Making a Dead Blow Mallet




Introduction: Making a Dead Blow Mallet

About: I make all sorts of stuff. You can watch my YouTube Channel or Follow me on other Social media!

In this Instructable i'll show you how i made a Dead Blow Mallet on the Lathe, hope you find some inspiration to make your own!

Be sure to watch the Video above that goes side by side with this article and Subscribe to my youtube Channel for upcoming projects!

Step 1: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Tools Used:

  • Tablesaw or Hand Saw
  • Planer ( not necessary)
  • Wood Lathe ( of course with tools)
  • Jacobs chuck for the lathe
  • Tape measure
  • Calipers
  • Drill
  • Forster Bits
  • Disc Sander ( or just sand by hand)


  • 8"x 3"x 3" (20cm x 7,5cm x 7,5cm)for the head and 2"x 11" (5cm x 28cm) DRY Wood
  • Sandpaper
  • Boiled Linseed oil
  • Lead Shot
  • Wood Glue
  • 2 part Epoxy Glue

Step 2: Cutting the Wood to Rough Size

I used some Reclaimed Plum wood for the Handle and the head for the mallet, the Caps that are getting the most abuse are made from Hornbeam which i found in my firewood.

I cut the head to a length of 5" (13cm) the two caps are 1" (2,5cm) the diameter of all is 2.5" (6.3cm) this is the finished size. the handle is cut to a length of 9" (23cm) by 1 1/4 " (3,2cm) also finished diameter. So cut your stock oversized due to loss on the lathe.

I needed to flatten and square up the piece for the handle because mine had some big cracks in it. Afterwards i cut out the usable part with my tablesaw. ( you don't need to do this if your material is in good shape)

Step 3: Turning the Handle

I turned the handle between centers to give it a shape that fits my hands. Afterwards i turned down the part that goes in the mallet head to 1 5/16" (3cm) which matches the size of my Forster bit. the handle goes 1 1/2" (4cm) deep , so this is the part that you need to glue in the head.

After sanding the handle to 220 grit i took it from the lathe and laid it to the side.

Step 4: Turning the Head of the Mallet

Next i turned the head round between centers, made a tenon that goes in screw chuck on my lathe and gave it a light sanding. Afterwards i drilled a 1 1/2 (38mm) diameter hole that goes 1" (2.5cm) deep from both sides, so that there is enough place when you drill the hole for the handle ( which matches the part of the handle) don't intersect with each other.

Afterwards i marked the center on the Mallet head and drilled the hole with a 1 5/16" (3cm) Forster bit 1 1/2" (4cm) deep.

Step 5: Turning the Cap for the Head

I roughed out the hornbeam wood (again) with my Carbide turning tools, marked out the areas which didn't got cracked because the drying, and established a tenon on the end so that i could chuck them up without a tailstock support. I turned the wood down so that it fits snugly into the mallet head about 8/32 (6mm) deep. i repeated this step also for the 2nd time after i cut down the 1st cap.

Step 6: Adding the Lead Shot and a Last Bit of Turning

I have measured out the amount the Shot that fits in the hollowed out part so that the cap seats well and it don't rattles to much. i filled up one side and glued on the one cap with some wood glue. Afterwards i turned it over and repeated this step.

For applying some Clamping Pressure i used the lathe but without the live center to avoid the pressure mark which the point of the live center leaves.

Afterwards i turned down the caps to get a constant thickness and diameter. with the turning part finished i sanded the head to 220grit and parted it off.

Step 7: We're Almost Done Just a Bit More....

I used my Disc sander attachment for my lathe (you can find the video how i made it here ) and sanded the head and the handle to remove the points where they where attached to the lathe.

Afterwards i mixed some two part 5 minute epoxy, applied it to the mallet head ( not the handle) and inserted the handle in it. After 1hour curing time i applied some Boiled linseed oil to protect the Mallet and give it a nice finish.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Beautiful New Mallet

After applying several coats of linseed oil ( after the previous coat was dry) The Mallet is finished!

I hope you enjoyed this article and found some inspiration to make your own and if you want to see more great projects you can subscribe to my YouTube channel!

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4 years ago

You guys with your exotic woods 'firewood' piles. I'd dearly love to find some hornbeam in my firewood!

That's a beautiful mallet, although I'd be tempted to make one face out of something like a piece of a polypropylene cutting board turned to fit, or from some milk jug stock a' la kludge77. Perhaps make an insert recess in one of the faces to hold a round of PP.

That would give you one soft face to avoid denting whatever you're hitting.


Reply 4 years ago

yes that's a great idea! I might make another one with those features! Thank you!


4 years ago

than ks for the info now i can cosplay the jduge from ace attorney <3 <3 <3 :P


Reply 4 years ago

great! go for it! Thank you!