Having reduced my hardwood mold mallet to what now resembles a piece of firewood I have decided to construct one that is longer lasting that does the job. Using the remains of my hardwood mallet as a dimensional pattern I was able to generate one on my bench top lathe in about 20 minutes.
The material I used was 1-1/8" diameter Delrin/Acetal rod. This material is quite durable, machines easily and will take a terrific licking while keeping ticking! You can easily put a knurled handle on it as well if you happen to have that type of tooling. Made mine out of one piece of the Delrin rod which is available at numerous plastic supply establishments in a lot of areas. If you don't have ready access to this type of material you can get it from Speedy Metals.com
Nylon can be used also but is more difficult to machine as it leaves a stringey chip that overheats when turning and gums up pretty badly.
You won't be disappointed with the ease of machining using the Delrin/Acetal type materials.
I expect my Delrin mold mallet will outlast the hardwood models at least 50 to 1.
R D Eggleston