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Showing 37–48 of 64 results

  • Desert Ironwood (Palo Fierro in Spanish) only grows in the Sonoran Desert in Southwestern Arizona and the Northwestern part of Mexico.? It is one of the hardest and densest woods in the world. It ranges massively in color and can have some stunning figures as a result.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.? However, Desert Ironwood (known as Palo Fierro in Spanish) is considered a protected species in Mexico due to overexploitation and diminishing natural habitat.

    Common Uses: Knife hands, carvings, turning

    Comments: A very difficult timber to work with due to its density, but it does turn, polish and finish well.

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  • This species from the Philippines is from the same genus as our South African Yellowwood (Podocarpus latifolius) and shares many of the same characteristics of said species.  It is pale yellow and easy to work.  It would make a wonderful floor or gorgeous ceiling, but we wouldn’t recommend it for a high traffic area due to its lack of durability.

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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: Stunning alternative to Yellowwood at a lower price.

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  • Granadillo is known throughout Central America as “the wood that sings.” It has long been considered a quite viable “rosewood alternative,” receiving greater attention and steadily growing in popularity since the exportation ban on Brazilian Rosewood, almost 25 years ago. Its density falls slightly under the mark of a typical rosewood, while not being near as oily. Granadillo is a quite beautiful wood. It has a base of brown-toned hues, highlighted by a variety of colors which can range from muted purples to reds, oranges and golds, Its pleasing aesthetics and great working and finishing properties make it a popular choice with guitar and furniture builders, alike. It has a natural luster and a high degree of chatoyance often emerges after finish sanding.

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  • With a specific gravity of 1.03, Greenheart sinks in water.  It is one of the heaviest timbers around, difficult to work, and splinters are poisonous. However, it is very durable and one of the best woods for use in a marine environment.  Its low acid content means it has a very low corrosive effect on nails, spikes or metal fastenings.  It comes from the Northeastern part of South America and as its name suggests, can present with greenish hues.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices but is listed on the IUCN Red List as being data deficient.

    Common uses: Marine construction work, boatbuilding, decking, fishing rods, pool cues, other turned items.

    Comments: Possibly the stiffest wood in the world, this stuff is strong!

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  • Goncalo Alves is known at least as commonly by its popular nickname, “Tigerwood” — given for its orange-hued primary color, and the dark striped (black or dark brown) which often decorates its surface. Its great durability, impressive strength, stiffness and hardness, generally cooperative working properties (although it can be difficult to glue, due to a high natural oil content), large tree sizes — which yield sizable boards — and regular supply, are factors which contribute to making Goncalo Alves a very popular choice among Central & South American woods made available to domestic markets in the US.

    Grains can be wavy, interlocked or sometimes straight; its texture is fine, with a good natural luster.

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

    Common Uses: Flooring, veneer, furniture, cabinetry, electric and acoustic guitar building, carving, turned objects, electric and acoustic guitar building, and other small wood specialty objects.

    Comments: The woods turns easily and finishes nicely, so, combined with its unique appearance (for such applications), it is a popular choice with furniture builders, as well as wood turners and carvers, alike.

    It has become increasingly more popular with guitar builders in this new millennium, as Goncalo Alves has a nice density and resonance, and large boards are frequently obtainable at reasonable prices. Premium-quality pieces will display mottled or sometimes even, ironically (and more rare), tiger-striped figuring. 🙂

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  • Once a great American utility-wood stable, obtaining long boards of American Elm, presently, can prove to be a most difficult task. Elm’s heartwood colors range from a muted tan, to light to medium reddish brown. Its sapwood is easy to distinguish, being considerably paler in color. Recommended applications are those of a utilitarian nature, and preferably indoors; the wood has proven itself to be decidedly “non-durable,” and is known to possess poor dimensional stability. Its grains are typically interlocked and its texture is coarse. Although it glues, stains and finishes well, its diffult grains and texture makes resawing a difficult chore, with tearout not uncommon.

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

    Common Uses: Boxes, baskets, furniture, hockey sticks, veneer, wood pulp, and papermaking.

    Comments: The story with this wood is that its trees used to be among the most populated and frequently seen throughout North America. In times past, this medium-density wood was a heavily-used utility wood and was a staple in the paper / pulp industry … then Dutch Elm Disease showed up, and its numbers have been decimated since continually gathering steam. Across the midwest, from the 1950’s through the ’70’s, the population of Elms was decimated. By the late ’80’s, both Canada’ and the US’s Elms were, numerically, not far from extinction.

    To its credit, the species has managed to not only survive, but maintain some longevity — due to its early seed-bearing tendencies, and quick rate of growth. Despite successfully enduring, the average life span of an Elm tree has been greatly foreshortened; very few trees survive long enough to reach full maturity.

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  • Azobe is an extremely heavy and dense wood that comes from West Africa.  It is a good load-bearing timber for outdoor use and excellent for marine applications. It can be difficult to work  but is very durable and resistant to decay.

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

    Common uses: Bridges, boatbuilding, heavy construction, marine work, railway sleepers etc.s, decking and flooring.

    Comments: One of Africa’s most durable woods.

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  • Macassar Ebony is known for its typically striped appearance, with usual colors typically dominated by deep browns although green, yellow, burgundy, red, orange and even peach secondary colors can highlight more spectacular pieces. Sapwood can range from a dull tan to a light golden brown, or sometimes even a muted orange, peach or light pink. In addition to its constant demand with veneer mills, it is highly-prized by guitar luthiers: its great density gives the wood tremendous resonance, making it ideally suited for acoustic guitar back-and-sides or fretboards.

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

    Common Uses: Veneer, high-end cabinetry, billiard cues, musical instruments, turning, crafts and other small specialty items.

    Comments: Macassar Ebony is noted for its striped appearance, although finding long, consistent grain patterns can be difficult on longer pieces. Usually its stripes are fairly large and bold — often with twists and overlaps — although occasionally (more desirable) pieces with fine, tight-knit, consistent striping can be found.

    Like many woods of comparable density, it can be difficult to work and hard on blades, but that is of little concern to those who have experience with this regal ebony species. Southeast Asia produces some astounding exotics; Macassar Ebony is, most certainly, one of its renowned, trademark species.

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  • Indian Ebony is a true ebony which has been commonly used as a substitute for Gabon Ebony, due to its similar aesthetics. With a jet black base, occasional brown to muted orange striping (from mineral deposits) and a sap which can range from pale yellow to tan, one could certainly be forgiven for mistaking one for the other. That said, Indian Ebony is an exotic wood in very short supply — more so even than Gabon. Its grains are generally straight or irregular, and its texture is fine. It has a high natural oil content, which yields a high degree of luster.

    It also is a less dense and hard ebony, having a Janka Hardness rating slightly over 20% less than Gabon (2430 lbf vs. 3080). It is a very popular wood with turners, as it turns and finishes beautifully, and has good working properties. Indian Ebony is also regularly employed as an acoustic guitar fretboard, although supplies to the US luthier industry is sometimes sporadic.

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    Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is reported by the IUCN as being “data deficient.” Due to a recent history of exploitation, exporting has been restricted and is closely monitored in India and Sri Lanka.

    Common Uses: Inlay, carving, regional utility wood, furniture, musical instruments and turned objects.

    Comments: If you’re a guitarist who likes the look of ebony, but prefers a softer feel, Indian Ebony might be the perfect choice. While this is a pricey true (Diospyros) ebony, its price is generally about half of what you’d spend on the aesthetically similar Gabon Ebony. Despite not being as oily as Gabon, Indian Ebony still produces a wonderful natural luster and sheen when finished.

    Traditionally, this wood has been widely used and quite popular in its indigenous South Asia region. Due to past exportation restrictions being placed on it, Indian Ebony has come into even more limited supply, here in the US.

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  • According to the only sources we could find willing to step up to the plate on this wood, Amara Ebony and Macassar Ebony are of the exact same species (Diospyros Celebica), with the difference put forth being that Amara is exclusive to Indonesia. Amara is known for its deep chocolate browns with pink striping; the difference in its coloration and that of typical Macassar Ebony being attributed to the soil conditions in Indonesia. Its grains are more likely to be wavy or irregular than straight, with a fine texture and nice natural luster.

    Our experience yields a broader perspective, as we have found the wood sometimes with greens and reds — more similar to Malaysian Blackwood, at times, with hues darker and more muted — and devoid of any pink content. Pieces which more resemble Macassar have also contained gold – orange hues, in addition to pinks. It’s sap content is tan in color and, despite its density, it has good working properties.

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    Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices. The IUCN Red List does not even acknowledge this wood by name, although they have categorized Macassar Ebony as “Vulnerable.”

    Common Uses: Veneer, musical instruments, furniture, turned objects, carvings, inlay, trim and other small projects.

    Comments: A number of examples feature “landscape” grain patterns, giving credence to the school of thought that perhaps the wood is some sort of Malaysian Blackwood-Macassar Ebony hybrid, or is at least worthy of its own species designation.

    While the wood is quite substantial, we found its density to be slightly less than that of Macassar Ebony and Malaysian Blackwood. This is a very unique exotic wood, and a species rarely seen in the US.

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  • Swamp Cypress is so named for its association with swamp land, with is roots often pertruding above the land or submerged into the swamp water where it grows. This light, pale yellow-brown wood is known for its durability, toughness and character. It is an important wood in its indigenous Southeast region of the US, as its versatility and workability lend it to a variety of diverse applications. It is typically straight-grained, although knots are commonly present. Other than the knots, the wood poses no difficult challenges for working, glue and finishing.

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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: Exterior construction, docks, boatbuilding, interior trim, and veneer.

    Comments: Its commonly-seen pertruding roots (humorously known as “knees”) are sometimes harvested for large carvings. A variety known as “Pecky Cypress” –which is Swamp Cypress which has been peckered on, for many years, by birds — is quite popular throughout the southerneastern coastal belt for use as a decorative interior wood. Cypress is a very tough, moderately priced utility wood.

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  • Locally grown version of a species endemic to the central coast of California that is cultivated throughout the world.  The timber is strong in relation to its weight. The wood works without difficulty with hand and machine tools with only a slight blunting effect on cutting edges.  It can be knotty. It nails, screws and glues well, and gives satisfactory results with finishing treatments.

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

    Common uses: Shipbuilding, furniture, and linings for cupboard doors and trunks.

    Comments: Endemic to the coasts of Monterey county, California, it is known as Monterey Cypress in the U.S.

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