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Latest News – February 2021

Hello all 

Well here we are in 2021. As someone said the other day, we have been in these “unprecedented” times for so long that they now feel “precedented”.

Despite the turmoil, we at Rare Woods are steadfastly sticking to our mission – to provide access to widest range of amazing timber, to South African woodworkers and timber-oriented businesses of all shape and sizes. We draw a lot of comfort from the fact that this mission endures.


With the current regulations, we are not able to hold our annual February sale in its usual format. Rather than cancel it entirely, we are intending to instead hold it when lockdown regulations have been sufficiently loosened. Hopefully that’ll be April or May, but we will have to see.

In the meantime we have an amended programme which we hope will still give you some of the “Febfest” atmosphere, without the large gathering:

  • We will be selling all Febfest clearance bundles at “Febfest pricing” for the entire month of February. These bundles are all stacked under the front entrance of our Epping facilities and there are some incredible bargains to be had.
  • In addition to this we will be running weekly instore “Palbin specials” through the month, with heavily discounted pricing and a changing range of items.
  • We are also offering a special discount code on web sales in the month. Please use code FEBFEST2021 to receive 15% off your order on a wide range of items.
  • And finally, we will be releasing around 10-15 small clearance bundles per week, through a separate Febfest clearance mailing list. Please sign up here if you are interested in receiving these mails. Rest assured, these bundles will be at price levels that we will not match again, so grab them while you can.  You can purchase these online or in store.  We will ship nationwide, but these bundles will not qualify for free shipping.


Use coupon code FEBFEST2021

  • For 15% off online purchases
  • Valid through end of February 2021
  • Can’t be used in conjunction with other coupons
  • Not Valid for Clearance Bundles or other sale items

Exciting new stock

If you want a distraction from the global turmoil, look no further. As a tonic in these difficult times, we have been indulging ourselves with a number of thrilling purchases which we are sure will also excite you:

  • Roasted Curly Birch: we took a load of our Curly Birch stocks in the US and sent them across the border to Canada for thermo treatment. What we got back has blown us away – a rich medium brown and some dramatic curly figure. With Birch being a relatively hard timber (similar to Oak and Ash), we think this is going to make an amazing flooring option. We are even happy to sort it for figure for those looking for more or less drama…
  • Masur Birch (due in soon): this is one that is sure to excite the knifemakers. Masur Birch (also known as Karelian Birch) is not a species in of itself, but rather a particular grain figure that occurs in various species of European Birch.  The result is a beautiful marble like figure – a mix between burl and birdseye. We recently bought a load for our US business, and are now bringing some of that across to SA, along with…
  • Snakewood logs: as one of the most aesthetically unique exotic woods in the world. Its muted light yellow-, orange- or red-tinted brown underlying base colour is covered by tight, uniform patterns of darker brown or black patches which give the appearance of snakeskin. Be warned, this is an extreme timber with a price to match!
  • Morado: Also known as Bolivian or Santos Rosewood, this timber has wonderful lustrous rosewood-like qualities, but at a reduced price. A beautiful choice for high end projects and smaller items like jewellery boxes or heirloom tool handles.

In addition to these exciting new stock items, we have also recently received a new container of Black Ofram which has proved quite popular with those looking for a reasonably priced but lively timber for internal cabinetry.

We are also expecting to receive imminently a container of Shedua (aka Tropical Olive or Ovangkol), in 26, 38 and 50mm sizes. This lightly figured golden-brown timber is somewhat reminiscent of fine grain Burmese Teak and is a superb option for luxury furniture and cabinetry. We have not had a full range of thicknesses available for quite some time, so it will be an exciting day for us when we are able to offer these options again.

Roasted Curly Birch


Black Ofram



Masur Birch

Live edge options

We continue to see lots of interest in live edge timber projects – particularly resin pours and slab tables and counters.

It is therefore worth always reminding you that we have option to suit every budget, including four superb “budget-friendly” options in Cottonwood/Poplar, Blackwood, Kiaat and Japanese Cedar.

For those looking to make and ambitious and truly unique piece – do check out our Ababa, Beli, Ebiara and Wenge boules, along with another dozen or so live-edge options that will leave your dreaming of all the possibilities

Wenge (1m+ wide!!)





Knysna Blackwood

Finally.. the revamp of “Woodworker’s Paradise” – our smalls / hobbyist / offcuts area

The upstairs section of our Epping facility is very popular, and is often the first experience that new woodworkers have of buying timber at Rare Woods. We are also aware that it can be a little daunting for the novice, with a lot of stock that is not always particularly well organised.

Given its importance, we have been thinking long and hard about how we can enhance our customer’s experience in this department, and have come up with the following broad plan which we will be implementing in the coming weeks and months:

  • Dedicated staffing (from mid February)
  • More turning blanks (we have recently added African Padauk and Zebrano)
  • More sized and planed-all-round boards in perennial favourites like Oak, Ash and Walnut
  • More labelling of individual boards, showing species and price
  • A ‘rest area’ for those looking to take a short break from the browsing
  • More regular tidying and sorting of stock on racks (a constant struggle!)

We are confident that these changes are going to deliver a phenomenal experience, but we would also love to hear suggestions from you as to what you would like to see. Please do send a reply mail with any ideas you would like to consider.

In the meantime please stay safe, enjoy Feb Fest, and head to our website or store facilities in Cape Town and Knysna to get your timber fix.

Hope to see you soon


Seamus Harcourt-Wood


Use coupon code FEBFEST2021

  • For 15% off online purchases
  • Valid through end of February 2021
  • Can’t be used in conjunction with other coupons
  • Not Valid for Clearance Bundles or other sale items
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    Volume Primer

    Our bulk packs are sold in units of volume. (1 pack = 0.1m3).
    Depending on thickness and length you select, you will get a different effective total width. Depending on the widths we select, you will also get a different number of pcs.

    For example, 0.1m3 of 2.45m lengths will get you the following +- TOTAL WIDTH and +- PCS (assuming an average piece width of 140mm) for each thickness:


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