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From the same genus as Maple, this species has a similar yellow/light brown base color. Pink/red streaks can provide a wonderful contrast to that base color. It is not very hard or dense, but that softness does make it easy to work with.
This is a recent addition to our species offering and we are delighted to be able to offer it 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.
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.
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.
The wood has a high silica content, as well -- so resawing the wood can quickly dull and gum up blades.
Its heartwood is cream to salmon colored, highlighted by striping which can be any combination of red, violet, purple, pink and rose hues. The sapwood is pale yellow to a very pale yellowish white. Heartwood color gradually fades with continued UV ray exposure.
Tulipwood is typically straight-grained, although grains can also be wavy or (infrequently) irregular. The wood has a high natural oil content and is quite dense, which makes working it an often-difficult prospect. Despite being rather grainy and pourous, it sands very smooth, revealing a pleasing natural luster.
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.
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.
Because of its relatively slender profile -- marked by a thin, narrow trunk -- thick boards are never seen. Snakewood can be commonly found in the form of small logs or half-logs.
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.
Pink Ivory remains one of the most elusive, coveted and highly desirable of all the world's many exotic woods. Despite being indigenous to Southern Africa, the wood is rare throughout its home continent. What isn't exported abroad is said to be hoarded by rich, hierarchical families throughout Africa, as the wood is considered to be on the same level of value as diamonds and emeralds.
Its reputation in the US is that of being one of the most elusive, difficult-to-source of all exotic woods, and one of the "holy grail" exotic tonewoods in the eyes of many guitar builders.
In addition to its dazzling colors, texture and overall supremely regal appearance, Pink Ivory possesses great density (3230 lbf, on the Janka Hardness scale), making it well suited for a variety of applications. It is very popular with wood carvers and turners, alike, although it can be difficult to work and has reputation for dulling saw blades.<br><br>The Wood Database lists trees as growing to maturity at heights ranging from 100 - 130 feet, and trunk diameters of 3 to 5 feet. This, however, is inaccurate as trees rarely grow past 35 feet in height with trunks around one foot in diameter. The tree is protected and sustainably maintained in South Africa, only felled after the issuance of very limited permitting by respective state government environmental authorities. Given this, it's little wonder that finding any Pink or Red Ivory beyond small craft-sized pieces has proven a very difficult task in the US.
Redheart is a unique Central / South American hardwood characterized by a reddish base color -- ranging from dull to bright pink, pinkish-red or red -- with streaks and highlights diverse in color, from darker red tones, to yellows, oranges and even occasional purples. Grains range from irregular to wild (although sometimes straight, also), and can often be multi-dimensional or overlapping -- often to very dramatic effect, especially when vibrant secondary colors are present.
Its texture is fine and smooth, although it does not possess much natural luster. It works, turns, glues and finishes well, as would be expected with a wood of its moderate density.
Despite Redheart's rather moderate weight, hardness and density, the wood can burn easily when resawn, if blades and cutting tools are not sharp. Such burning produces a black tar-like resin which adheres to the wood's surface and requires patient sanding.<br><br>With its sometimes stunning aesthetic qualities, Redheart has been a popular turning wood; it is starting to appear more frequently in custom electric guitar building (necks, fretboards, etc.), also.
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.
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.