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A hard, durable, medium brown species found in the Central-Eastern United States. The grain is typically fairly straight, but the hardness does make it a little harder to work with.
Another recent addition to our species offering, we are little disappointed in the quality that was supplied, so please choose your pieces carefully.
Available in 4/4 and 8/4.
This vibrant Central American wood can features primary colors ranging from orange to golden brown (with gold, red and sometimes even green accent coloration). It is thought to be the closest relative to Brazilwood (famous for its use in stringed-instrument bows), and Chakte Viga shares many of the same acoustic properties. Grains are straight, but sometimes interlocked -- otherwise, this wood works easily, and finishes well. It has a fine texture and excellent natural luster. Sap is a pale off-white to pale yellow.
Chakte Viga is a wood that has been starting to emerge from relative obscurity over the last decade or so, being one of the lesser-known and -demanded woods from the tropical Central America region. We feel it has a huge untapped potential as a guitar tonewood, as well as in fine furniture production in the US. The wood has some very subtle aesthetics, sometimes exhibiting a 3D-like shimmering chatoyance after being finished with clear lacquer.
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.)
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.
It turns and finishes well, although gluing can be problematic, due to the natural oil content of the wood.
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.
Its grains are typically straight (although sometimes wavy, or even interlocked) with a high natual oil content. This generally makes for favorable working characteristics, although the wood does possess a high silica content.
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.
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."
While it is considered to be typically straight grained, because of its toughness the wood can be very diificult to work; splintering and tearouts are not uncommon. It is a dimensionally stable wood, but it requires sharp blades and precise-angled cuts to get acceptable results when resawing this wood.
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.
Drying the wood is a slow, burdenous process. Like many woods which are comparably hard, logs and boards have a tendency to crack while drying, although Pau Rosa is considered very durable and dimensionally stable, there after.
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.
African Rosewood works well, although it can have a moderate blunting effect on tools. It glues and finishes well. It needs to be dried slowly and carefully, to prevent warping and cracking. It's a durable wood and is considered stable, once dried.
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.
Despite being significantly less stout than all of its true rosewood cousins, the wood is surprisingly durable. It is less oily, also, which adds up to some generally very cooperative working, turning, gluing and finishing properties.
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.
Its grains are typically interlocked (though sometimes straight), making it difficult to work. The wood has a high natural oil content, which can make it difficult to glue but gives it a beautiful luster and renders an excellent finish. Its texture is typically not as fine as mahogany, shading more towards the 'medium' portion of the scale.
Ambrosia Maple is a general term attached to a variety of Acer (true maple) species whose boards included colorful bug "trails" -- caused by a fungus carried by the Ambrosia Beetle which penetrates the tree sap as the beetle eats into the tree, and it spreads both through the worm hole and up and down in the tree (carried along by the sap) and causes discoloring of the wood in streaks. The two primary species which draw the beetle's attention are Acer rubrum (Red Maple) and Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple), although -- with there reputedly being more than sixty different Acer species indigenous to North America -- this unusual phenomenon is certainly not confined to just the two. Weight and density can vary greatly -- depending upon the actual species -- the typical varieties of maple figuring can also be present, often creating some very unique, visually spectacular specimens.Like any other maple, it is easily worked; generally cooperative through all phases. It's not much of a stretch to imagine -- since bugs have, quite obviously, already penetrated the wood's surface -- that the wood is decidedly non-durable, although it is generally stable enough for use in furniture and guitars. Its surface is typically darker than most sap maple (often featuring secondary / additional discolorations and other long streaks), although it retains the same high degree of natural luster.The scientific explanation is that the impregnated Ambrosia Beetle burrows into the maple tree (presumably for a safe place to deposit larvae), carrying fungi on its feet into the wood -- which serves as food for the insect's offspring, when they hatch. The fungal residue left behind as it digs into the maple can cause discoloration throughout the wood, via the tree's sap, in addition to the dramatically contrasting (mostly) blue and (sometimes) green trails which surround the small tunnels they chew. The beetles prefer wood that is not soaking wet, but that is in the beginning stages of drying. Once kiln dried, they will not re-infest.