Picture of Wooden Mallet on a Lathe
​Wood lathes are pretty cool. You can turn an old log into something useful and have a lot of fun doing it.

This is a little project showing how to cut down a lot, turn it to a blank for turning, and then do some very basic shaping so that you end up with a wooden mallet you can use for chiseling, leather stamping, or popping bubbles.

Disclaimer: I don't know much about wood turning; I just have fun with it. I'd be glad to hear tips from the experts out there.

I also don't own a lathe, so I made it at techshop (techshop.ws), which has a nice wood lathe and tools to borrow.

Step 1: Find Yourself a Log

Picture of Find Yourself a Log
Check the "free stuff" ads on craigslist. People are getting rid of old wood / logs / lumber all the time.

Things to keep in mind:
  • Knots / burls / etc. aren't necessarily a bad thing. You get some pretty interesting grains if you use something with a lot of knots.
  • Green wood cuts more easily, but it can crack when it dries if you aren't careful. The risk is worth the fun of making easy, smooth cuts, in my mind. 
  • Rotted sections / voids will make your life harder, but may lead to a more interesting final piece.
This log is a piece of green mulberry (I believe) from a guy who had just cut down a tree in his backyard.
JorikOrdelmans made it!1 year ago

Nice work and a very clear Instructable!

This is my attempt at a mallet on the lathe. It was my first turning project and I think it came out pretty nice. I haven't finished the wood yet.

solobo (author)  JorikOrdelmans1 year ago

Sweet, looks awesome!

thingy1 year ago

Looks great. My only suggestion would be to ease the edge of the mallet at the top. The 90 degree corner would chip out after a while. You may have done this but I couldn't see in the pictures.

solobo (author)  thingy1 year ago
Thanks! Yeah, I did a tiny little chamfer, but probably could have done more.

It looks nice... Do you realize you made a mallet out of a beautiful piece of "Burl"??

solobo (author)  SlickSqueegie1 year ago

Beautiful! And great technique!

solobo (author)  audreyobscura1 year ago