Monthly Archives April 2016



Botanical Name: Daberqa latifolia Originating in India, this fine wood is the same species as Indian rosewood and is one of the most important timbers in both of its native lands. Incredibly stable, it is especially valued for the most precise cabinetwork.

In North America, it is used both in solid form and as veneer. Because of the tree’s large size, the veneer can be cut on the true quarter, producing a striped effect. Other Names: Shisham, biti, eravidi, kalaruk (India); East Indian rosewood, Bombay rosewood.

Sources: Java and Southern India.

Characteristics: Interlocked grain; medium coarse, even texture; golden brown to dark purple-brown with almost black streaks.

Uses: Fine furniture, cabinetmaking, musical instru­ments, turning, joinery and veneers.

Workability: Difficult; du...

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Botanical Name: Pa/berg/a Stevensonii This hard, heavy, durable rosewood is primarily valued in the making of marimba bars and grows only in Belize, the former British Honduras. As supplies are very limit­ed, its other main uses are confined to fine cabinetwork, marquetry and turned items. Some specimens are very oily and will not take a high natural polish.

Other Name: Nagaed.

Source: Belize.

Characteristics: Straight to somewhat streaked grain; moderately fine texture; pinkish-brown to purple with dark, irregular grain lines.

Uses: Musical instruments, veneers for fine cabinet­work and turning.

Workability: Fair; tough to machine because of hard­ness; severely dulls cutting edges; poor bending proper­ties.

Finishing: Accepts finishes well, provided the wood is not too oily.


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Botanical Name: Sequoia sempervirens The fascinating California redwood grows to an incredi­ble size. Native to coastal California and Oregon, it is capable of reaching well over 300 feet in height and one tree may yield thousands of board feet of lumber. Although supplies of this wood have been seriously depleted, redwood can sometimes still be acquired in extremely wide planks. The wood is noted for its stabili­ty, durability and resistance to decay; its large burls are cut into veneers.

Other Name: Redwood.

Source: West coast of U. S.A.

Characteristics: Straight grain; fine, even texture; deep reddish-brown.

Uses: Joinery, furniture, posts, paneling, plywood and veneers, and much light outdoor construction...

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Botanical Names: Cybietax donnell-smithii, syn. Tabebuia donnell-smithii Sometimes wrongly referred to as “white mahogany,” primavera is one of the finest “blond” cabinet woods in the world. Because of the depletion of supply, however, today it is relatively hard to get. The wood is well known for its beautiful light-colored veneers. Often they are striped or have a handsome mottled figure.

Other Names: Duranga (Mexico); San Juan (Honduras); palo bianco (Guatemala); cortez, cortez bianco (El Salvador).

Source: Central America.

Characteristics: Straight to irregular grain; medium to coarse texture; yellowish-white to yellowish-brown.

Uses: Cabinet work, fine furniture and veneers. Workability: Very good; moderate bending properties. Finishing: Accepts finishes very well.


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Botanical Name: Carya spp. (primarily Carya illinoensis) A member of the hickory genus, what is known as pecan actually comes from several species of trees whose wood is often marketed with—or even as—true hickory. The two are distinguishable, however, by the deep red color markings or streaks in pecan’s heartwood and by weight. True hickory is slightly heavier. Though often undervalued, pecan is a fine, attractive wood, its veneers often con­taining a beautiful mottled figure. And of course, like hickory, it has exceptional qualities of strength.

Other Names: Pecan hickory, sweet pecan, water hickory, bitter pecan, bitternut hickory.

Sources: Mexico and U. S.A.

Characteristics: Straight-grained though sometimes irregular or wavy; coarse texture; heartwood is reddish brom-, sapw...

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Botanical Name: Machaerium epp.

Sometimes referred to by the generic term “iron – wood,” pau ferro has no significant history of use in North America, despite its similarity to the rose­woods. However, with the current extremely limited supply of Brazilian rosewood, pau ferro has assumed a position of greater prominence, particularly for woodworkers. As the rosewoods become scarce, its use will no doubt increase.

Other Names: Caviuna, moradillo, santos rosewood; capote, siete cueros (Colombia); caecaron (Venezuela); chiche (Ecuador); tuseque, morado (Bolivia); jacaranda, jacaranda pardo (Brazil).

Source: South America (primarily Bolivia and Brazil)...

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Botanical Name: Pterocarpus soyauxii African padauk is extremely strong, durable and stable. Though less well-known than the rare Andaman padauk, it compares well, is much more available and is truly a handsome wood in its own right. In some parts of the world African padauk is commonly used for flooring, where it is considered of exceptional quality; padauk veneers are no less valued for their beauty.

Other Names: Padouk, barwood, camwood.

Source: West Africa.

Characteristics: Straight to interlocked grain; moder­ately coarse texture; deep red to purple-brown with red streaks.

Uses: Furniture, cabinetmaking, joinery, turning, han­dles and veneers.

Workability: Good; dulls cutters slightly.

Finishing: Accepts finishes very well.

Weight: 45 Ib./cu. ft.

Price: Moderate.

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Botanical Name: Olea europaea Grown along the Mediterranean coast, European olive – wood is a comely tree, and yields a fine, attractive wood that emits a sweet scent when it is worked. This tree is also famous for its fruit and oil. Available in very small amounts, and prone to defects, olivewood is often used to produce small turned or carved goods for sale in Europe’s tourist market, and it is sometimes cut into veneer.

Other Name: Italian olivewood.

Sources: Italy and southern Europe, California. Characteristics: Straight to irregular grain; fine tex­ture; light to dark brown background with darker streaks. Uses: Turning, carving and inlay work.

Workability: Generally good, though relatively difficult to saw.

Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

Weight: 53 Ib./cu. ft.

Price: Expens...

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