Natural Woods

 

African Blackwood: Africa, Janka Hardness 3670. Often completely black or very dark brown, with little or no discernible grain. Occasionally slightly lighter, with a dark brown or purplish hue. The pale yellow sapwood is usually very thin, and is clearly demarcated from the darker heartwood.

 

Bocote: Mexico and South America, Janka Hardness 2010. It is quite dense, nearing the density of some rosewoods but its hardness is tied with Hard maple.  It has a lovely character and tight grained pieces exhibit a beautiful pattern of stripes and eyes. 

 

Box Elder Burl: North America, Janka Hardness 720. A member of the maple family.  This wood is light in colour and takes dye stabilizing very well. A naturally stabilized piece has a look similar to marble. 

 

Brazilian Lacewood: South America, Janka Hardness 710. Has very conspicuous flecking that gives this wood its namesake. The wood itself is a reddish brown with grey or light brown rays, which result in a lace pattern when quartersawn. 

 

Bubinga: Africa, Janka Hardness 2410. Heartwood ranges from a pinkish red to a darker reddish brown with darker purple or black streaks. Sapwood is a pale straw color and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood. 

 

Chechen Rosewood: Dominican Republic, Jamacia, Cuba, Janka Hardness 2250. Heartwood color is highly varied, with red, orange, and brown contrasted with darker stripes of blackish brown. Color tends to shift to a darker reddish brown with age. Well defined sapwood is a pale yellow.

 

Cocobolo: Central America, Janka Hardness 2960. Cocobolo can be in a range of different colors, ranging from yellow, orange, red, and shades of brown with streaks of black or purple. This is a naturally oily wood that takes on a beautiful polish when buffed.

 

East Indian Rosewood: India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, Janka Hardness 2440. The heartwood of East Indian Rosewood can vary from a golden brown to a deep purplish brown, with darker brown streaks. The wood darkens with age, usually becoming a deep brown.

Katalox: Southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America, Janka Hardness 3660. Heartwood is dark reddish brown to nearly black, sometimes with a strong purple hue. Sapwood is sharply demarcated and is pale yellowish white. Pieces with curly or wavy grain are not uncommon. An oily wood that polishes extremely well with buffing.

Padauk: Central and tropical west Africa, Janka Hardness 1970. Heartwood color can vary, ranging from a pale pinkish orange to a deep brownish red. Most pieces tend to start reddish orange when freshly cut, darkening substantially over time to a reddish/purplish brown (some lighter pieces age to a grayish brown).

Purple Heart: Central and South America, Janka Hardness 2520. When freshly cut the heartwood of Purpleheart is a  dull grayish/purplish brown. Upon exposure, the wood becomes a deeper eggplant purple. With further age and exposure to UV light, the wood becomes a dark brown with a hint of purple.

Thuya Burl: Morocco, Janka Hardness 1160. Color is generally an orangish or reddish brown. Color tends to darken with age to a medium to dark reddish brown.

Wenge: Central Africa, Janka Hardness 1930. Heartwood is medium brown, sometimes with a reddish or yellowish hue, with nearly black streaks. Upon application of a wood finish (particularly an oil finish) the wood can become nearly black.

Yellow Box Burl: Eastern Australia, Janka Hardness 2920. Heartwood ranges from light pink to golden brown. Pale gray sapwood is sharply demarcated from heartwood.

Stabilized Woods

 

The stabilizing process consists of taking natural wood, drying them of all moisture and impregnating them with resin.  This creates a wood that is resistant to moisture and expansion or shrinkage.  Dyes can also be used for a more dramatic effect.