I'm making my first mallet. It has kind of an odd shape, but it is from some free maple that I have on hand.
Here it is, still on the lathe. I have some tearout on the handle, but after getting some pointers from Joe while at Bill's recently, I plan on going after the handle again with a small gouge, taking off light cuts to hopefully shave away the tearout.
My ultimate plan is to finish the handle portion with Bush Oil (a Maloof formula pre-mixed finish) and to try out an artistic treatment for practice on the head portion. My plan is to mask off the handle and then carefully and lightly apply some airbrush color so that a rainbow gradation is achieved, but that still shows the grain. I'll probably apply a poly finish over that.
It is getting cold here now, so I may not complete this project until spring, but wanted to show off what little I have gotten done.