Wood Species

Showing 37–48 of 138 results

  • Parana Pine comes from Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.  The timber has medium bending and crushing strength and very low resistance to shock loads. It works easily with hand and machine tools with little or no blunting effect on cutting edges. It can be glued, stained, painted or polished to a good finish.

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    Sustainability: Listed in CITES Appendix 1 and as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common uses: Higher grades are used for internal joinery in doors and staircases. Logs are peeled for plywood manufacture and some are used for decorative veneers.

    Comments: This species is now threatened and as a result we are unlikely to get any more.  Get some of our legally obtained stock before it runs out.

     

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  • Historically, an important domestic hardwood throughout Europe, Swiss Pear is known for its fine, straight grains and smooth, consistent texture, as well as its pink coloration (which naturally ranges from pale to light to medium). Once cut, the wood’s hues intensify as it oxidizes. Swiss Pear is commonly steamed, to provide a more smooth, consistent pink color, and to relieve stress within the wood, so it dries flat.

    Its easy, cooperative working properties combined with its consistent texture and color make it loved by craftsmen, carvers and turners, alike. It is highly regarded all over Europe, and considered by many to be the region’s finest hardwood, boasting properties similar to rosewood.

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

    Common Uses: Veneer, architectural millwork, marquetry, furniture, cabinetry, inlay, carving, musical instruments (flutes, violins), and turned objects.

    Comments: The wood is considered a premium hardwood in Europe, and one of economic importance. Its steady demand there equates to very little of it making it to the US. (Species of the Pyrus Communis tree have been transplanted all over the United States, primarily for its fruit production — the “Bartlett Pear.”) European furniture and cabinet makers utilize it in much the same way as American craftsman do Black Cherry.

    Pear is decidedly non-durable; all of its applications are thus confined to interior. The wood has a tendency to dull cutters, so sharp blades are recommended for resawing.

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  • Hard Pear is a dense hard timber that grows in the Knysna area.  It is available in limited quantities and dimensions, but makes highly desirable furniture. Some planks display wonderful ripple patterning. Takes a very smooth finish.

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

    Common uses: Furniture, cabinetry, tool handles.

    Comments: In the past it was used for bridge building, wagon making and all sorts of other uses that required a tough, hard wood.

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  • Pau Rosa is a very beautiful tropical wood. Depending on the specific region of the trees’ growth, colors can vary from a medium chocolate brown to an almost Padauk-like red or orange, or even a mixture of such colors which can also include yellows and purples (also like Padauk). It is a very dense wood, with grains which are typically wavy or interlocked, and moderately course. Despite its density, it is considered relatively easy to work and turns, glues and finishes well.

    Drying the wood is a slow, burdenous process. Like many woods which are comparably hard, logs and boards have a tendency to crack while drying, although Pau Rosa is considered very durable and dimensionally stable, there after.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices; categorized on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as a species of “least concern.”

    Common Uses: Carpentry, furniture, veneer, fuelwood, interior & exterior utility, carvings, turnings and various small specialty items.

    Comments: Pau Rosa is not commonly found outside of Africa. Due to the combination of its cracking tendencies (when drying) and the relative short, squatty profile of most trees, long boards are even more uncommon. The wood has a nice natural luster. Its density and somewhat coarse texture requires sharp blades, but — despite its coarseness and typically interlocked grains — it actually planes well.

    Due to its very limited supply, Pau Rosa is not too well-known in the US. It has excellent tonal properties, despite being grossly overlooked and under-appreciated.

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  • Pau Marfim is a dense, fine textured, mostly straight grained hardwood which is generally a creamy white colorm but it can vary from a lemon color to a pale yellowish-brown, also. There is very little contrast between its sapwood and heartwood, although the heartwood can be decorated with darker streaks, occasionally. It is an extremely tough, durable wood, which has seen it utilized as a popular substitute for maple and birch and makes it an ideal choice for anything from flloring to tool handles.

    The wood turns excellently, and it is easy to nail, crew or glue. It polishes to a smooth, fine finish, and is considered to be a very dimensionally stable wood.

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

    Common Uses: Tool handles, oars, flooring, textile rollers, drawing instruments, canoes, cabinets, furniture, paneling, decorative plywood, veneer, turnings and carvings.

    Comments: For flooring, Pau Marfim is considered superior to either Maple or Birch (commonly used for light-colored wood flooring applications) because of its renowned wear resistance. Despite being similar in appearance, Pau Marfim is harder to work and considered to be stronger than necessary by many cabinet makers familiar with the wood.

    Its toughness has seen it used in many outdoor applications, including canoes and oars, despite it being known as having a very weak resistance to decay. Depending on specific location and conditions, the wood can vary greatly in density.

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  • Morado is known by many names.  Pau Ferro, Bolivian Rosewood and Morado are the most common.   The wood earned its “… Rosewood” nicknames (by which it is commonly known) because its colors and density are similar, which its medium brown base typically augmented by black streaks or grain lines, and sometimes even purple, tan and golden secondary hues, and sometimes a purplish tint, overall. Although it can have varying grains, straight-grained pieces are generally very easy to work, and the wood turns smoothly and finishes well. It is considered quite durable, although it can be subject to insect attack.

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

    Common Uses: Veneer, musical instruments (in particular, guitars — both electric and acoustic), furniture, cabinetry, flooring, interior trim, turnings, and other small specialty wood objects.

    Comments: Morado is a popular Brazilian Rosewood substitute and is thought to be about as similar in properties to rosewood as any non-Dalbergia-genus species possibly could be. Its grains are tighter than a typical rosewood specimen, and it is thought to have a more distinctly percussive taptone than that of Brazilian. It’s tonal response is said to have tight lows, present mids and a clear, singing high end response.

    Despite the comparisons, it should be noted that the (much more prevalent) Machaerium-genus species of Pau Ferro has less density, hardness and weight than an average rosewood.

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  • Panga Panga is the first cousin to Africa’s more popular and well-known exotic, Wenge (with both trees being of the Millettia genus) — sharing a similar large pored, course texture, and presenting some of the same challenges when working. It is generally a bit lighter colored, with heartwood ranging from the lighter to darkers sides of medium brown, with dark brown to black streaks and/or highlighted grain lines. Darker examples can be easily confused with Wenge, and they have been known to turn almost black as they age.

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

    Common Uses: Hardwood flooring, veneer, paneling, trim, fine furniture, musical instruments, turnings and small specialty items.

    Comments: If someone in the US were to take possession of this wood and resell it as Wenge, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time. Panga Panga is more well known on the international market than in the US, and it remains a popular (and expensive) choice for parquee flooring throughout the UK and Europe.

    There are the same inflammatory issues associated with its splinters. Sharing these same characteristics and propensities as its notorious cousin, carefully attention and proper precautions should be taken when working and handling it.

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  • Not unlike its coconut-producing cousin, Red Palm, Black Palmyra (perhaps better known as “Black Palm” in the US) is unique among exotic woods in several ways. First, it’s tree is not categorized a hardwood or softwood tree, but as a flowering plant: Monocotyledon (or “Monocot”). Secondly, the tree is comprised of two entirely different layers: at its core is a soft, spoungy cellulose mass; this soft core is surrounded by a protective body, comprised of dense, overlapping layers of interwoven fibrovascular strands. It is this hard, dense protective layer that is considered its wood.

    While it is considered to be typically straight grained, because of its toughness the wood can be very diificult to work; splintering and tearouts are not uncommon. It is a dimensionally stable wood, but it requires sharp blades and precise-angled cuts to get acceptable results when resawing this wood.

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

    Common Uses: Flooring, boatbuilding, walking sticks, handles, construction, exterior utility wood, furniture, and turned objects.

    Comments: Monocotyledon is a group which contains over 60,000 different species, interestingly, among them are grains (rice; wheat; corn; etc.), various forage grasses, bananas, sugar cane, asparagus, onions, garlic and other spices (such as ginger and tumeric). Known for its great toughness, strength and durability, its wood has been used for centuries in a variety of functions in the third-world settings to which it is indigenous.

    Black Palm’s weight and density can vary greatly, depending on growing conditions and specific location. It’s a tough wood, from a robust tree — a tree which historically has survived, and thrived, under some difficult growing conditions. Palms are known for their signature trunks, with gradually shrink in diameter, from the ground to its top.

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  • African Paduak is a very strong, stable hardwood. It is known for its typically robust reddish-brown coloration (which darkens with age), although colors can range from a bright orange to a slightly muted burgundy often with highlights, grain lines and/or secondary colors ranging from brick red to a more purplish muted hue. The wood can sometimes be found figured (ribbon; striped; etc.), and it is well known for its deep chatoyance and wonderful natural luster. Grains are typically straight, though sometimes interlocked.

    The wood is considered very durable and also resistant to bug / insect / termite attack, which accordingly has seen it used in outdoor applications for centuries in its native Africa. Its working and finishing characteristics are decidedly favorable.

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

    Common Uses: Veneer, flooring, furniture, trim, musical instruments, turned objects, handles, utility, and small specialty wood objects.

    Comments: There continues to be a steady demand for Padauk in the US. Fortunately, to this point, its supply has continued to steadily grow, in response to this demand. Thus, Padauk remains a reasonably priced exotic import with aesthetics that can be, at times, quite stunning and vibrant. Its texture is similar to African Mahogany, being slightly open grained with large pores.

    Premium-quality boards will have long, flowing straight grains, with a ribbon figure and dramatic chatoyance that might be confused for Bloodwood. Trees can grow over 100 feet in height, so long, wide, thick boards are not uncommon.

    The wood has a very low shrinkage rate, and is renowned for dimensional stability.

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  • Oregon Pine (or Douglas Fir) is an important, valuable timber to the Northwest of the US — being used in construction and a variety of building applications. Its trees grow to towering heights, yielding huge planks of usable timber. Its color can vary from a light tan to a medium brown, with a yellow, orange or even red tint. Grains can vary from straight to wavy to irregular, with flatsawn pieces often possessing wild, dramatic grain patterns. It is moderately durable, has excellent working properties (cuts, glues, stains and finishes well) and a good strength-to-weight ratio.

    It is known for being very stiff for a lightweight wood, which has seen it be used as both an acoustic guitar soundboard and an electric guitar body wood with progressive builders, in recent years.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being “a species of least concern.”

    Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, (occasional) guitar wood and structural/construction lumber, interior and exterior joinery.

    Comments: The Douglas Fir tree was named after famed Scottish botanist, David Douglas. Despite its name, it is not a true Fir (Abies genus), but was given its own genus: Pseudotsuga. The wood machines well, but its stiffness can be rough on cutters. It glues, stains and finishes well. We see this wood as having a huge, relatively untapped potential as a guitar luthier wood.

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  • For millenniums, Olivewood has remained a wood of great cultural and religious importance and significance, especially in the Middle East. The wood can, indeed, be exquisite in appearance: with its (typically) creamy, golden brown base, and darker streaks and highlights, often augmented by spectacular figuring and/or areas of magnificent burling.

    Grain patterns are usually either straight or wild, although they can sometimes be interlocked, as well. Although opinions differ, Olivewood is thought by many to be a very durable wood, although it can be suspect to insect / bug infestation. The wood is considered to be a superb turner, and it generally works, glues and finishes well. Because the fruit of the Olive tree is olives, there is a limited supply of Olivewood that is made available to the US.

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

    Common Uses: Religious symbolic / functional objects (typically carvings or turnings), furniture, veneer, musical instruments, carvings, turned objects, and small specialty wood items.

    Comments: For wood craftsmen of all niches, Olivewood is highly desired for its often spectacular aesthetics; being known for its gorgeous, often-twisting grain patterns and dramatic figuring. Defects are not uncommon, and can often present some challenges when working, but hard work and perseverance can produce extraordinary results; there’s really no other wood quite like it.

    Found in the Mediterranean Basin — from Portugal to the Levant, and the Arabian Peninsula — and Southern Asia, as far east as China, the Olive tree grows as a small evergreen tree or shrub. It is also known to grow in the Canary Islands, Mauritius and R?union. The species is / has been cultivated in many places; it’s considered “naturalized” in the Mediterranean coast countries, as well as in Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Java (Indonesia), Norfolk Island, (the U.S. state) California, and Bermuda.

    Its trunk is generally twisted and/or gnarled, making long, undefected boards quite rare. When found, they command a premium price.

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  • Obeche comes from Tropical West Africa.  Its bending, crushing, stiffness and resistance to load classifications are very low. However, it is very easy to work with hand or machine tools, with only a slight blunting effect on edges. An excellent finish requires only a light filling.

    Uses

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

    Common uses: plywood, carving, furniture.

    Comments: Used extensively where durability and strength are unimportant, such as cabinet framing, drawer sides and model making. Also used for decorative and backing veneers.

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