How to turn a Mallet

Tools Required:

            Spindle Roughing Gouge
            3/8" spindle gouge
            1 1/4" oval skew
            1" curved scraper



1) Locate and mark centers on both ends.  Mark with Drive Center only. 

2) Mount between centers on lathe (live center and drive center).  Make sure that tailstock and spindle are both locked.

3) Insure that tool rest is in proper position and locked in place and that wood clears the rest when turned by hand.

4) Adjust speed (1,800 RPM or NO VIBRATION).

5) Use SPINDLE ROUGHING GOUGE and make blank round, smooth & straight

6) Determine handle size.  Make a mark  about 3/4" from right end.  Place your hand on the blank so that the heel of the hand is on the mark; extend your thumb along the tool rest;  make a mark at the first thumb joint.  Hold your marker (pen/pencil) at this mark and by hand rotate the blank until the line is visible all around the blank.  This line marks the end of the handle.

7) SELECT the various design elements for shoulder and handle from below:

8) DEVELOP the shoulder and handle as determined, using spindle gouge and scraper.  As you remove material, frequently check handle diameter.  When you are close to the desired diameter, leave material at the far right end of about 1/2"- 3/4" wide….this will be the end knob.  The optimum handle diameter is when the thumb  and middle finger touch…or almost touch.

9) When satisfied with the shape and design, sand, going from 80-grit to 320-grit. When done sanding, polish with the wood shavings.  At this time you may add any personal elements you would like: beads, coves, color, texture, burns, lines…

10) Apply finish of your choice…at least 3 coats, followed with wax.

11) Remove, sand and finish the ends…..


- Capt. Jack Wayne

woodturning classes

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