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Milk-jug mallet

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Forum topic by JeffP posted 02-21-2015 01:15 PM 2649 views 4 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JeffP

573 posts in 858 days


02-21-2015 01:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: chisel

I actually ran across this maker video on an electronics maker site that I frequent.

Some guy melted down milk jugs to make himself a nice joiner’s mallet.

http://hackaday.com/2015/02/21/turning-plastic-milk-jugs-into-a-useful-tool/

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.


35 replies so far

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bondogaposis

4036 posts in 1817 days


#1 posted 02-21-2015 02:26 PM

Interesting. I can’t say I would ever want a plastic mallet, but for some this information seems useful.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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waho6o9

7179 posts in 2043 days


#2 posted 02-21-2015 03:27 PM

Good to know thanks JeffP.

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JeffP

573 posts in 858 days


#3 posted 02-21-2015 03:58 PM

In retrospect, it might have ultimately been easier and more practical to recycle/upcycle a dead hickory tree than a bunch of milk jugs.

Mostly I was just amazed at how easy it was to melt that stuff into a solid block.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View Peter Brown's profile

Peter Brown

196 posts in 1143 days


#4 posted 02-22-2015 12:56 AM

Ha! You found my video… You got a dead hickory tree and I’ll trade you for my milk bottle mallet! :)

-- Peter Brown - Collector of WD-40 and wood splinters

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woodbutcherbynight

2448 posts in 1875 days


#5 posted 02-22-2015 04:37 PM

cool idea, myself I have some Corian sample squares that fit the bill to attach to the end of the mallet. Without using the wife’s kitchen tools. (Laughing)

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#6 posted 02-22-2015 05:39 PM

Very cool.. I can think of a LOT of stuff that could be made from that. I’ve previously needed to turn some custom parts for fixing various things and have resorted to using epoxy blanks, however larger stuff is kind of difficult due to the heat generated when dealing with thick epoxy pours. HDPE would be ideal for some of those, so yet another alternative to add to the arsenal! Thanks for the info.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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hotbyte

844 posts in 2442 days


#7 posted 02-22-2015 07:38 PM

Could it be molded and cut to be runners for table saw sleds, etc.???

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Rick M

7929 posts in 1846 days


#8 posted 02-23-2015 03:41 AM


Could it be molded and cut to be runners for table saw sleds, etc.???

- hotbyte

I haven’t tried it yet but based on what I’ve learned, it would be challenging but possible. Probably not worth it IMO. The stuff shrinks quite a bit as it hardens and the challenge is preventing air bubbles. There is a youtube channel called, The Art of War, that has some excellent videos on recycled hdpe. The kid (he’s 15), makes excellent videos, kinda like a teenage Matthias Wandel.

My wife thinks I’m crazy but I’m saving up plastic to give this a try.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#9 posted 02-23-2015 03:59 AM

My wife thinks I’m crazy but I’m saving up plastic to give this a try.

I got some in the toaster oven right now, and I’m not telling the wife :)

To the question.. I guess you could make runners, but why would you want to when there are so many alternatives available that are WAY easier. If you really have to have HDPE for your runners, run down to your local dollar store and pick up some cheap cutting boards and cut them into appropriate sized strips. I’m more interested in making blanks for turning on the lathe as a replacement for some of the stuff I currently resort to using epoxy for.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#10 posted 02-24-2015 11:01 PM

Dang.. I’m having way too much fun with this stuff :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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JADobson

682 posts in 1577 days


#11 posted 02-24-2015 11:16 PM

I just finished a jug of milk and have saved the jug from the recycling bin. There is a mallet (or two) in my future.

-- James

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MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#12 posted 02-25-2015 12:18 AM


I just finished a jug of milk and have saved the jug from the recycling bin. There is a mallet (or two) in my future.

I was amazed at how much stuff around the house was made of HDPE when I started playing.. not just milk jugs and juice containers. Squirt bottles (like for mustard), generic screw top pill bottles, laundry detergent jugs, shampoo bottles.. and even those plastic bags you get at the grocery store! And with my limited experiments, you can use a metal form to get some pretty good results, like the heart shown in the picture above.. I used one of those metal cookie cutter things that I dug out of a drawer in the kitchen. No sticking at all and the finish is very smooth.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Rick M's profile (online now)

Rick M

7929 posts in 1846 days


#13 posted 02-25-2015 04:23 AM

I’ve run into the exact opposite experience, 90% of the plastic we buy turned out to be #5, polypropylene.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#14 posted 02-25-2015 01:50 PM

90% of the plastic we buy turned out to be #5, polypropylene.

I hear you Rick.. but I bet you get lots of those plastic bags at the store! Almost every bag I found was HDPE.. Grocery store bags, Harbor Freight, NAPA, Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, Old Navy, Target, Walgreens.. they were all HDPE. Unfortunately, it takes a LOT of them to make anything useful.. but the good news is they melt down really, really fast! I used an old never-dull can and wooden plug (wrapped in aluminium foil) to act as a piston and made a good sized chunk from some last night:

That chunk is about 1.5” thick and 3.5” in diameter.. just a bit larger than the size of a hockey puck.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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smitdog

229 posts in 1572 days


#15 posted 02-25-2015 02:27 PM

Nice, I didn’t know the grocery bags were HDPE… I’ve got a huge trash bag full of them in my “good intentions pile” to go back to the store to recycle. Looks like I may have to “borrow” the oven! Do you think the ink from the printed bags would create fumes at that temperature though? I work in the printing industry and some inks can be nasty… A lot of them are soy based now but I’m not sure about plastic bags. If they are oil or latex based it could get nasty. I’ll do a little research first before fumigating my house…

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

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