Re: Making your own bokken/tanto etc.
At my dojo, we have our jo locally made with courbaril. They're expensive, but they last. My best friend is an artist, and I asked her to carve the kanji for Muso Gonosuke on mine (it's also a nice way to tell it easily from the others). The poor thing worked hard.
By the way, how thick exactly is a jo supposed to be? Ours ar about an inch thick, because they are just cut from a already prepared staff. The factory actually makes furnitures. They agree to make our jo, but each student can choose the length of their weapon, but not the thickness.
So how heavy is a jo actually supposed to be?