Introduction: Upcycling Wood Samples to Make a Mallet

About: Just an old guy who likes to dabble in an eclectic mix of technologies and arts.

In this Instructable I'm just going to show how a little imagination and some "scrap" material can be turned into something useful.

Some time ago a friend gave me some wood flooring samples (because I asked her - thanks, Mindy) that included Maple, Oak, Russian Alder and Walnut. Literally hundreds of pieces headed for the trash. The flooring store has to replace these samples as fashion changes or, after a couple of years, as the manufacturing process makes the colors slightly different. They just throw the old samples away.

I thought there must be some way to use these samples and prevent them from being dumped in the landfill.

This Christmas, one of my daughters sent me a present of wood carving chisels. IDEA! why not make myself a Carver's Mallet?

The first picture is the mallet I made along with a couple of the chisels. The second picture is some of the flooring samples Mindy gave me.

Materials Used:

  1. Flooring Samples (all maple in this case)
  2. Mineral Spirits
  3. Glue
  4. Boiled Linseed Oil

Tools Used:

  1. Scraper
  2. Various measuring tools
  3. Saw (I used a bandsaw)
  4. Clamps
  5. Lathe

Let's get started!

Step 1: Prepare the Materials

First I scraped off the labels on the samples using Mineral Spirits and the Scraper. This worked pretty well and they only needed to be wiped down afterwards with a cotton rag.

Step 2:

Next I measured a stack of five Samples which came out to about 2 1/4 inches. This seemed like a good size so I cut 10 pieces to 2 1/4" wide.

Step 3: Gluing Up

I decided to stagger the pieces to get a good glue joint. Then I glued the pieces together and clamped them.

When I came back the next day and tried to saw the ends straight, the assembly fell apart! The finish on floor samples is very durable and mostly waterproof - IT WON'T ABSORB GLUE!

So, after sanding the finish off, I glued and clamped them again. This was not as pretty but ended up being a good solid joining system.

Step 4: Making the Mallet

Once the glue dried and was unclamped, I drew the approximate shape on the blank and mounted it in the lathe.

In the second picture you can see the final shaped Mallet. A couple of coats of Boiled Linseed Oil and it was ready.

Step 5: Success!

I tried a few chisel cuts with my new Mallet and it works!

It is a nice solid tool. The Maple is hard enough to withstand the knocks and I think it will last a long time.

I'm already thinking about other things to make using this technique to salvage and upcycle these little trash treasures.

Thanks for reading this far. I hope I've stimulated your imagination. I am entering this into the Woodworking Contest and the Build A Tool Contest. If you like it, your votes would be very appreciated.

Build a Tool Contest 2017

Participated in the
Build a Tool Contest 2017

Woodworking Contest 2017

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest 2017