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  • Merbau comes from East Africa, South East Asia and Australia.  It is heavy with medium strength, has some gum exudation which can dull blades during cutting. Dye deposits can cause staining if untreated.  It is a very durable timber and it glues and finishes well.

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

    Common uses: Heavy construction work, pergolas etc. Flooring and joinery.

    Comments: Strong, stable timber.

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  • Marblewood tree is known for the highly distinctive stripes, ranging in color from dark brown, to even purple or black. While the sapwood is usually bears the same distinctively pale yellow color as the heartwood, only the heartwood features the trademark striping, which makes the wood so appealing to turners. The striping is random and irregular; no two patterns are ever alike. The wood is heavy and dense, making it well suited for applications where strength and durability are key — such as flooring and furniture.

    The wood can prove difficult to work, on account of its density and sometimes interlocked graining. Marblewood is also known for its high natural resin content; proper, complete kiln drying is essential for applications which involve finishing.

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

    Common Uses: Flooring, veneer, cabinetry, furniture, turned objects, carvings and utility applications.

    Comments: Marblewood derives its name from the contrasting dark streaks and light color, giving an appearance similar to that of marble. The wood can have a similar appearance to that of Zebrawood, although Marblewood is a more coarse wood and the two species are unrelated.

    Although working it requires sharp blades and a bit of patience, the wood can deliver some rather stunning results when finished. It is a very stable wood. While it is hard on tools, it can be sliced thin and hold its shape.

    Small surface checks — pesky lines which refuse to sand out — are common. Premium-grade examples will have no such surface checks, and will have a glass-like natural luster after being finish sanded.

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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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  • Ambrosia Maple is a general term attached to a variety of Acer (true maple) species whose boards included colorful bug “trails” — caused by a fungus carried by the Ambrosia Beetle which penetrates the tree sap as the beetle eats into the tree, and it spreads both through the worm hole and up and down in the tree (carried along by the sap) and causes discoloring of the wood in streaks. The two primary species which draw the beetle’s attention are Acer Rubrum (Red Maple) and Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple), although — with there reputedly being more than sixty different Acer species indigienous to North America — this unusual phenomenon is certainly not confined to just the two. Weight and density can vary greatly — depending upon the actual species — the typical varieties of maple figuring can also be present, often creating some very unique, visually spectacular specimens.

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

    Common Uses: Veneer, furniture, crafts, guitar tops and bodies, turned objects, and other small specialty wood items.

    Comments: Like any other maple, it is easily worked; generally cooperative through all phases. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine — since bugs have, quite obviously, already penetrated the wood’s surface — that the wood is decidedly non-durable, although it is generally stable enough for use in furniture and guitars. It’s surface is typically darker than most sap maple (often featuring secondary / additional discolorations and other long streaks), although it retains the same high degree of natural luster.

    The scientific explanation is that the impregnated Ambrosia Beetle burrows into the maple tree (presumably for a safe place to deposit larvae), carrying fungi on its feet into the wood — which serves as food for the insect’s offspring, when they hatch. The fungal residue left behind as it digs into the maple can cause discoloration throughout the wood, via the tree’s sap, in addition to the dramatically contrasting (mostly) blue and (sometimes) green trails which surround the small tunnels they chew. The beetles prefer wood that is not soaking wet, but that is in the beginning stages of drying. Once kiln dried, they will not reinfest.

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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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