I'm a picker. Deerring Sierra and a bunch of guitars.
You have to make a bunch of them with different grain directions.
I'd guess the grain at right angles to the strings would be the most durable.
In any direction, they will wear as hard as the wood at that particular place.
Mash those suckers FLAT with several different adhesives. I'd make some sandwiches and prune/sand them down after the fact. Do the experiments.
For wood carving, I do a lot of glue-ups with mahogany and rosewood for tool handles. I think that they look good and, for me, the wood is dirt cheap. Strips maybe 1/8" thick, 6-8 per handle, maybe 10" long. I build 6 at a time, just in case I get the hot & steamies to buy some new blades.
I wish you well, man. It's a journey of exploration. I hope you earn some successes.