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Wood Choices

Domestic Wood Samples used at The Krowe's Nest

 

Name

Sample

Color

Characteristics

Ash

(Fraxinus americana)

 

Light cream to light brown

Quite similar to Red Oak in appearance and many working properties. Excellent shock resistance. Straight-grained with moderately coarse texture. Glues, Stains, and finishes well. Requires pore filler for smooth surface.

Birch

(Betula alleghaniensis)

Creamy white to light brown tinged with red

A straight-grained wood with fine even texture. Heavy and very strong. Straight-grain lumber works well but swirls or irregular grain may be difficult to machine without tear out. Similar to maple.

Red Birch

(Betula alleghaniensis)

 

Light brown tinged with red

The Heartwood of birch

Cherry

(Prunus serotina)

Reddish brown with a golden luster

Cherry is easy to work, fine textured, strong and fairly durable. Highly rated in all working properties including wood bending and turning. Becomes darker and richer with age. Tends to blotch if not treated with a sealer before staining.

Hard Maple

(Acer saccharum)

Cream white to reddish brown

It has excellent turning properties , a fine, even texture, a natural luster. Somewhat difficult to work due to high surface hardness. Paints and finishes very well. Variations include curly. tiger, and birds eye figures.

Soft Maple

(Acer rubrum)

Cream white to reddish brown

Resembles Hard Maple being closed-grained but much softer. Easily worked. Turns and planes well. Does not require fillers to achieve a glass smooth finish. Accepts finish and paint well.

Red Oak

(Quercus rubra)

Light brown with a reddish tinge

Straight grain with a coarse texture. Generally works and finished well but timbers from the Northern growing region will be more consistent in color and have a finer texture. Large open pores produce distinctive grain.

White Oak

(Quercus alba)

Beige to creamy tan

Has a finer texture than Red Oak. Quarter sawn lumber has dramatic medullar figured called fake/tiger oak. Heartwood is decay resistant and suitable for exterior uses. Good turning and steam bending qualities.

Poplar

(Liriodendron tulipifera)

Grayish white sapwood with greenish brown heart. Some heartwood may be purple.

Fine textured, soft and lightweight. Easily worked and takes paint exceptionally well. Frequently finished to look like other woods.

Black Walnut

(Juglans nigra)

Light brown to a dark or chocolate brown. California walnut may have purplish streaks.

Fine but open grain. Moderately coarse texture. Excellent to work including turning and carving. Needs pore filler for glass smooth surface.

Exotic Wood Samples used at The Krowe's Nest

 Note:

There is a great web site that not only sells many domestic and exotic woods but also has a wonderful description of the wood including; uses, workability, size of tree and where it grows. www.woodworkerssource.com

 

Name

Sample

Color

Characteristics

Bloodwood

(Brosimum paraense)

Rich strawberry red sometimes with golden yellow stripes.

Also called Satine. Hard and heavy but not difficult to work. Takes a high lustrous finish

Bocote

(Cordia elaeagnoides)

 

Greenish yellow to golden brown with dark stripes

 

Often highly figured with "eyes." Hard and heavy. Appears oily with a medium luster. Takes a natural polish. Not difficult to work. Finishes very smoothly

 

Bubinga

(Guibourtia tessmannii)

 

Light red or violet with fairly evenly spaced purple stripes

 

Fine grained. Hard and heavy. Takes a high lustrous finish. The wood works without difficulty except for gum pockets. Some logs are figured with a wavy, roey grain

 

Cocobolo

(Dalbergia retusa)

 

Variegated orange, yellow dark red with irregular black stripes

 

Hard and heavy. Works and turns well. Finishes very smoothly. Oils in the wood produces a natural polish but may cause problems with lacquer or urethane finishes

 

Jatoba

(Hymenaea courbaril)

 

Russett to reddish brown, often with dark stripes or streaks, occasionally with pink stripes

 

Also called Brazilian Cherry. Hard, heavy, and tough. Grain is open and commonly interlocked with a medium coarse texture. Somewhat difficult to work due to its hardness and weight

 

Lacewood
(Cardwellia sublimis)

 

Light pink to light reddish brown with a silvery sheen

 

Flaky, speckled figure with dark flecks, varying from a small lacelike pattern to a larger "splashy" figure. Texture fairly coarse. Moderately hard. Works easy and takes a lustrous finish. Fairly scarce.

 

Lyptus
(Eucalyptus grandis and E. urophylla)

 

Light pinkish to tan

 

Works similar to Hard Maple; produced as a substitute to Mahogany and often works well in place of Cherry. Accepts oil and water based stains very well, and machines easily.

Mahogany
(Swietenia macrophylla)

 

Yellowish brown to reddish brown.  Darkens to deep reddish brown with age.

 

Ranks among the finest cabinet woods. Exceptionally stable and clear with a natural luster. Moderately coarse texture. Requires filling to achieve a class smooth surface but accepts virtually all finishes with ease.

 

Paduak, African
(Pterocarpus soyauxii)

 

Bright orange red, often with dark stripes

 

When freshly cut the wood is bright orange red, becomes reddish brown. Moderately hard and heavy. Medium texture, but with large pores. Saws and planes easily to a very smooth surface

 

Purple Heart
(Peltogyne spp)

 

Dull gray brown when freshly cut but soon oxidizing to a violet purple

 

Grain usually straight often with a fine curly figure. Fine texture. Moderately hard to work but takes a glossy, lustrous finish. Lacquer finish will best preserve the color.

 

Rosewood, Central American
(Dalbergia stevensonii)

 

Brown to purple with alternating dark and light zones forming a very attractive figure.

 

Texture medium to rather fine; grain generally straight to slightly rowy; luster low to medium; fresh wood has an aromatic odor which dissipates with age. Excellent for turning and finishes well if not too oily.

 

Rosewood, Honduras
(Dalbergia tucerencis)

 

Orange brown with irregular black markings.

 

Fine to medium texture with open pores. Hard and moderately heavy

 

Satinwood, West Indian
(Zanthoxylum flavum)

Central America

Rich, bright yellow

 

Luster is high; texture medium; grain straight to irregular. Somewhat difficult to work especially if the grain is irregular.

Sometimes called Yellowheart

Lemon Wood

Rich, bright yellow

 

Luster is high; texture medium; grain straight to irregular. Somewhat difficult to work especially if the grain is irregular

Wenge
(Millettia laurentii)

Africa

Dark brown to black with fine black veining.

 

Texture is rather coarse; straight grain; hard and heavy. Works fairly well with machine tools but has a high blunting effect on cutting edges. Turns well. Difficult to glue if resinous

 

Zebrawood
(Microberlinia brazzavillensis)

West Africa

Golden brown with pronounced dark brown streaks

 

Medium to coarse texture; grain usually wavy or interlocked and produces alternating hard and soft material which creates working difficulties

 

   
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