Ever walk into a grocery store and come out with some obscure ingredient just to see what you can do with it? or because you wondered what it's like to work with in the kitchen?
I do that all the time..... and I'm guilty of the same when it comes to grabbing a block of wood for a handle or a project if it catches my eye. Sometimes I find something and become a fan. Others.... it's future firewood. I've tested a bunch and have some loves and hates.
Dave posted a rant (well deserved) about the frustrations of Redwood for handles in his sub forum a few days ago and it got me thinking. Among all who make handles or sayas or whatever, from the one now and again makers to the pros, we've probably got a large pool of info about different materials.
Didn't want to hijack his thread, but seemed like it might be a good idea to create a new one to see if we can't collectively build up a sticky worthy list of quick info on materials to have as a reference. Know any material can turn out a good result or a horrid one in any single case but speaking in broad strokes from past experiences....what do you love or hate to work with...... The Love it or stay far far away materials list...... Thoughts?
Case in point...
Redwood. run and don't look back. High Frustration. Sands erratically and unpredictably. Tricky to get good finish. Dust not a friend.
African Blackwood. Love, occasional hate. Great look. Great finish. Hard on tools....potentially brittle. Slow to work. Beware the weight when making handles
Cocobolo. Allergy sufferers run away fast. Hold your breath. Caution. Caution Caution. (But it does look great)
Black and White Ebony. Heartbreaker to heavenly. The look is awesome but brittle and breakable while being worked. All ebonies a potential cautionary tale for handles.
Bubinga. Thank you, I'll have another.
Ziricote. a champ if you start with a good block.... not friendly if you have to mill down (drying cracks and checks are common)
Mammoth Tooth...horn....woods....etc etc.....
Anybody with thoughts on the idea of this thread or interest in adding to it ...chime in.