Wood Species

Showing 1–12 of 131 results

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    Swamp Ash draws its name not from a particular Fraxinus-genus species, per se, but is a reference to any species of Ash (Fraxinus) whose roots system lies submerged, or partially submerged, in water. It is the softest of all ashes, which makes it the most desirable for electric guitar builders; lightweight and resonant, yet still stable enough for instrument building.

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

    Common Uses: Instruments, flooring, millwork, boxes/crates, baseball bats, and other turned objects such as tool handles.

    Comments: Many electric guitar players and builders, alike, swear by this wood — known for its crisp highs, tight lows and scooped mid content. Like all other Ash species, the higher up the tree you go, the denser the wood gets. Thus, the most desired part of the Swamp Ash trees are from its midsection down to its trunk.

    Its popularity continues to grow, as electric guitar builders, worldwide, keep the wood under steady demand, thus making Swamp Ash easily the most expensive of all varieties of the Fraxinus genus.

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    Our Thuya Burl comes from Morocco.  Reddish brown in color, its figure can vary in density from block to block.  It has a distinct odor similar to that of Western Red Cedar.  The figure makes the species prone to tear-out.  It must be worked carefully with only the sharpest of tools.  Highly figured pieces look simply stunning as knife handles or other accent pieces.

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    Sustainability: This species is not currently listed in the CITES Appendices but is listed on the IUCN Red List as being a species of least concern.

    Common Uses: carvings, knife handles, turnings, veneers, and other small specialty objects.

    Comments: A stunningly beautiful species that comes at a high price.

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    Masur Birch (also known as Karelian Birch) is not a species in of itself, but rather a particular grain figure that occurs in various species of European Birch.  The result is a beautiful marble like figure – a mix between burl and birdseye.

    The cause of this figure is uncertain.  Some say that it comes from a tree’s reaction to invasion by the larvae of the Agromyzia carbonara beetle, but the general opinion seems to be that it is hereditary, classifying the name of the variant as Betula pendula var. Carelica.  Regardless of the exact origin of the figure, it provides us with stunning and unique looking lumber,  just begging to be showcased in some fine woodworking. It is most commonly used in accent details, turned objects, knife handles and other small specialty items.

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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: Fine furniture, knife handles, turnings, veneers, and other small specialty objects.

    Comments: Veneers of Masur Birch are rotary cut (like Birdseye Maple) to ensure the best figure is extracted for the veneer.

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    Amazon Rosewood has been considered a good substitute for Brazilian Rosewood though its beautiful appearance and desirability as a tonewood should allow it to stand out in its own right. Color tends to a darker reddish brown than its counterpart. Though slightly lower on the Janka scale, Amazon Rosewood is significantly heavier than Brazilian Rosewood. Its density contributes to challenging workability, while the oil content makes for difficult gluing. The effort is rewarded by its fine lustrous polish and superior tonal qualities.

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    Sustainability: Although not listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, it is included in the genus-wide restriction on all Dalbergia species under CITES Appendix II.

    Common Uses: Veneer, furniture, inlay, turnings, lutherie.

    Comments: Amazon Rosewood will usually sink in fresh water; Brazilian Rosewood, if properly dried, should float

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    Spalted Maple doesn’t denote a species, but can be any member of the Acer genus that has black lines and/or streaks in the lumber caused by slight decay and a fungus in the wood.

    Maple is the only American wood species harvested primarily for its sapwood, rather than heartwood. Since the beginnin of mass commercial production of the electric guitar, in the early 1950’s, Hard Maple has remained a pivotal lumber in the industry. It comes in a variety of figures — including Birdseye and Tiger Maple figurings — and its soft pale white to pale yellow complexion is sometimes augmented by light blue, red or pinkish tints and highlights, with a marvelous luster and often a luxurious sheen.

    Its excellent strength-to-weight ratio, handsome looks, easy workability and steady supply has cemented Maple as a part of both American industry and culture. Despite its ready availability, premium-grade boards always command high prices and remain in constant demand, worldwide.

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

    Common Uses: Commercial & residential flooring, veneer, musical instruments, furniture, cabinetry, turned objects, carvings, interior utility wood applications and miscellaneous wood specialty items.

    Comments: For more than a century, Hard Maple has remained the preferred choice for commercial flooring in the US for applications — such as gymnasiums, bowling alleys, dance halls and any more — where light-color, strength and toughness are requisite qualities. It is the strongest and densest of all the commercial maple species.

    Its trees are also known as “Sugar Maple,” being the primary species tapped for maple syrup.

    Use caution, be slow and patient, and pay careful attention when cutting or sanding any maple species with high-RPM machinery, as its surface can burn.

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    Heart Pine is typically reclaimed old growth pine.  It is reclaimed and as a result can come with cracks, nail/screw holes.  That being said though,  the beautiful coloring and tighter, old growth rings sing tradition, beauty and class.

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    Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is reported by the IUCN as being “vulnerable.”

    Common Uses: Furniture, flooring.

    Comments: Whilst there are many plantation pine species available, there is something special about this old growth heart pine.

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    Brown Ebony is not a true Ebony and it is slightly odd that this species derives its name from a genus generally known for its black coloring.  Like true ebonies though, Brown Ebony is very dense and hard to work.

    This South American species is popular for turning, musical instruments and decorative pieces.

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    Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is reported by the IUCN as being “vulnerable.”

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

    Comments: Not readily available, and something quite unique to have in your collection.

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    Canarywood comes from all over South America.  Its heartwood can range from yellow to pink to orange.  Some of the prettiest pieces can have all 3 color variations in one piece.  Other pieces, more consistent in color, have at times resembled Cherry.  Being both durable and relatively hard, but still fairly easy to work, it gives woodworkers a good opportunity to work with a color-variable, but less expensive exotic hardwood from South America.

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

    Common Uses: Veneer, inlay work, marquetry, turnery, bandings, jewelry boxes, small specialty items.

    Comments: With pretty color variations, the right board could offer a good, lower price alternative Brazilian Tulipwood.

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    Black Walnut with a stunning figure across the grain.

    Black Walnut has long been considered one of the US’s most durable hardwoods, and one of its most popular. Prized for its typically deep chocolate color (often highlighted by red or purple streaks and/or tint), straight grains (though sometimes irregular), fine texture and warm luster, the wood has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and is considered to have solid dimensional stability after drying. Its cooperative grain structure and moderate density give Black Walnut excellent working properties, which have made it coveted by fine furniture craftsmen for centuries.

    While there remains a robust domestic supply, the demand for this wood also remains constant. It is considered a premium domestic hardwood.

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

    Common Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, gunstocks, interior paneling, interior trim, musical instruments, veneer, turnings, and small specialty items.

    Comments: Black Walnut’s immense popularity among American woodworkers cannot be overstated. Aside from its rugged, handsome looks — which lend it well to furniture and cabinet building — it is durable, stable and has excellent shock resistance, making it an ideal choice for such applications.

    Walnut trees are known to grow in regions within close proximity to rivers and other bodies of water — primarily in the eastern part of the US, but stretching into the central part of the country, as well as into southern Canada (Ontario). Trees have proven of historical economic significance, as much for the walnuts they produce as for their coveted lumber — a wood which, unfortunately, has provided an attractive target to domestic poachers.

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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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    Morado is known by many names.  Pau Ferro, Bolivian Rosewood and Morado are the most common.   The wood earned its “… Rosewood” nicknames (by which it is commonly known) because its colors and density are similar, which its medium brown base typically augmented by black streaks or grain lines, and sometimes even purple, tan and golden secondary hues, and sometimes a purplish tint, overall. Although it can have varying grains, straight-grained pieces are generally very easy to work, and the wood turns smoothly and finishes well. It is considered quite durable, although it can be subject to insect attack.

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

    Common Uses: Veneer, musical instruments (in particular, guitars — both electric and acoustic), furniture, cabinetry, flooring, interior trim, turnings, and other small specialty wood objects.

    Comments: Morado is a popular Brazilian Rosewood substitute and is thought to be about as similar in properties to rosewood as any non-Dalbergia-genus species possibly could be. Its grains are tighter than a typical rosewood specimen, and it is thought to have a more distinctly percussive taptone than that of Brazilian. It’s tonal response is said to have tight lows, present mids and a clear, singing high end response.

    Despite the comparisons, it should be noted that the (much more prevalent) Machaerium-genus species of Pau Ferro has less density, hardness and weight than an average rosewood.

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    English Oak that has been salvaged from a peat bog.

    As per wood database:

    “The extremely low oxygen conditions of the bog protect the wood from normal decay, while the underlying peat provides acidic conditions where iron salts and other minerals react with the tannins in the wood, gradually giving it a distinct dark brown to almost black color.”