Introduction: Finger Mallet From a Tree Branch | DIY Woodworking Tools #8

About: I've been making Instructables since I was 13. Now, I mostly make videos of my projects, however I'm still active here, so don't hesitate to reach out! Sick with a deadly disease called DIY-itis!

I've built quite a bit of mallets in the past months. A Plywood Mallet, A Hot-Glue Mallet, And my favorite: A Dead-Blow Mallet from an old transformer.

What I haven't built, is a small and light duty mallet.

So today, I'll show you how to make a small mallet that attaches to your finger (without a handle), from an old Olive wood tree branch. This also my first woodturning project, so I'll probably make a bunch of mistakes ;)

I don't know how useful this will be, but my goal was to go do some woodturning, take good pictures, and hopefully have a lot of fun, which I definitely did!

Let's get started!

*Pssst! Don't forget to check out more info about the giveaway in the comments!

Step 1: What You'll Need:

Hardware & Materials:

A Tree Branch (I used Olive wood)

Chemicals & Adhesives:


Tools (+Attachments):


Turning tools


Homemade Wooden Vise



Fine & Course Files (or Sandpaper)

12mm Drill-Bit (The diameter of my finger)


Electric/Power Tools:


6-in-1 Woodworking Machine (It contains the Lathe)


Why: First woodturning project: A Mallet!

Recommended Safety Equipment: Earmuffs, Respirator, Safety Goggles

Cost (for me): FREE!

Difficulty: Medium

Approximate Time: 2 Hours

Step 2: Leave Your Chosen Branch to Dry

After choosing the branch that I wanted, I Iet it dry for a couple months.

Right before starting the project, I noticed that the wood attracted some tiny bugs, so I put it in the sun for a few days to kill them.

Step 3: Saw Off the Twigs (small Branches)

I sawed off the small twigs that I thought would annoy me while turning the wood. At this point I realized that a wood that reads almost 3000 on the Janka Scale, is not something that is easy to work with hand tools, but I kept going.

I also did my best to square up the edges, so it would be easier to mount the branch in the Lathe.

Step 4: Mount the Branch in the Lathe

I've never done any woodturning projects, so some of the things that I mention here may be either very obvious, or incorrect.

This Lathe is made mostly of Aluminum so I thought it would be a good idea to clamp it down to the table because it would stop any vibrations. Keep in mind that I have modified this Lathe so it will be able to hold bigger pieces of wood-- This is a kit that is meant to be used for smaller turning projects.

I hammered the drive center (I think that's the name) into the center of one end, and pushed the center of the other side into the tailstock.

Ready for turning!

Step 5: Start Turning!

As you might know, or see, I don't have any of those fancy carbide gouges or super sharp chisels, so I had to improvise with what I had.

Other than the fact that it shoots razor sharp pieces of wood at you, woodturning is pretty fun. And yes, Rasp Planes work fairly well for this!

Step 6: Smooth Out the Blank

Blank. That's what it's called, isn't it?

I wanted to experiment with smoothing it out with files, and it worked pretty well. I started with a rough file, and then moved on to a super fine one, as shown in the pictures.

Step 7: Saw, & Square the Edges Again

To save some work, I let the Lathe turn the wood, and held the hacksaw in place.

After I was done with one side, I clamped the blank onto the table, and sawed the other, again, with a hacksaw. This wood feels harder than metal!

Step 8: Drill a Hole in the Middle of the Blank

After clamping the blank in my Homemade Wooden Vise, I used a 12mm Spade Drill-Bit to drill a hole in the middle.

Why 12 millimeters? That's the diameter of my finger. Choose the Bit according to the diameter of your finger, or a handle, if you want to add one

Step 9: Apply Varnish

I used a paintbrush to apply 1 coat of varnish. I wanted to see how well it would hold up, since this is a light duty Mallet.


Step 10: Have Fun! Use It!

What kind of projects do you think that this can be used for?

Non-decoration ones, that is! :)


As always, thank you so much for voting!

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