Re: Making your own bokken/tanto etc.
Perfectly decent weapons are made from red oak. On the other hand, "red oak" is obviously a common name and could refer to different species in different countries. If you've got the skills and a good model to work from, you might as well get some red oak and have at it. Another thing to think about is that a decent bokken will last for a long time -- it's not as if you will be buying a new one every year (I'm still on my first white oak bokken).