Introduction: How to Turn a Log Into a Mallet

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Making a mallet out of a log is a fun project. Some friends cut down a black walnut tree in their backyard, so I picked up a few logs, and I figured a mallet would be a great project to make out of one of them. Of course, you could use any wood that's square or round to make this!

Step 1: Materials & Tools Needed

Materials Needed:

  • A log, or a square / round piece of wood

Tools Needed:

  • a small ax
  • a draw knife
  • a hand saw
  • a lathe

Step 2: Pairing Down the Wood

Shape the Wood:

Make sure your log or wood is relatively straight. Start with removing the bark. I used a small ax for this job, which I sharpened first. I took my time and kept chopping away the bark. I used walnut for wood, and there were also a lot of sapwood that had to be removed in order to get to the dark walnut part.

Once most of the bark was gone, I moved on to using a draw knife to straighten out the piece further and making it as round as possible before putting it on the lathe.

Cut to size:

Using a hand saw cut the piece down to a good size, a little longer than you want the final mallet to be.

Step 3: Shape on the Lathe


Shape on the lathe: when you have a relatively round, even piece put it on the lathe and start shaping it round. Decide your dimensions: how long do you want the handle, and the head, and carve out marks for where the head starts and ends, and where the handle ends. Then keep turning and reducing the handle, smooth out the head and the edges to get a nice mallet.

When you're satisfied with the shape, get some sand paper and sand the whole piece while on the lathe. Then using a small Japanese saw, cut off the handle and the head. Sand the cut off pieces.


The wood I used was pretty wet, so I saved some of the shavings and I'm letting the mallet dry along with the shavings in a paper bag. Every couple of days, I'll change the shavings and the bag and let the mallet dry slowly to avoid any cracks.

Step 4: Conclusion - Watch the Video

For a more in depth view, please check out the video!