Wood finish for a Jo
I've been researching woods to make my first jo, and the more research I do the more confused I become. So many recommendations!
Many of the woods I've seen highly recommended just aren't available to me here in Australia. When it comes to hardwood dowel, the hardware/timber places around here all have Kwila/Mervan and Tasmanian Oak and that's about it.
Never seen Kwila/Mervan recommended by anyone, but I've seen recommendations for Tasmanian Oak by a couple of aikidoka in various forums.
So I've decided to ignore all the exotic stuff and take a gamble on the Tassie Oak. I'm planning to make a couple: 1x25mm and 1x30mm. I'm a big strong lad and I don't know which will suit me best, so making two isn't a big effort.
But being wood-ignorant, I have a question about finishing...
Stain, varnish or some sort of oil? Or some combination? Or something else entirely?
Obviously the Jo needs to slide easily but not be slippery.
Anyone out there expert in this sort of thing?
Thanks in advance for any advice.