Jackie, I am not Ron, but I do a fair amount of woodworking, the handles normally don't warp. The reason the peel portion warps is because wood tends to expand and contract a great amount across its width depending on moisture. If the top gets exposed to moisture, it will try to become wider, the bottom will act as a restraint ( assuming its moisture content is less ) and you will get warping. Wood does not swell or contract much along its length, so as long as the handle is about 3 inches or less in width, warping won't be an issue. Hardwoods are best for a variety of reasons. Maple is often used because it is very strong and has a natural anti bacterial function. You would want to stay away from open pored woods like mahogany, otherwise you might have food debris stuck in the pores. All of this assumes the handle is the same species as the peel, which isn't required, but is typical. I have made a number out of poplar, which is no where near as strong as maple, but is much lighter and works pretty well. Pine is a soft wood as well compared to maple, but again much lighter than maple. If you go with maple, the thickness of the peel will be an issue - go pick up a maple chopping board that is 3/4 inch thick and you will see how heavy it gets. At the end of a 40 inch lever, it may be tough to handle together with the weight of a pizza. If you go with maple for the peel, I would shoot for pretty thin - maybe 3/16 at max. I would make one for you, but the shipping would be outrageous.