My friend likes to make wooden mallets:
So I thought he might get a kick out of making one with a brass head. Here's the head so far. (he's still thinking about what to do for a handle).
The bar was too big to fit through the headstock on the lathe, so on the mill I clamped it sideways and faced the ends, indicated it vertical (overkill), used the edge finder to find the center, then center drilled both ends:
I tapered a piece of scrap steel rod in the chuck to make a dead center. That let me turn the piece "between centers", which is a lot more accurate than clamping the bar in the 3-jaw chuck.
I was inspired by this brass hammer, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to use the same shape for the head. I decided on a taper, and tried several different variants. Because of the center hole, I had to discard the first half inch or so of stock, so it was a great place to experiment. Here's a 20 degree taper:
This profile was really tempting as well: flat / taper / flat leaves a sort of brickish look that's very hammer-like:
I did a pass all the way across to cut off the corners (which were a little banged up), and should have gone a little deeper since there were still a few blemishes. I didn't notice them until I had already cut off the piece, so I couldn't put it back between centers, and I don't trust the 3-jaw chuck to hold it true, so I didn't have an easy way to clean up the corners later.
Here you can see the dimple I put in the very center of the head to make it easy to put whatever kind of hole my friend decides to use for attaching the handle.
I also rounded off the round edge of each face of the hammer so that it doesn't immediately mushroom when used on a flat surface. But really, this hammer is more decorative than useful; it's several pounds, so it's not great for delicate work, and the whole point of a brass hammer is to get dinged up instead of the steel part you're trying to nudge.