Yea, as i've read, some red oak bokkens are at par with japanese white oak... It depends so much. As far as i know, in finland there's at least few species of red oak, from which some are really tough and generally good wood for any item which needs a lot of damage resistance. Some red oak might be too hard and shatter.
Bad thing is that without further information, only way is to try. I wouldn't want to waste long working hours for a bokken which shatters at first strike.
I think i'm skilled enough in craftmanship when it comes to woodwork. Making instruments is careful operation and often times the soundboards are made from hardwoods and need hand crafting. So i think i'm very much able to make decent training weapons too. I can use our guitarrists powertools too if needed so problem now is the material.
I think i'll pay a visit to the larger wood retailer again. I did not ask about what kind of birch they have. At least i know they have red oak, which species and from where, no idea. It shouldn't be too expensive, and birch is even cheaper so it might suit my budget. At least the birch is traditional finnish material and good for any everyday item if it's a good sample. It's one of the best domestic hardwoods here and has value in building, any common tools and for heating. (It has the best heat value when burned from all domestic tree species here.)
somebody had an idea to post about my progress and take some pictures, i will do that. As soon as i find good material. Maybe i'll post pictures of how it goes and then video of testing when finished.
I bet some people might be interested, not many here seem to make their own weapons.