I've been working on a few different handle designs in Rhino, and wanted to make them out of a nice hardwood. I bought a 5' length of walnut from the re-use center. The wood comes from a group called urban hardwood, which is comprised of several small, local saw mills that reclaim trees the city takes down. All of the trees the city takes down are chipped into nothing, which I witnessed first hand when they took down a huge oak tree in my front yard that had died years ago.
The board I bought was pretty cheap at only $12. I used the CNC router to cut out the handles, and drill the holes for the hardware. I can use the same drill hole geometry on the next saw I cut on the waterjet, so the two pieces line up perfectly. I made 5 handles and still have half of the board left.
I made a few 'country' handles, and couple 'modern' versions. In the end I went with a modern looking handle, sanding it and finishing it with lacquer.