Thanks for the info on Rockler. I will definitely check them out.Thanks Chef, thanks Jville! The birds eye maple was from a salvaged piece of hardwood flooring, and the walnut was from a beat up table I found at a thrift shop. Both one-off lucky finds. I did get that 15 sq ft box of 1/4" red cedar for $28, which is good to play with, but you don't find many handles in that color family. I do want to try out the burnt finish that you have been doing, but I have to pick up a torch, which I always forget when I am at the store.
Don't know if you ever checked out Rockler. They have a decent selection of woods including some exotics. They offer free shipping on orders over $30 if you sign up for their e-mails. I havent ordered there yet, but I likely will.
I agree with you Jville and I wish I could tell you that all of mine had a tight friction hold, but I am still a rank amatuer so it is sort of hit and miss. Got some wooden cribbage pins on order to make some pins for some of my work.