I've both Beech and Hickory in the shop and have gone back and forth on
which to use. I may end up making one from each wood, today I'm working
with a Hickory blank. I'm sure there are a dozen ways to start but my
first step is to drill the pin holes while things are still square.
next step will be roughing out the shape with the band saw then
refining it with a draw knife, spoke shaves, and rasps. While not
necessary a shave horse is handy.