Good wood for saw handles?

Are there any woods that you guys prefer for handsaw handles? I got a great big two-man crosscut (logging) saw, and I need to replace the rear handle. Appearence isn't important. Oak seems cheap and hard.
GTO(John)
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hickory, dickory, doc!
GTO69RA4 wrote:

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"There is nothing like good piece of hickory!" Clint Eastwood in High Planes Drifter.
Isn't hickory the wood traditionally used in shovel, axe and other large handtools?
DexAZ

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My mistake! Pale Rider is the Eastwood movie \.
DexAZ
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (GTO69RA4) wrote:

Cherry. Or maybe traditional, Apple.
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There are maybe three "preferred" woods for handles:
Ash Hickory White Oak
GTO69RA4 wrote:

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That'd be striking and prying tools where long grain gives resilience.
For crosscut handles you just want something that wears evenly and won't splinter. Makes short grain stuff like maple and beech about ideal. Up our neck of the woods yellow birch or hop-hornbeam seem to be the choices for replacements.

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I think beech was used more often than those three.
Because a saw tote in use will put a bending moment accross the short grain it is traditional to use a wood that has an interlocking grain or at least resists splitting fairly well.
Applewood, which I have read was actually hawthorne (crabapple) was preferred early in the 19th century. Hawthorne doesn't get very big, so I suspect the switch to beech was motivated by an inadequate supply. I think real applewood is fine too, however.
The Independence Tool Company used curly maple. Rosewood has also been used on high-end saws--don't drop one on a cement floor!
OH! I just remembered, you are talking about a two-man crosscut saw, right? SO the handle will be be staight piece without any serious short grain problems.
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FF


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Thanks to everyone for suggestions. I'll see what looks good locally.
For Fred: This is a two-man saw, but it's the kind with a little helper handle on the end. Same general design as your average hand saw.
GTO(John)

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I'm sure beech is real fine wood, but that's not found in our area(SE N.C.) Most tool companies in our area have used ash for many years as the preferred handle.
I think this whole thing is strickly regional. They used what was local.
Fred the Red Shirt wrote:

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Oak splits too easily. Ash and hickory were the preferred although they did use willow in the old scythes. I had some elm onetime that had dried and I couldn't split it. it was the only thing I couldn't split.
On 14 Oct 2003 04:47:17 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (GTO69RA4) wrote:

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On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 10:48:08 -0500, Lawrence A. Ramsey

Elm is the nearest thing to tropical interlocked grain that you get in a temperate tree. As a large beam, oak is stronger. But for small areas, nothing touches elm. It was used for Windsor chair bases because other timbers would split out on the short grain areas around the leg mortices.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

others.
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