Red Oak Red oak is one of three main varieties of oak. The sapwood is a light reddish brown color while heartwood varies from light brown to dark brown. Red oak is dense with long straight grains that make it a common choice for many wood workers. It also has good wood working properties, working well with both hand tools and machines.
It glues well and holds a nail, however red oak has a tendency to split when nailed without pre-drilling.
Maple In North America maple grows to heights of 110 feet or more and can have a diameter of 2.5 feet.
Most maple have sapwood that is light cream color with rusty brown tinges running through it. The heartwood is a light reddish brown but can also be darker.
Maple tends to be a hard, dense type of wood that machines well and is easy to work with using hand tools. Maple is quite resistant to shock and this makes it good for handles and sporting goods. Maple takes glue well and also accepts stains and other finishes without blotching.
Ash The sapwood of ash is often a light brown color but can vary to gray. Ash is usually straight grained with high shock resistance. This is one of reasons that ash is used for tool handles and baseball bats.