If a picture tells a thousand words, an exploded diagram tells even more.
This was thrown together with some random leftover bits of hardwood. There were no real plans. I just worked with what I had on hand, together with some dim recollections of a similar project in a magazine which I had flipped through at the bookstore.
The outside of the mallet head is some 1x2.5" S4S Red Oak. The handle and the "in-between" part of the mallet head is 1x2 S4S Maple. A section of hardwood dowel goes through all three layers to (hopefully) help it hold together. (It has lasted over 10 years, so I must have built it right!)
I just glued it and clamped it together. There are two interesting points to note, from the diagram above. First, I notched the maple handle to receive the two other pieces of maple for the "in-between" part of the mallet head. The intent here is to hopefully help keep those pieces of in place.
Secondly, the Red Oak was roughly 2.5 inches wide, and the Maple was only 2 inches wide. This gives the head of the mallet a kind of "H" shape. I could have turned the maple 90 degrees and just cut a longer piece from my 1x2 stock. However then the Maple would present side grain on the mallet end, rather than end grain. I'm pretty sure that end grain is the better choice, so all three pieces (the Maple in-between and the Red Oak on the outside) are oriented such that the striking surfaces of the mallet are end-grain. I chose not to rip the Red Oak to match the width of the Maple, since that would reduce the size of the mallet head.
Hey, it looks distinctive!
I shaped the handle a bit, to better fit my hand, and I drilled a hole in the end, for hanging it up.