Well those were wonderful responses, and I certainly increased my knowledge about types of wood that grow in other regions and other parts of the world, especially Holly, it doesn't grow here but it sure sounds like a very interesting wood type for handles.
One thing that I have certainly learned over the years is that handles , buildings of all types, etc. were usually built/constructed with what type of wood grew in that particular region, and some regions were blessed with better varieties than others.
I also use black walnut for tool handles, choosing naturally bent limbs for the offset broadaxe handles. I have a favorite tree that once in a while gets trimmed up a bit.
White ash is also a great wood, and for broadaxe handles you have to select a naturally bent section like a tree that has grew up out of the side of a deep ditch, or by some stroke of nature grew in an unatural fashion such as being bent like the trees were during the last ice storm here.
Dogwood is one type of wood that I have no idea what its possibilies would be but thanks for bringing that to our attention.
Yes the glass finish I put on my handles is created with a broken piece of glass, it does a wonderful job of applying a final finish. I do show it being applied in my broadaxe handle carving video.
Well thanks for coming on line everyone, maybe we will get additional suggestions from other parts of the USA or abroad.