Admirable you doing it without power tools.
I'll just start on mine using power tools. Much to be said about machining wood to the thousandths. And because I have built many things by hand, I have nothing to prove.
As for your question, all are OK choices of wood, Cherry is one of the lightest with stability. And dang does it clean up well and take a nice finish.
tim in san jose (funny nobody took walnut)