Turning a Wooden Mallet on the Lathe

Turning a Wooden Mallet on the Lathe


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Ben Light is a New York-based maker/designer. Ben’s work has appeared in the Museum of Arts and Design, the Cameron Art Museum, and in the trash. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and is currently enrolled in the NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program.


Ben may love his lathe just a little too much, and in the video above he shows us how to use it to turn a piece of firewood into the handle for a mallet, and a block of scrap wood into the head.


Tools You Will Need:
– Goggles or full face mask.
– Dust mask (Ben isn’t wearing one in the video because he’s talking as he’s working, but strongly recommends you wear one, especially if you’re prone to allergies.)
– Chisels
– Flush cut saw
– Forstner drill bits
– Square
– Hammer

Of course, in addition to these you will also need access to a wood lathe. In doing this, or any project on the wood lathe, Ben stresses that you should always use the tool rest to keep your chisels secure when working. You should also make sure to not wear loose clothing when operating a lathe, and tie back long hair. This is a great project for anyone to get started in wood-turning, and provides a functional tool upon completion.

8 thoughts on “Turning a Wooden Mallet on the Lathe

  1. andytanguay says:

    I’ve had a piece of wood that I took from a tree felled by a tornado sitting around for close to a year, now I have an idea for something to do with it. Thanks!

  2. jamesbx says:

    I’ve made a few of these myself, and like the shape how this piece came out. I like to make small flats where the handle goes into the head. The idea is to put more pressure on the end grain inside the hole in the head, and a little less pressure where the handle would work like a wedge trying trying to split the wood.

  3. Michael Pilcher says:

    I was surprised he didn’t cut the corners off the piece before he started shaping the mallet head. It makes it a bit safer and easier to work with.

  4. hotken taoes says:


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In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens' educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

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