The Yamaha P-32D is still my favorite, so my immediate inclination is to use that or the P-25F. I’m thinking small to make weight less of an issue and make for less of a carving job. Otherwise a Suzuki M-32C. I’ve had all these apart and have worked on them, but I need to examine them more carefully. Those are probably the only contemporary models I’ll show Rick. I’m curious about the Suzuki MX series, which have some history and should be superior to the new cheap Suzukis.
Sandalwood is available. My jewelry making daughter uses it to make beads, and I see some in blocks on the Internet. I don’t know anything about its hardness or how it might be to carve, though it is used in Asia for carvings.
I’m wondering about sound, not so much getting special advantages from wood, but more in terms of the extent to which sound has to not just come up through the keyboard. I just “won” an early Suzuki S-25, which interests me partly because of the large “vent” holes in the end pieces. Those kinds of holes could be carved into a solid wood body.