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  • The term “Soft Maple” is not a reference to any particular maples species, per se, but a segment of the Acer genus known for its lighter weight and density (as well as its propensity for displaying the classic maple “curl” figure). Of these lighter maples, Red Maple has the most weight and density, and is also the most prevalent — growing in areas scattered all over the Eastern US and up into (Eastern) Canada. As is the paradoxical case with all maples, its beautiful pale white / pale yellow / pale golden sapwood are more coveted than its darker heartwood.

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

    Common Uses: Veneer, paper, boxes, utility wood, musical instruments, turned objects, and other small specialty wood items.

    Comments: Its more heavy, dense nature lends Red Maple to a greater variety of utility applications, versus its less substantial Soft Maple cousins. Its figuring can be quite dramatic; tiger-striped, veined, fiddleback and sometimes even quilt figuring are sometimes present.

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  • Curly Maple or “Tiger Maple” (so called for its abundant “tiger stripe” figuring) is also not a specific species of maple; the figuring is common in many varieties of the Acer genus. While it is most commonly found in the softer maples, it is also seen regularly in Hard Maples, which is what we offer. Maple is one of those rare woods where the sapwood is considered more valuable and coveted than the heartwood. Pure sapwood boards that are dense and highly-figured are, without question, the most sought after of curly maples. Such boards can command serious money with electric guitar builders. Tiger Maple boards are also very popular with furniture craftsmen, flooring manufacturers, veneer mills and cabinet builders.

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  • Makore is a beautiful African wood which is renowned for its great strength and durability, despite being of a moderate density. Its heartwood can range from pink to a light to medium reddish-brown, with its yellow sapwood be clearly discerible, when present. Figuring is not unusual, with striped, mottled and sometimes even beeswing being found in quartersawn boards. It is typically straight-grained and easy to work, although grain patterns can occasionally be wavy or interlocked. Although it can have a dulling effect on saw blades, its high silica content contributes to its fine natural luster and poses no real issues with gluing or finishing.

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

    Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, boatbuilding, musical instruments, utility wood, turned objects, and other small wooden specialty items.

    Comments: This is another wood that is sometimes utilized as a ‘mahogany substitute.’ It is generally very cooperative when worked and it turns well, also. The wood has an excellent strenth-to-weight ratio, which has contributed to its being utilized in a variety of different roles in its native Africa for centuries.

    Trees can grow to towering heights, so boards of considerably length, width and thickness can be found.

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  • Pod Mahogany is a light reddish-brown wood, indigenous to the southeastern region of Africa. (Sapwood is easily distinguishable, with its pale yellow coloration.) It is a very hard wood — considerably more dense, stable and durable than any other ‘mahogany substitute’ wood. More dense specimens have been used for a number of demanding outdoor applications in Africa, yet premium-grade pieces can hold their own, aesthetically, with the finest exotic woods in the world — often boasting a high degree of chatoyance, and a remarkably deep, 3D-like figure.

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

    Common Uses: Construction, furniture, inlay and other decorative purposes, plywood, paneling, flooring, fence posts, and other outdoor utility uses.

    Comments: Pod Mahogany is so named for its often figured, highly chatoyant appearance which resembles mahogany, and the trees from which the wood is cut are pod bearing. (Seeds taken from the pods the trees produce are in great demand in Africa, for use as ornaments and charms. They are often woven into necklaces, or made into trinkets and sold as curios. Elephants are known to eat its leaves and bark.)

    The wood is significantly more dense than most mahoganies. Resultingly, it is more stable and durable — expanding the variety of potential applications for this most beautiful, useful wood.

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  • Honduran Mahogany is just as commonly known as “Genuine Mahogany”. This is indicative of the fact that it is the world’s most popular, sought-after mahogany, and the standard by which all other mahoganies are compared. Its color can range from a light golden brown to a pale pinkish-red, with its color darkening over time. Premium examples of the species will exhibit a velvety look to its fine grains, a tight consistency to its fine grain patterns and a chatoyance that can range from subtle to dramatic. The wood is renowned for its use in fine furniture, cabinetry and musical instruments, although its very cooperative working and finishing characteristics make it popular with turners and carvers, also.

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  • Longhi is an African wood with similar working properties to its more well-known cousin, Anigre. Its color varies from a greyish-white to beige to pinkish-brown color, which slightly darkens with age and UV-ray exposure. Its generally light appearance makes sapwood difficult to distinguish. Its grains are typical straight (though occasionally interlocked) and its texture ranges between fine and medium-fine. It can sometimes possess mottled or subtle tiger-striped figuring.

    The wood must be carefully dried, as it is susceptible to fungus. It is considered to be moderately durable, and moderately stable. Longhi has a solid strength-to-weight ratio, which makes it a popular choice for flooring and decking.

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

    Common Uses: Construction, flooring / subflooring, interior joinery, furniture & furniture components, countertops, carving, plywood, veneer, cabinetry, decks, turned items, and utility applications.

    Comments: Longhi is in the same family as Anigre, and has similar, cooperative working characteristics.

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  • Native to the UK and Europe, Lime wood works easily, glues well, takes stain and all finishing processes well.  Inclined to be woolly, so requires thin, sharp cutting tools.  Considered the finest wood for carving, this is the wood was made famous by Grinling Gibbons centuries ago in the royal courts and churches of England. It has the ability to resist splitting in any cutting direction. Also used for soundboards, piano keys and toys.

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

    Common uses: Veneer, plywood, carvings, musical instruments, turned objects.

    Comments: Essentially the same species as the popular US carving wood, Basswood.

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  • Lenga comes from the Southern Andes, Chile and Argentina.  It is similar in many respects to American Cherry, it is easily worked and finished, albeit slightly lighter in colour.

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

    Common uses: Veneer, boxes, furniture, interior trim, and other small specialty wood items.

    Comments: A cost-effective substitute for Cherry, it could be stained to get the deeper hue of Cherry, but stands on its own as a light coloured timber which is easy to work with. Good for furniture, and would make nice panelling.

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  • So named for its significant weight and density, this South African wood is seldom seen in the US in lumber form. Its heartwood is a robust medium to dark brown (sometimes with a reddish tint), and is known to darken with age; sapwood is pale yellow. Grains are straight or irregular, and knots are not uncommon. Its texture is fine and consistent, and it displays a pleasant natural luster after fine sanding.

    Leadwood is an excellent wood for any outdoor applications where strength, insect resistance and durability are required. Its tremendous density makes it difficult to plane and hard on cutting tools and saw blades — and its high natural oil content can make it difficult to glue — but its tightly uniform, fine grains allows it to turn, sand and finish beautifully.

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

    Common Uses: Carvings, furniture, turned objects, fuelwood and miscellaneous small specialty items.

    Comments: In its native Africa, Leadwood is commonly used as fuelwood, as it burns slowly and at very high temperatures. It is popular with carvers familiar with it: its color and texture are fairly consistent, it turns superbly, has excellent stability and its great density holds details well. It is said that before metal products were introduced, Africans made their tilling hoes from this lumber.

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  • Our European Larch comes all the way from Siberia.  It works readily with hand and machine tools, with moderate strength in all categories. It takes stain, paint or varnish well.  It is a very popular lower priced outdoor cladding species.  Knots are common, but usually small and often seen as a desirable “defect”, as they gives the wood its fashionably rustic look.

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

    Common uses: Veneer, posts, exterior work (especially cladding), frames and decorative veneers.

    Comments: Currently a very popular, more affordable alternative to Western Red Cedar for exterior cladding.

     

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  • This hard and heavy timber comes from Southeast Asia.  It is high in bending and crushing strength. Heavy resin exudation can be a visual problem, but actually aids in preserving the timber.  As a result it is excellent as an outdoor utility timber.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices but some members of teh Dipterocarpus genus are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common uses: Furniture, flooring, outdoor utilities.

    Comments: Widely used in the repair of traditional wooden fishing vessels. Also used for structural purposes due to its strength and durability. Used also for loadbeds of commercial vehicles.

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  • Jatoba earned its nickname — “Brazilian Cherry” — from flooring manufacturers, as its natural color can often resemble the look of aged Cherry wood (medium to dark reddish-brown). Its resistance to rot and bug damage and excellent strength-to-weight ratio make it suitable for a variety of indoor and outdoor applications, although its density and typically interlocked grains can make it difficult to work and hard on blades.

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

    Common Uses: Flooring, furniture, cabinetry, musical instruments, tool handles, shipbuilding, railroad ties, turned objects, and other small specialty items.

    Comments: Jatoba is an excellent choice where strength, durability and moderate pricing is required. It is an excellent turning wood, and it stains, glues and finishes well. It continues to grow in popularity with acoustic guitar luthiers for its bright, well-rounded tonal spectrum, plus (despite its dense nature) it responds very well to steam bending.

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