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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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  • Sweet Cherry is one of the premier European furniture timbers.  In theory it grows all over Europe and Great Britain, but can at times be difficult to source.  It is easy to machine and work with but can be a bit difficult to stain, as results can be a bit blotchy.  It bends well with steam and turns and carves well.

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

    Common uses: Veneer, furniture, turned objects, interior trim, carving, and other small specialty wood items.

    Comments: Slightly denser than the US counterpart, but tends to grow smaller and hence yields smaller board sizes.

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  • The beautifully figured version of American/Black Cherry.

    Black Cherry is an important domestic hardwood, long associated with fine furniture and a favorite of many master craftsmen. When freshly cut, the wood has a tan to light brown color with a pink or red tint. The dark reddish-brown color it exhibits after aging is often imitated through the use of stains on other woods. The sap is pale yellow colored. Grains can be straight or irregular; combined with its moderate density, this makes the wood easily workable. The most desired examples are of the curly-figured variety, which can be bold and quite dramatic.

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    Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common Uses: Cabinetry, fine furniture, flooring, interior millwork, veneer, musical instruments, turned objects, and small specialty wood items.

    Comments: In addition to furniture crafting, Cherry has been used sporadically in guitar building; its exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, stability and durability make it ideally suited for guitar neck or body wood. This wood is considered to be one of the most cooperative, user-friendly hardwoods is the world, although it can sometimes be resistant to absorbing a stain. (… but who would want to stain it??)?? 🙂

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  • Although not a true Dalbergia rosewood, this beautiful, quite versatile wood holds many similarities. Chechen can be visually stunning — with green, red, orange and gold hues (and brown & black lines) adorning its luxurious medium-brown bases, and occasional figuring which can range from subtle to quite dramatic. The wood has become increasingly more popular with veneer manufacturers, furniture craftsmen and guitar luthiers over the course of the last two decades, as it is a very durable, easy-to-work and -finish wood that is moderately priced for an exotic import.

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    Sustainability: This species is not currently listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common Uses: Veneer, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, musical instruments, turned objects, and small specialty wood items.

    Comments: Chechen has endured a stigma which is actually a commonly held fallacy — one powerful enough to generate its nickname, “Black Poisonwood” — that working with this wood is dangerous. While some have claimed to have adverse reactions from working with it, those who work with it on a regular basis state that the opposite is true. It is the harvested tree’s bark which is poisonous to the touch (essentially, in the same way as Poison Ivy); once the lumber has been processed, there are no harmful effects from handling the resawn boards.

    Aesthetic qualities, as well as weight and density, can vary greatly, depending on the specific environmental conditions of its growth.

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  • Cerejira is an important wood in the dry portions of central and southern South America. It is noted for its beauty, durability, strength and stability, thus making this tough, versatile wood ideal for a variety of applications. Left undisturbed, trees can grow to towering dimensions — producing valuable, coveted slabs which are renowned for their incredibly detailed, 3D-like crotch sections.

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    Sustainability: This species is not currently listed in the CITES Appendices; it has yet to be recognized by the IUCN.

    Common Uses: Construction, furniture, caibetry, veneer, and other applications.

    Comments: Larger trees are cut almost exclusively for their often quite dramatic slabs — which appeal to South American furniture craftsmen, as well as exotic slab importers around the world. Despite being generally very popular with those familiar with it, Cerejira has managd to stay off of a lot of people’s radar. (… including the IUCN!) Many of the highly figured logs are consumed by the veneer industry.

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  • This somewhat obscure, seldom-seen South American wood is typically a light to golden brown color; with large open pores, marked by prominent red vessel lines, decorating its grainy surface. It is difficult to differentiate the sap, as it is only slightly lighter in color and not clearly demarcated. Its pores are some of the largest of any commercial lumber in the world, with vessel diameters routinely between 300 and 500 micrometers. The dark contrast of the pores give the wood a very unique “veiny” look that is popular with some Latin American furniture craftsmen.

    Its grains are typically straight, but can be slightly interlocked. It has a coarse texture, but it will sand smooth and produce a nice natural luster after doing so.

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    Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common Uses: Furniture (occasional), turned objects, construction/utility wood, and paper (pulpwood).

    Comments: The wood is moderately durable, but offers little resistance to insect attack; it is best utilized in indoor applications. It works easy and glues and finishes well, which is why it is also a popular choice of the small segment of wood turners familiar with it. Cedrorana (or “Tornillo,” as it is also commonly known) is a relatively inexpensive wood with a lot of character.

    Cedrorana is a moderately durable wood, but is considered to be susceptible to insect attack.

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  • Also called Mlanje Cedar. Identical to our own Clanwilliam Cedar from the Cedarberg, and also under threat. Not allowed to be harvested except under strict control. We are lucky to have obtained our legally sawn stock some years ago. A lovely timber to work with, but difficult to finish, due to the natural oils it contains. A feature of the planks is the names scratched on in charcoal by the workers who carry the planks down the mountain. Planks are cut just the right dimensions for one man to carry unassisted, and they obviously have an immense pride in their work. We are privileged to be able to offer this wood, while stocks last.

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

    Common uses: turning, paneling, furniture.

    Comments: Works and turns easily.  Finishing can be a challenge, as the natural oils tend to inhibit drying of finish. Can be overcome by sealing with lacquer first.

     

     

     

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  • Himalayan Cedar is an important timber tree in Pakistan, Kashmir and NW India. Its wood is noted for being strong and durable mostly utilized in construction, carpentry and furniture applications in its indigenous regions. The trees are also known for the fragrant essential oil they produce (distilled from wood chips and sawdust), which is used throughout Northeast Asia to protect livestock from mosquitos, gnats and other airborn pests; it also has anti-fungal properties. Heartwood ranges from a light tan to light brown with a reddish tint. Grains are typically straight; it is fine, even textured with a high natural luster. The wood is reputed to have excellent working properties, as well as an impressive strength-to-weight ratio.

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

    Common Uses: Construction timber, furniture, carpentry, door & window frames, bridges, railway cars and essential oil production.

    Comments: Himalayan Cedar was introduced to Europe in 1822, and to the United States, nine years later, in 1831. Transplanted trees typically pale in comparison with examples from its indigenous regions, where, left undisturbed, trees can reach towering heights. The wood is prized throughout the world; not just for its strength, but also for its pleasant fragrance and its durability and resistance to bugs and insects.

    The name ‘Deodar’ evolved from the word “devad?ru,” which is a Sanskrit word that translates to “timber of the gods”. The Himalayan Cedar tree is a sacred tree in Hinduism.

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  • Alaskan Cedar has been a wood embroiled in controversy with botanical and wood experts, historically, as the wood has experienced its genus reclassified on six different times over the course of the last two centuries. Despite its relatively light weight and density, it is a very durable and quite versatile species — having seen duty in numerous indoor and outdoor applications. The wood has also become a popular choice with luthiers, for acoustic guitar soundboards.

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    Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (reported by the IUCN to be a “species of least concern”).

    Common Uses: Carving, boatbuilding, siding, flooring, decking, outdoor furniture, musical instruments (flutes; acoustic guitar soundboards), boxes and chests, and various utility/construction applications.

    Comments: Contrary to other published data (by the Wood Database), the typical growth range for these trees in the wild is only between 40 and 80 feet tall. Undisturbed specimens have reached heights of 100 feet, and some have been reputed to be as old as 3500 years! Despite its modest weight and density figures, it is a very tough wood; its trees hold their own through some very challenging conditions. This makes it a very versatile wood, suitable for a host of different applications.

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  • For its weight, Camphor exhibits extremely good strength properties. It has low stiffness and resistance to shock loads, and medium crushing strength. The wood works easily with both hand and machine tools. It nails, screws and glues satisfactorily, stains easily and can be brought to a very good finish. A very durable wood.  The heartwood is light in colour, but often with rather attractive darker streaks running through it.

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

    Common uses: Furniture, interior and exterior joinery, flooring, panelling and cabinet work.

    Comments: The Camphor Tree is an invader in South Africa and originates from China, Japan and Taiwan.

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