Turned Mallet




Introduction: Turned Mallet

About: I love learning, so whenever i see something i don't know how to do that i should be able to do, i rectify the situation and learn said skill, usually by myself...

Evening everyone. This is my first 'ible and second mallet, but I think I've got it fairly covered. At this moment I've had my lathe for two weeks and loving it, so there might be more turning 'ibles coming, but no promises.

Step 1: A Note on Safety

I know everyone else covers this and you've probably read it all, Gods know I have, but just to reiterate:


This means: wear your eye protection; breathing protection if you're working with suspect timbers; I would recommend a face shield (I can't see through mine unfortunately); don't wear loose clothing; keep your hair and beard away from the machine; and always always concentrate on what you are doing, always...

With that said, lets get started...

Step 2: Collect Your Tools

I may have forgotten to take photos of the tools used for this project, but they are mostly basic gear.

Roughing gouge

Spindle gouge

Skew chisel

Parting tool


Table saw

I think that's all of them.

Step 3: The Timber

I had a length of blackwood given to me by a friend, but you could use any hardwood with good results. As you can see from the above photo, it was a touch out of square. So I had to find the smallest width, in this case 95mm, and square all sides accordingly.

Next I knocked the corners off my blank to make an octagon. This makes roughing the cylinder a lot quicker. Then after finding the center of my blank at both ends, I knocked the spur center in the live end with my mallet and loaded it into the lathe.

Step 4: Roughing the Blank

Now with the blank loaded into the lathe, I started on a slow speed and started attacking it with the roughing gouge, working my way slowly along the cylinder till it's a uniform shape. Then I used the skew chisel to get it all smooth so I could see what I was dealing with.

Step 5: The Head

Now with the blank all smooth and ready for shaping, I turned the speed up on the lathe and marked out where my cuts for the mallet head needed to be. Then with the skew chisel I shaped the faces and the concave center before shaping the step behind each head of the mallet.

Step 6: The Handle

For the handle I needed to have a tenon to fit through the head of the mallet, so using my verniers I kept gouging a 70mm length till it was a uniform 25mm diameter. Then I stepped the start of the handle out to 32mm and took my tapers from there. I didn't really have a set shape in mind, just one that felt comfortable to hold, so I kept shaping and stopping, shaping and stopping, till I was happy with the feel of it.

Next came the little embellishments that are entirely optional, but I think they add to the look and grip of the thing. These were again done with the skew chisel, in fact most of my work is done using it.

To finish it off, I worked my way up the grits of sandpaper (80,120,240) before finishing with 0000 steel wool with a little paste wax.

Step 7: Piecing It All Together

Now that both bits are off the lathe, it's time to join them back together. With the head locked in the vice I marked the center with the verniers and drilled a short 32mm hole. Then I changed bits and put a 25mm hole almost through the head before turning it around and coming back from the other way.

Next I slipped the handle in to mark the length needed and cut it accordingly.

The fit was a bit loose for my liking, so I drilled a 6mm hole straight through the center of the tenon and cut a kerf down from the top to allow a wedge to drive and tighten the fit.

Step 8: All Done

All that was left was to put a bit of glue on the tenon, slide it in the head and drive the wedge in to finish.

As you can probably tell, my writing isn't great, but I do hope you've enjoyed my first 'ible all the same. If you've got any pointers or comments or just want to say hi, please feel free to comment below or jump over to facebook and search for JaKs Woodcrafts and check out my other work.

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago

    you should do an ible for harlyquin i think thats how you spell her name any ways great job.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nicely done! Thanks for sharing this.

    Someday I'm going to have to get a lathe!