This section is for how to pick handle and hoop wood.
Handle Length Handle length is all up to you. Below is a list of recommended lengths for each size, but these can always be adjusted according to your needs:
Small Net: 7 - 16 inches Medium Net: 10 - 30 inches Large Net: 20 - 42 inches
Keep in mind for handles longer than 30 inches, excellent figured wood is very hard to come by and can be expensive (depending on the species). More information on typical lengths and species is below.
Below are a list of commonly used figured woods I have, or can get for a handle.
Walnut Burl: Walnut Burl (Walnut describing the species, and Burl describing the figure) is some of my favorite - the color variations and swirls can be outstanding. The only drawback is strength (as with any burl) and available length. Typically, the longest handle I can do with Burl Walnut approaches 20 inches or so. It's just extremely rare and expensive to find a piece of wood that is long, and has good burl figure along the entire length. Walnut Burl can also have voids due to bark inclusions - I will fill these with either epoxy, or brass/copper inlays. Because of the rarity and expense of Walnut Burl, I do have an upcharge depending on length of your handle which can range from +$50 to +$75
Curly Walnut: Curly Walnut is much easier to find and slightly less expensive than Walnut Burl, especially for longer lengths than 30 inches. Usually, I have several different boards of Curly Walnut, and am always adding more to my collection. Depending on the amount of figure in the particular board chosen and overall handle length, this can add +$30 to +$50.
Maple Burl: Maple Burl can range in color from darker browns, to almost an orange/brown color. Beautiful wood, if the lighter color spectrum is your thing! As with any burl, strength can be an issue. I strengthen all my net handles with a stronger solid wood laminated in the middle, but dent resistance is sometimes an issue depending on how you treat your net. Available length is also an issue, since most maple burls I keep in stock are good for handles ranging up to 20 inches. On the less expensive side for burl wood, Maple Burl can add +$20 to +$50 depending on length.
Curly Maple: Curly Maple is easy to find, especially in the longer lengths. I have many shorter boards for handles up to 19-20 inches of Curly Maple. Any longer than 20 inches, an additional charge of +$20 is added.
Quilted Maple: The quilted figure in Maple is about as easy to source as Curly Maple. Quilted figure almost looks like blisters or bumps in the wood - really neat! Occasionally I can source Quilted Maple for a handle longer than 20 inches, on up to 36 inches. Longer than 20 inches, an additional charge of +$20 is added, and longer than 30 inches, +$30 is added.
Spalted Maple: Spalting occurs with a fungus that starts to eat away at the wood. The wood is harvested before it turns rotten, and you are left with distinct dark lines and varying color patches throughout the Maple board. Often times, this wood needs an extra treatment of "stabilization" for the softer punky areas, which can add time to the overall build if I don't have the wood stabilized already. Lengths of 20-24 inches are relatively easy to find, and I usually have this in stock. Spalted figure in longer lengths than 20 inches add and extra +$20.
Fiddleback Myrtlewood: The name might be confusing, since "Fiddleback" is another name for "Curl" figure. When Fiddleback is referenced, this means there is an excellent density of curls per inch. The best part about Myrtlewood is the color change over time. When first sanded and finished, it is almost a light brown, with a small hint of green. Over a year or more, the color changes to a darker honey brown that I love!! I still have a bit of this left, enough for handles as long as 30 inches. This is very hard to find with good figure, and is fairly expensive. So depending on handle length, an extra +$50 to +$75 is added.
Satinwood Burl: Also known as Asian Satinwood, this burl is a slightly softer burl, but the color and amount of eyes per square inch can be incredible! Longer lengths are difficult to impossible to find, so I am limited to handles that are 9 inches long. This is VERY expensive wood and adds +$50 for a 9 inch handle.
Other figured woods I can get are: Buckeye Burl, Waterfall Bubinga, Amboyna Burl, Redwood Burl, Cherry Burl, and more. Some of these woods are very very rare and it they can cost a lot. Keep in mind that if I don't have something in stock, it can take extra time to track down that perfect piece for you. Or, if you had a piece you saw on eBay or another site, let me know and we can work out the details of proper dimensions.