Wood Species

Showing 121–132 of 137 results

  • Boire is known throughout Africa to be a tough, durable wood, despite a Maple-like density. It is reputed to remain smooth under friction, which makes it ideally suited for its primary use in flooring. The sapwood of Boire is pale brown in color; its heartwood is typically medium brown to bronze, with dark streaks (and sometimes other hues, such as oranges and yellows, intermingled). The species has interlocked grain, and fine and uniform in texture. Other than the tearout commonly associated with interlocking grains, the wood has good working properties.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common Uses: Flooring, furniture, cabinets, joinery, veneer, gunstocks and general construction.

    Comments: This is not an exotic wood which has a boatload of information available with regard to it. Most all of the major US flooring websites that offer this wood share the exact same descriptions and specs, obviously copied one from another. In it, they list its Janka Hardness rating as 940 lbf. Conversely, Ken Goldstein’s 2009 “Janka Hardness Test For Hardwoods” (http://ejmas.com/tin/2009tin/tinart_goldstein_0904.html) shows Boire having measured at 1326 lbf. Perhaps its density varies greatly, as the latter figure (1326) represents more than a 40% increase over the figure commonly given by US flooring industry sources.

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  • With colors ranging from its typically golden brown base, to its dark brown- and black-striped accents, the surface of Bocote is perhaps best known for the many tiny “eyes” adorning the grain patterns of the highly-decorated, more visually stunning examples of the species. (These eyes are not to be confused with knots, as they pose no issues when machining.) The striking aesthetics higher-grade pieces possess make this wood coveted among furniture and cabinet craftsmen, as well as both acoustic and electric guitar luthiers.

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    Sustainability: Not currently listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. That said, given the recent poaching epidemic taking place in Mexico over the last several years, this status — as well as other Mexican woods, such as Ziricote, Camatillo and Katalox — could be changing in the very near future.

    Common Uses: Fine furniture, cabinetry, flooring, veneer, boatbuilding, musical instruments, gunstocks, turned objects, and other small specialty wood items.

    Comments: Despite its oily nature, Bocote is surprisingly cooperative when gluing. It also turns and finishes well, although certain pieces may contain varying degrees of silica, which can dull blades when cutting. Sometimes the heartwood base can be a bright but muted orange with pieces grown south of Mexico.

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  • Also known as “Satine,” Bloodwood is an exotic South American import that continues to grow in popularity here in the states. It’s dark, savory red tones, untypically, do not fade, mute or darken much over time. It is known for its “satiny,” highly-chatoyant finish. While the heartwood typically is comprised of red hues, it is known to have variances ranging from oranges to pale yellows, interspersed. It’s impressive density makes it ideal for an electric guitar fretboard or an acoustic guitar back and sides; wood turners love it, as well, for its fabulous, unique aesthetics and very reasonable price.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common Uses: Carvings, trim, inlays, furniture, guitars, knife handles, and turned objects.

    Comments: The reason this wood continues to grow in popularity in the US — with guitar builders, gun & knife manufacturers (handles) and wood turners — is due to the exceptional aesthetics, for which the species is known, and the very reasonable board-foot prices for which these boards generally sell. Boards of exceptional quality will command a premium, but still represent a whole lot of ‘bang for the buck’ for an imported exotic wood.

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  • Knysna Blackwood originally comes from Australia. It was introduced into South Africa in the early 1800’s.  Its name is a little misleading, as there are no black hues ever seen in its grains. Highly-figured lumber is not uncommon, nor are pieces with a shimmering chatoyance, reminiscent of Koa. Hardwood colors can range from a light golden brown to various dark shades of brown; streak and highlights of various differing colors is not uncommon. Sap colors can range fron tan to a dull light gray, and is clearly demarcated. Its grains can range from straight to wavy to interlocked, and its texture is typically fine, with an impressive natural luster.

    Other than the occasional tearout issues associated with lumber with interlocking grains, the wood is very easily worked. It turns, glues, and finishes well. We believe it is also bends easily, which — combined with its toughness and durability — has made it an historically popular wood in Australia for boat building.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common Uses: Veneer, furniture, cabinetry, musical instruments, boat building, gunstocks, turned objects, and other specialty wood objects.

    Comments: This well priced, locally sourced timber has proved very popular among shopfitters and furniture makers over the last decade or so.

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  • Without question, the densest and most un-rosewood-like of the Dalbergia’s (for our money, at least!), African Blackwood is a consistent favorite with acoustic guitar luthiers, wood turners, carvers and fine furniture craftsmen, alike; it remains one of the world’s most coveted musical woods. African Blackwood often appears almost completely black, with its grains hardly discernible. (… thus the name. After sanding, a deep, very dark chocolate color emerges.)

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    Sustainability: This species is listed in CITES Appendix II and the IUCN reports it as being “near threatened.”

    Common Uses: Musical instruments (guitars, clarinets, oboes, etc.), inlay, carving, tool handles, and other turned objects.

    Comments: Given its trees’ very small profile and the fact that they also commonly grow somewhat twisted (rather than straight up), finding long, straight boards of African Blackwood is a daunting task. It is so dark and dense, it’s almost inconceivable that it is a true Dalbergia-genus rosewood. Expect exceptional pieces to command a premium, as prices have increased — while supplies have drastically decreased — over the last several years.

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  • Heartwood can vary from pale yellow to a light, muted reddish brown; sapwood is grayish-white. There are many species of Birch, worldwide; it is one of the most popular woods, ironically, for both veneer and utility applications. Figured pieces are the more desirable for veneer, with wide, dramatic curly figuring (similar to Cherry) decorating the surface.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common uses: Veneer, plywood, boxes, crates, turned objects, interior trim, and other small specialty wood items.

    Comments: American Birch works easily — it turns, glues and finishes well — although most boards have very little natural luster. It’s a versatile wood that can be used for a number of different applications, but it needs to be protected, as the wood will decay when exposed to the elements. (… and if left unprotected will rot.)

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  • Known in the US, primarily, as either “Ebiara” or, its nickname, “Red Zebrawood,” its heartwood can range anywhere from a pale yellow to a (more typical) muted reddish-brown. Darker colored stripes in patterns (which can be symmetrical or irregular) are how the comparisons to Zebrano are drawn, although they are related: each of their respective genera are part of the Detarieae tribe, in the subfamily, Caesalpinioideae.

    Grains are general straight or interlocked. Although its texture is medium to coarse, it has a high degree of natural luster and can display figure and chatoyance. It works well — cutting, turning, gluing and finishing smoothly — although tearout with interlocked grains is not uncommon.

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    Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, although several other Berlinia species in Africa (not exported to the US) are said to be either endangered or vulnerable.

    Common Uses: Veneer, furniture, cabinetry, turned objects, and other small speciality wood items.

    Comments: Although Berlinia’s introduction to the US exotic woods market was a rather recent one, it has quickly proven to be an interesting, unique lumber. It works easy, and has aesthetic appeal. For being in a moderate price range, this somewhat obscure west African wood should continue to further gravitate into the industry limelight, as luthiers, furniture craftsmen and woodturners, alike, become better acquainted with it.

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  • Like American Beech, this wood features pale cream coloration, also often augmented by a pink or muted light reddish-brown hue. Its large supply across the continent and typically modest price range makes it one of the most popular and commercially important hardwoods in Europe. Its straight grains and medium texture give comparable working and steam-bending properties to its American first cousin; it machines, turns, glues and finishes with ease.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common Uses: Lumber, veneer, flooring, boatbuilding, furniture, cabinetry, musical instruments (piano pinblocks), plywood, and turned objects.

    Comments: European Beech is slightly denser than its American first cousin (at roughly the same dried weight). In optimal conditions, trees can grow to be very large — yielding long, wide boards. Its toughness, strength and excellent bending characteristics has seen the wood utilized in marine applications for centuries throughout the European continent.

    Also akin to its American counterpart, European Beech wood is non-durable and unstable to the point of commonly experiencing movement in service. Optimal lumber would be quartersawn and dried as thoroughly as possible (in the 6% range).

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  • Both American Beech and its European counterpart are known for their pale cream coloration, which is often augmented by a pink or light- to medium-colored muted reddish-brown hue. Its medium texture and typically straight grains (which can be wavy, also) give it excellent working properties; its cuts, turns, glues and finishes very well and has a moderate natural luster.

    Flatsawn pieces usually have very plain-looking aesthetics; the bulk of which is used for utility purposes. Conversely, quartersawn pieces typically exhibit a silvery fleck pattern — which lends the wood well to furniture and musical instrument applications, with more exquisite examples often finding their way to veneer mills.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common uses: Lumber, veneer, flooring, barrels, crates/pallets, railroad ties, musical instruments, furniture, turned objects, and other small wooden objects.

    Comments: Its similar hardness and density has seen it used as an alternative to maple in some applications. The wood is decidedly non-durable and susceptible to insect attack. It responds well to steam-bending, but its stability can be suspect.

    Beech veneer has a different appearance than lumber. Veneer sheets (cut at only 1/42″ thickness) require the wood to first be steamed. This darkens the wood, producing a pleasant golden brown color.

    American Beech is a common, plentiful wood and, thus, priced rather modestly.

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  • Basswood’s color ranges from a pale off-white to pale yellow, to a very light muted brown. The species is known for its excellent strength-to-weight ratio, although its lack of density can make it susceptible to damage if placed under excessive weight. While species from the Tilia genus are referred to as either “Lime” or “Linden” in Europe, in North America it?s commonly called “Basswood.”

    Its straight grains and fine texture — combined with its soft character — make Basswood decidedly easy to work. It glues and finishes well, but does not bend well. Its consistence, light color and light density and hardness (bordering on that of a softwood) makes it a popular wood for hand carvings.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common Uses: Carvings, wagon boxes, musical instruments (electric guitar bodies), cheap furniture, veneer, plywood, utility wood and wood pulp and fiber products.

    Comments: Basswood has come into vogue over the three decades as an electric guitar body wood, given its lightweight, resonant quality. Its softness and light, rather indescript appearance makes it a favorite among hand carvers, also. For use in any finished products, a hard, protective finish is recommended, as basswood is decidedly non-durable.

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  • This hard and heavy timber comes from Malaysia.  It is very dense with high bending and crushing strengths. The wood is moderately difficult to work with machines as the interlocked grains and toughness has a blunting effect on tools. It is best to pre-dill for screwing and gluing results are variable. Very durable and immune from insect or fungal attack.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices but some members of the Shorea genus are listed on the IUCN Red List.

    Common uses: Veneer, plywood, decking.

    Comments: Due to its hardness, durability and relative availability, it is a very popular decking species in South Africa.

     

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  • Avodire is another wood sometimes utilized as a Mahogany substitute (which is appropriate, since both are in the Meliaceae family), with similar aesthetics and cooperative working properties. Typical colors range from a pale yellow to cream, and a variety of figured grain patterns are commonly found — typically accompanied by dramatic levels of chatoyance — which makes it very popular with veneer mills. Its sap can be difficult to differentiate from the heartwood. While its grain patterns can be straight, wavy, irregular or interlocked, its texture is fine and it has an impressive natural luster.

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    Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.

    Common Uses: Veneer, cabinetry, furniture, millwork, and plywood.

    Comments: Highly-figured pieces can be quite stunning. The wood is very stable, and has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. The wood glues and finishes well, and, overall, has working properties very similar to mahogany.

    Continued UV-ray exposure turns Avodire’s color to more of a darker golden yellow.

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