Bob I like the advice here and I think Sq is on point. Most of the commercial mallets for sale seem to be Beech and the glued up oak seems like the way to go and it's good looking.
I have some Jacaranda that was cut this spring and have waxed the ends to keep from checking, it's not to hard but I'm thinking just to use it on wedges. FWIW Rick
[QUOTE=Square_peg;16335826]Choose a wood with a coarse intertwined grain that is difficult to split. Elm and London Plane are great choices. Then bore your hole precisely perpendicular to the grain. This makes for the toughest least split prone hang possible.
See the grain on this T-handle auger?