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African Mahogany

Other Names:

Scientific Name: Khaya ivorensis

Origin: West tropical Africa from the Guinea Coast to Cameroon and extending eastward through the Congo basin to Uganda and part

Description: African Mahogany heartwood is a light pink-brown that darkens when cut to a rich reddish brown. It has a medium to coarse texture and a straight to interlocked grain. The wood finishes well and has a lustrous quality.

Uses: Furniture and cabinetry, musical instruments, paneling, boat building, veneer, office and shop fixtures, interior joinery, staircase banisters, handrails and domestic flooring


Other Names: Oregon Alder, Western Alder, Red Alder, Western Red Alder

Scientific Name: Alnus rubra

Origin: Pacific Northwest

Description: Alder is the most commonly used hardwood in the Pacific Northwest. Closely related to birch, alder is almost white when first cut but quickly changes once exposed to air, becoming light brown with a yellow or reddish tinge. Only the older trees produce hardwood when there is no visible gap between sap and heartwood. The wood is fairly straight-grained with a uniform texture. Alder is an exceptional wood to machine or turn, and paints or stains to a good finish.

Uses: Cabinets, fine furniture, and furniture frames, casework, toys and woodenware.


Other Names: American Ash, Ash, Biltmore Ash, Biltmore White Ash, Fresno, White Ash

Scientific Name: Fraxinus americana

Origin: Northern US and eastern Canada

Description: Light cream to light brown hardwood is strong and known for its elasticity. Works, glues and finishes well. Straight-grained with moderately coarse texture.

Uses: Cabinetry, sporting goods (baseball bats, oars), interior joinery, garden tool handles, and bentwood furniture.

Black Mesquite

Other Names:

Scientific Name: Prosopis nigra

Origin: Argentina, South America

Description: Heavy hardwood that ranges from rich brown to chocolate with purple overtones in color with a grain structure resembling mahogany. Turns and polishes well.

Uses: Furniture, flooring, cabinetry, boatbuilding, fine art, turnings

Black Walnut

Other Names: American Black Walnut, American Walnut, Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut

Scientific Name: Juglans nigra

Origin: Native to the eastern United States and as far west as Texas.

Description: The sapwood of walnut is nearly white and the heartwood ranges in color from a deep, rich, almost chocolate brown to a purplish black, with dark streaks. There is a wide variation of color, figure, and grade within the species. The grain is mostly straight and open, though some boards may have a grain pattern that is burled, curly, or mottled which is especially valued. The wood surface is generally fairly dull, though it may develop a lustrous patina after many years in use. It?s one of only a

Uses: Gun stocks, musical instruments, fine furniture, cabinetry, veneer, paneling, flooring


Other Names: Satine, Amapa Rana, Pau Rainha, Falso Pao Brasil, Conduru, Satinwood, Muirapiranga, Satine Rouge, Sa

Scientific Name: Brosimum paraense

Origin: Central America, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname

Description: Medium to very hard, dense wood that can be rich strawberry red to light pink or yellowish red in color, sometimes with golden yellow stripes. Finishes and polishes well.

Uses: Musical instruments, jewelry boxes, inlays, small parts, accessories

Canary Wood

Other Names: Tarara Amarilla

Scientific Name: Centrolobium spp

Origin: South America (from Panama down to southern Brazil)

Description: Heartwood color can vary from a pale yellow-orange to a darker reddish brown, usually with darker streaks throughout. The color tends to darken with age. Easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Turns, glues and finishes well. Has a distinct scent when being worked.

Uses: Furniture, doors, flooring, interior millwork, turning, some musical instruments, small accessories.


Other Names: Black Cherry, Capulin, Chisos Wild Cherry, Choke Cherry, Edwards Plateau Cherry, Escarpment Cherry,

Scientific Name: Prunus serotina

Origin: Northeastern U.S., eastern Canada

Description: Popular hardwood is reddish brown with a golden luster. Freshly cut cherry is often very pale, but the wood oxidizes to a rich brown red in time. Straight grain and fine texture. Good bending strength and shock resistance. Works well, holds great carved detail, but difficult to stain.

Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, veneer, millwork, carving, turnery.

Fishtail Oak

Other Names:

Scientific Name: Quercus gemelliflora mempening

Origin: Asia and Australia

Description: Dark reddish-brown color with strong broad rays. Straight grained with medium texture. The highly flecked decorative surface makes this wood ideal for furniture and accent work. Gets its name from the mottled, almost iridescent pattern that contains black marbling, resembling the scales on a fish. Each piece of wood will vary in color, but in general will be a golden tan to coppery color with occasional rose, burgundy, or silver overtones. Not a true Oak, wood has a much tighter pore structure w

Uses: Furniture, mill and accent work, shipping crates


Other Names: Shellbark Hickory, Big Shagbark Hickory, Kingnut

Scientific Name: Carya spp

Origin: USA and Canada

Description: Extremely tough and resilient hardwood. The sapwood is white tinged with brown and the heartwood is pale reddish-brown. The wood is known for its strength and shock resistance. Hickory is difficult to machine, but glues, stains, and finishes well.

Uses: Baseball bats, cabinetry, drum sticks, fishing rods, flooring, skis, sporting goods, textile equipment, tool handles, ladder rungs


Other Names: South American Lacewood, Silky Oak by mistake

Scientific Name: Panopsis rubellens

Origin: Central and South America

Description: Heartwood is pink to reddish-orange-brown. Exhibits lace-like figure produced from medullary rays that bisect the rings of annual growth

Uses: Furniture, gunstocks, veneers, musical instruments, jewelry boxes, cabinetry, interior woodwork


Other Names: Padouk, Vermillion, African Padauk, Mbe, Mbil, Mututi, Ngula, Bosulu

Scientific Name: Pterocarpus soyauxii

Origin: Central and West Africa; Andaman Islands, Burma

Description: Decorative hardwood, pale pinkish orange to a deep brownish red in color. Bright orange red when freshly cut or planed, often with dark stripes; oxidizes to dark chocolate brown or light brown. Works well, saws and planes easily to a very smooth surface.

Uses: Furniture, flooring, musical instruments, and architectural accents

Peruvian Walnut

Other Names: Nogal, Tropical Walnut

Scientific Name: Juglans spp. (Juglans neotropica, J. olanchana, etc.)

Origin: Southern Mexico, Central and South America

Description: Tends to be darker than the species coming from North America or Europe, with a deep chocolate brown color, sometimes with a purplish hue, and may also contain streaks of lighter-colored wood mixed throughout the heartwood. When a finished, turns a very dark brown, (somewhat like Wenge), and in some cases almost black. Typically easy to work provided the grain is straight and regular. Glues, stains, and finishes well.

Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, veneers, flooring, musical instruments, and interior trim


Other Names: Amaranth, Violetwood, Amarante, Guarab, Koroboreli, Morado, Nazareno, Palo morado, Pau roxo, Pelo mo

Scientific Name: Peltogyne pubescens

Origin: Mexico to tropical South America

Description: Strong and heavy hardwood, starts dull grayish purple when cut, oxidizing to bright purple, then deep brownish purple. Works with some difficulty, but bends well.

Uses: Furniture, flooring, architectural accents, boat building, heavy construction

Red Oak

Other Names: Northern Red Oak, Gray Oak, American Red Oak, Canadian Red Oak

Scientific Name: Quercus rubra

Origin: Eastern U.S. and Canada

Description: The most common hardwood in N. America, moderately heavy, strong and stiff. Light brown with a reddish tinge, straight grain with a coarse texture. Works well with machine tools.

Uses: Furniture, cabinets, floors, accessories, shop jigs, utility projects, interior millwork, molding, mantles, chairs, trim

Bolivian Rosewood

Other Names: Pau Ferro, Morado, Santos Rosewood

Scientific Name: Machaerium acutifolium

Origin: Tropical South America (mainly Brazil and Bolivia)

Description: Deep dark chocolate brown to purple black in color with occasional strips of even darker tones. Hard, heavy, fine texture with variable grain patterns. Machines well with sharp hand and power tools. Turns well.

Uses: Veneer, musical instruments, cabinetry, flooring, interior trim, turning, and other small specialty wood objects


Other Names: Aboudikroe, Penkwa, Assi, Assie Sapelli, Sapele Mahogany, Lifari, Sapeli

Scientific Name: Entandrophragma cylindricum

Origin: Africa; Ivory Coast and Nigeria

Description: The heartwood is red-brown or purple-brown color; the sapwood is gray-pink or cream in color. Very similar to mahogany. A lustrous wood that works fairly well in all operations - planing, sawing, routing, sanding, etc.

Uses: Boat building, veneers, flooring, furniture, cabinets, musical instruments

Spanish Cedar

Other Names: Brazilian Cedar, British Guiana Cedar, British Honduras Cedar, Cedar, Cedre rouge, Cedro, Cedro Olor

Scientific Name: Cedrala odorata

Origin: Central and South America

Description: Soft-textured, usually straight-grained aromatic hardwood, light red or pinkish orange, colors tend to darken with age. Works extremely well.

Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, doors, boat building, veneers, carving, turning, pattern making, cigar boxes and humidors, pencils, and organ sound boards


Other Names: Sycamore Maple, European Sycamore

Scientific Name: Acer pseudoplatanus

Origin: Europe and southwestern Asia

Description: A type of Maple. Sapwood color ranges from almost white, to a light golden or reddish brown, while the heartwood is a darker reddish brown. Sycamore Maple can also be seen with curly or quilted grain patterns. Turns, glues, and finishes well, though blotches can occur when staining.

Uses: Veneer, pulpwood, boxes, crates/pallets, musical instruments, turned objects, and other small specialty wood items

Tennessee Aromatic Cedar

Other Names: Eastern Red Cedar, Juniper, Red Juniper, Red Cedar, Virginia Pencil Cedar

Scientific Name: Juniperus virginiana

Origin: Eastern US, southern Canada

Description: Popular softwood is know for its pleasing fragrance and natural insect repelling qualities. Small tree results in knotty lumber, usually with variegated colors of light red with streaks of creamy white. Works well, easy to finish.

Uses: Cedar chests, closet lining, pencils, boxes


Other Names: Goncalo Alves

Scientific Name: Astronium graveolens, A. fraxinifolium

Origin: Mexico southward to Brazil

Description: Light brown to tan colored wood, with random streaks of varying darker colors. Tends to darken with age. It is very stable and has lots of character. The grain is medium and the wood has very good light refraction. Very resistant to moisture, can be difficult to glue.

Uses: Flooring, veneers, furniture, cabinetry, carving, turned objects, and other small wood specialty objects such as: pool cues, archery bows, knife handles, etc.


Other Names: Awoung, Dikela, Mibotu, Bokonge

Scientific Name: Millettia laurentii

Origin: Tropical West Africa, Zaire, Cameroon, Gabon, Tanzania.

Description: Distinctive colored, coarse-textured, heavy and brittle hardwood, with contrasting dark brown, black and creamy coloration. Has high bending strength and shock resistance. It works with some difficulty.

Uses: Furniture, cabinets, flooring, accessories, exteriors

White Maple

Other Names: Hard Maple, Rock Maple, Sugar Maple

Scientific Name: Acer saccharum

Origin: Eastern U.S., principally Mid-Atlantic and Lake states. The white maple is the state tree of Wisconsin, Vermont, New Yor

Description: The sapwood is creamy white with a slight reddish brown tinge and the heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown. The amount of darker brown heartwood can vary significantly according to growing region. The wood has a close fine, uniform texture and is generally straight-grained, but it can also occur as 'curly,' 'fiddleback,' and 'birds-eye' figure. Known for its durability and strength. It has excellent turning properties, a fine & even texture, and a natural luster. Somewhat difficult

Uses: Furniture, flooring, cutting boards, butcher blocks, heavy furniture, industrial parts, veneer, inlay, musical instruments, work benches

White Oak

Other Names: Arizona Oak, Arizona White Oak, Cucharillo, Encino, Encino Negro, Oak, Roble, Roble Amarillo, Roble,

Scientific Name: Quercus alba

Origin: U.S. and Canada

Description: A strong, heavy hardwood, light to medium brown in color, known for its characteristic 'fleck? or silver grain figure when quarter sawn. Works well with machine tools.

Uses: Furniture, cabinets, flooring, boat building, accessories


Other Names: African Zebrawood, Allen Ele, Zebrano, Zingana

Scientific Name: Microberlinia brazzavillensis

Origin: West Africa, especially Cameroon and Gabon

Description: Coarse, heavy hardwood is named for its zebra-stripe appearance when quarter-sawn. Golden brown with pronounced dark brown streaks. Very attractive, but difficult to work because of alternating hard and soft grain.

Uses: Furniture, veneer, inlay, game boards, small boxes and decorative items