em.

Even if they're not suitable for melting down, they're really nice to have for tool buckets, mixing things, cleaning things, and all sorts of great hacks

About This Instructable




Bio: 15 year old, sick with a deadly disease called DIY-itis!
More by Yonatan24:How to Sharpen a Japanese Saw10 MORE Bench Vise Tips, Tricks, & Hacks (Part 2)IKEA Hack: DIY Flexible Arm Tripod!
Add instructable to: