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Rare Woods USA Blog

Good showrooms can give people ideas and the stimulus to begin that project they have been dreaming about.  Unfortunately they can also cost a lot! Our challenge as a fledgling business was to come up with an appealing yet economical display of all our timbers to...

Life as a timber merchant has often been a steep learning curve. I’m not ashamed to say that many mistakes have been made, some worse than others! Below I thought I would run you through some of the screw ups I’ve made on various shipments over...

Luthiers are a different breed with very exacting needs – often happy to sort through mountains of wood to select that specific piece with the perfect combination of grain, color and taptone. With my love for wood and music (and guitars in particular), it is only...

Many woodworkers are surprised to find a “full house” exotic wood dealer in Mexico, Maine. 500,000 bd ft of exotic hardwoods 180 species displayed in racks and bundles Extensive showroom Milling facilities Wood vendors passionate about their calling It all started 30 years ago – when...

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I set off on a mini road trip down to Saratoga Springs, New York, to visit the annual Northeastern Woodworkers’ Association show (see www.nwawoodworkingshow.org). You may not have heard of it before, so to quote the event...

One of nature’s unusual masterpieces, Purpleheart (Peltogyne) is a true stunner. It comes mainly from Guiana, but also from various other South American countries. Its hard and heavy at around 58 pounds per cubic foot (860kg per m3), but it machines well, although with a dulling...

About 8 years ago we thought we had hit the jackpot, when we were offered 110 tons of second quality Blackwood logs at the crazy low price of $50-$100 per ton FOB at a Mozambique port. As prime quality African Blackwood was selling at about...

We have in stock approximately 5000 ft of the most unique mahogany anywhere in the world. This is genuine mahogany (Swietenia Macrophylla) from the Amazonian jungles of Brazil. Harvested approximately 15 years ago for the veneer trade, the best sheets of veneer were sliced off and...

Recently we had a fantastic opportunity to participate in one of Lie-Nielsen's great Open House events.  We are very fortunate in that Lie-Nielsen, the world's leading maker of quality hand tools, is based just down the road in Warren, Maine. Tom Lie-Nielsen is probably same age...

Nope, not Chelsea Clinton. My son Seamus and his beautiful wife Lucy were married in Surrey, England, this last weekend. It was a magical day and a powerful reminder of how much we should cherish our families, friends and life itself!   CONGRATULATIONS SEAMUS AND LUCY, AND MUCH...

In South Africa where we had cheap wood and cheap and plentiful labor (as a result of a heart-breaking 65% unemployment rate) we built solid wooden racks, which over time are looking dangerously not four-square. Here in the USA there are brilliant interlocking steel racks...

Bad days… We all have them and so often they are caused by our own damn foolishness. With this little mishap I have only myself to blame and I do feel pretty stupid about it. But first some background...

Our South African operation runs 23 low temperature dehumidification kilns to dry wood. They work well for most 1 inch wood but get a bit iffy on thicker sizes. They are also incredibly costly to run (on average $266 / cubic meter compared to cost...

More than anything else, it is the high precision German four-sided tungsten carbide replaceable cutters in a pineapple head that allow us to achieve smooth finishes on some of our highly figured and abrasive woods. The small individual cutters also have the added bonus of...

Some people call them hoarders - in Maine we call them traders! Everyone is forever having yard sales, porch sales or garage sales and Craigslist and Uncle Henry’s are thriving. It seems to me (admittedly an outsider) that the same treasures (junk?) never leave the...

As I mentioned in an earlier entry, I have a local friend who has hit rough times. With the banks and repo men chasing him in a big way he has been in desperate need of cash and I have been keen to help out...

In order to look after larger orders and to neaten up selected stock that comes from third world countries we decided to invest in a monster doubled-sided planer. Our South African operation runs two 25 inch Taiwanese machines with spiral bladed replaceable TCT cutters. They...