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Gorgeous colors and grain patterns have resulted in the exploitation of this beautiful species for use in production of "Hongmu" furniture. It looks similar in appearance to Kiaat/Muninga, another member of the Pterocarpus genus. We only have a few hundred BF of this endangered species left and don't expect to get any more when it runs out.
Longhi is an African wood with similar working properties to its more well-known cousin, Anegre. Its color varies from a greyish-white to beige to pinkish-brown color, which slightly darkens with age and UV-ray exposure. Its generally light appearance makes sapwood difficult to distinguish. Its grains are typical straight (though occasionally interlocked) and its texture ranges between fine and medium-fine. It can sometimes possess mottled or subtle tiger-striped figuring.
The wood must be carefully dried, as it is susceptible to fungus. It is considered to be moderately durable, and moderately stable. Longhi has a solid strength-to-weight ratio, which makes it a popular choice for flooring and decking.
Heartwood can vary from pale yellow to a light, muted reddish brown; sapwood is grayish-white. There are many species of Birch, worldwide; it is one of the most popular woods, ironically, for both veneer and utility applications. Figured pieces are the more desirable for veneer, with wide, dramatic curly figuring (similar to Cherry) decorating the surface.
American Birch works easily -- it turns, glues and finishes well -- although most boards have very little natural luster. It's a versatile wood that can be used for a number of different applications, but it needs to be protected, as the wood will decay when exposed to the elements. (... and if left unprotected will rot.)
Considered to be the most abundant hardwood in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, Red Alder has long been used in the region for furniture and cabinetry production -- as well as being a popular choice for electric guitar bodies dating back to when the instrument first went into mass production, in the 1950's. Ranging in color from a light tan to reddish brown, Alder has a soft, lightweight stature -- which makes the wood very easy to work, and it finishes and glues well.
Red Alder is usually sold in two different grades: knotty, and clear. Clear grades are most desired by cabinet and furniture crafters. Many such tradesmen compare the wood's cooperative disposition to that of Black Cherry.
Although technically a hardwood, care must be taken with Alder until finished as its surface can be rather soft (thus, denting easily). The wood is decidedly non-durable, so confining its use to indoor applications and treating the wood with some type of hardening finish (such as lacquer) is recommended.
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.
Aesthetically, the wood is similar, also, to its African first cousin, Sapele (with both being species of the Entandrophragma genus) -- although Sipo is more pourous, and has richer color.
Boards are typical found quartersawn, as European Sycamore is the lumber renowned for its preferential, and historical, use as a body wood for stringed orchestral instruments (violins, violas, etc.), possessing superb resonance qualities and full-spectrum frequency response at a very moderate weight.
Between the tree's natural oils and latex production, resawing the wood tends to gum up saw blades. Difficulties aside, the wood turns and finishes well, and its density and pleasant aesthetics make it popular with wood carvers, as well.
African Walnut's grains are typically straight or slightly interlocked -- yielding good working properties -- with a fine to medium, consistent texture and a fine natural luster. Finding figured pieces is not uncommon. It turns, glues and finishes well. The wood is considered moderately durable.
As far as working characteristics are concerned, Yellowheart is generally very cooperative for a fairly dense and durable wood. (Although sharp blades may be necessary with some interlocked-grain boards.) It glues and finishes very well. The wood holds its color well: slowly darkening, to a degree, as it ages, often giving it an even more striking appearance.
Its grains can be straight, wavy or interlocked, with generally a medium texture and nice natural luster (due in part to a somewhat high silica content). It is a tough, durable wood, usually possessing fairly cooperative working properties -- although its silica content can gum up blades and cutting tools, and there can be tearout issues with boards with interlocking grain patterns. Shedua turns, glues and finishes quite well.
Loosely translated as “Ironwood”, Pau Ferro is the common name for a variety of lumber species. The East African variant we have here (also known as Pau Rosa to some) has a glorious color palette. A dark brown base with reds, oranges and yellow tones - it reminds us of the African sunset…
It is hard and heavy to work, but the vibrant colors make it worth the effort! Pau Ferro / Pau Rosa was originally part of the Swartzia genus, but it was reclassified as Bobgunnia in the last 10-15 years. It turns and finishes well.
The wood turns excellently, and it is easy to nail, crew or glue. It polishes to a smooth, fine finish, and is considered to be a very dimensionally stable wood.
Its easy, cooperative working properties combined with its consistent texture and color make it loved by craftsmen, carvers and turners, alike. It is highly regarded all over Europe, and considered by many to be the region's finest hardwood, boasting properties similar to rosewood.
Denser than East Indian Rosewood, Honduran Rosewood is well known for being the preferred wood for Marimba bars, with its ringing, well-rounded tonal properties. It compares well to Brazilian Rosewood (many claim it actually superior), producing a well-balanced acoustic guitar, with great projection and strong lows and highs. (In fact, during the '50?s and '60?s, the great flamenco guitar crafters considered it to be the only acceptable substitute to Brazilian Rosewood.)
Honduran Rosewood's grain lines are unusually tight and straight (though sometimes wavy or interlocked). The color ranges from a medium tan to a brownish brick red color, medium brown (sometimes with a purplish tint) or even a medium to dark burgundy, with occasional dark brown or black ink lines. Due to the wood's density and high oil content, it can be difficult to cut, machine and glue. Its texture can range from fine to medium; (not unlike Braz Rw) it is porous, and those pores are usually medium- to large-sized. As would be expected -- given its oily nature -- the wood has a rich natural luster.
Honduran Rosewood has grown difficult to obtain in recent years, due to a poaching epidemic in Belize which victimized the species in 2011 and 2012. Despite a wane in its supply lines, demand for the wood remains constant. Every major source we could find were unanimous in listing "2200 lbf" as the Janka Hardness rating for this wood, but we consider this figure to be very suspect. Most knowledgeable sources compare its weight and density to Brazilian Rosewood. The same sources list Bocote's Janka Hardness at 2200 lbf, also, and the Hon Rw examples we have handled are far more dense than any Bocote. (Some darker examples were more along the lines of a Cocobolo-type density.)
The wood typically has a high natural oil content, which can make gluing challenging.
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.
The wood can prove difficult to work, on account of its density and sometimes interlocked graining. Marblewood is also known for its high natural resin content; proper, complete kiln drying is essential for applications which involve finishing.
Despite these aesthetic similarities, it is much less common to find figuring in Nogal than in Black Walnut. It is generally considered very easy to work, stain, finish and glue, although irregular-grained boards can experience tearout issues when planed.
Known in the US primarily as "Genuine Mahogany," Swietenia Macrophylla, its scientific name, is what most in the exotic lumber industry consider to be the true species when referring to "Mahogany." Historically, it has been a very economically important wood throughout the Latin America region. Its color can range from a pale pink to a light to medium reddish-brown, and it is renowned for its chatoyance. Grains vary; although generally straight, they can be interlocked, irregular or wavy, also. Its texture is fine and uniform, with a rich natural luster.
Lumber which originates from the wood's indigenous natural regions is considered to be significantly more durable and stable than its plantation-grown counterparts.
Once a mainstay in the cabinetry, furniture and guitar building industries, here in the US, Genuine Mahogany has become increasingly more difficult to source since its inclusion in CITES' Appendix II, in 2003. It is still imported, although a significantly high percentage are of plantation-grown origin -- which is less desirable and considered to be of inferior quality to that grown in native habitats.
While the net effect of all this has been to create a 'mahogany substitute' segment of the exotic wood import industry -- bringing woods such as Sapele and African Mahogany more into favor -- the demand for Genuine Mahogany hasn't waned.
Grains can be wavy, interlocked or sometimes straight; its texture is fine, with a good natural luster.
It has a texture that ranges from fine to medium, and has the impressive natural luster associated with the genus.
Despite also sharing their propensity for high natural oil content, the wood usually glues well. It is known to be easy to work, although some examples may contain varying amounts of silica.