This is alittle off subject but during my working career, one of my jobs was to maintain an 1857 water powered muley sawmill, and its equipment.

One of the high maintenance items that needed continuous attention was a large wooden mallet called the "commander". It was used to tap in the the large wrought iron dogs that secured the ends of the logs during sawing.

What I am getting at is that during my years there I used every conceivable type of wood to manufacture the wooden heads from, they in turn were banded with iron rings to keep the ends from splitting,

Nothing ever seemed to work well or last long eventhough I enlisted the blacksmith to shrink on the rings, eventually the rings would work loose and fall away from the ends, and if the heads had developed a split the whole thing would fall apart.

The old photographs never seemed to show much detail to work from, I am asking now for you guys\gals out there given this task what would you do to try and overcome this problem?