I agree that there are a lot of woods that would work fine. Your being in Georgia is enough to try Pecan. Its not all that soft and can always be replaced. As a matter of interest, a village in upstate NY made hubs for prarie schooners in the old days and found the best wood for the purpose was Cypress...I think that it would be ideal. Lignum Vitae would be heavy but nearly indestructable...I don't know how either would finish off.