This is how to make a club mallet from a log, Cherry in this case.
A traditional woodsmans tool.
Step 1: Warning triangle time
Take care when using sharp tools!!!
Step 2: Tools:
Axe or large chisel
Drawknife or sharp knife
Step 3: Choose your log
Around 30cm long and 150mm diameter is a good starting point, but you can make it any size you like.
Any hardwood is OK, Apple, Plum or Cherry is very good Holly is too, and Hawthawne, if there are any knots or branch points these will make the mallet tougher, so keep these at the head end.
I should point out that if using some green woods particularly Cherry, there is the possibility of cracking when drying, so maybe go for a mostly dry log.
Step 4: Mark out
Mark a circle in the center on the handle end of the log about 20mm larger than the handle will be.
Step 5: Next
I usually mark the saw at the depth at which you want to cut to, and then use it as a reference all the way around but allowing for the log not being perfectly round.
Start to cut around the circumfrence half way along the 30cm log, you want to leave the middle or 'core' intact and depending on the size of the user's hand this can be anything from 30 - 50mm (see diagram).
**Take care not to cut too deep as this will weaken the handle.
Step 6: Cut
Now take an axe or large chisel and split the wood away from around the handle, start away from the circle you marked and work your way inwards, if using an axe, as you get nearer the to the circle change to a chisel for more control.
Taper the handle in from the end, towards the head - this will improve grip and stop the mallet from slipping from your hand in use.
Then use a drawknife or a sharp knife for a smoother finish.
Step 7: Amost done
Cut off the mallet at the required length and saw off any branch stubs.
Step 8: Finally
Take off the bark and any sapwood then chamfer the edges.
There you have it, a simple and effective tool.