EBONY Distribution Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroons,
Zaire. Colour heartwood jet black. Weight 1030kg/m3 (64lb/ft3) Dries
rapidly and very dense.Excellent polished finish can be obtained and is
used musical instrument components and decorative turned items.
AFRICAN BLACKWOOD Distribution East Africa
Mozambique exeptionally hard dense timber with a Weight of
1200kg/m3 (75lb/ft3) Dries slowly and must be controlled to avoid
degradation. High polish finish can be obtained and is used for many
turned items including musical instruments.
AFRICAN WALNUTThe source for this timber is Tropical West Africa the name is misleading as it is not a true Walnut and with a wide range of alternative names including dibetou; apopo; sida; bibolo; and dilolo to name but a few, colouration of the heartwood is bronze orange-brown with black streaks caused by gum lines, interlocked grain and a fine lustrous texture with a medium density weight average of 550kg/m3 (34lb/ft3) and a specific gravity of 0.55 The wood dries rapidly but is difficult to season. Medium crushing strength and blunting is slight The wood has wide range of use includingcabinet making; gun stocks and rifle buts; AFRORMOSIAThis West African timber is known as ayin; egbi; and ejen it has a medium grain, average weight is 690 kg/m3(43lb/ft3) with a specific gravity of 0.69. Seasoning is slow with a small degree movement and decay The timber is heavy and dense with a high crushing strength and has a wide application in decorative and functional applications, it has a very high resistance to decay and a high Tannin content which can cause a bluish stain and the wood should not be used in contact with ferrous metals to avoid corrosion. There is a medium blunting to cutting edges but it turns well and a good finish can be obtained. AKOSSIKAThis timber is from Tropical West Africa and is also know by the long name of (akossika a grande feuilles) it has a pale yellow heartwood with dark streaks and a fine even texture. Crushing strength is poor and it dries quickly causing it to split and check and dark bluish stains are often encountered when kiln drying, there is a moderate blunting effect to cutting edges and generally the wood works well. Used widely in joinery and turning. (ALDER (COMMON)This timber is widespread throughout the world and is a reddish-brown colour with some darker streaks it is usually straight grained with a fine texture and low luster. Average weight is 530kg/m3 (33lb/ft3) with a specific gravity of 0.53 the wood is fairly easy to season. Blunting is effect is low and the wood is easy to work if cutting edges are kept sharp and a very good finish can be obtained it has been used widely in turnery for broom and brush backs, textile rollers, toys, and wooden clog soles. (ALDER RED) This timber is not so common worldwide as the common alder and is restricted mainly to the Pacific Coast of Canada and the USA working characteristics are very similar to the common alder and it is often more yellowish in colour. AMBOYNA (NARRA) Distribution throughout East Indies with a colouration ranging from light yellow through brown to red, grain is wavy and crossed which produces some nice fiddleback effects the deeper the colour the heavier with an average weight of 660kg/m3 (41ib/ft3) and a specific gravity of 0.66This is a highly decorative wood with low crushing strength it dries slowly but does not degrade very much. There is a slight amount of blunting to cutting edges and a very good polish finish can be obtained, extensive use in a wide range of turned items. Burl samples are much sought after and very decorative these are known as AMBOYNA BURR. ANDIROBA Distribution South and Central America, Carribean other names include crabwood, krappa, Figueroa, carapote, carapa, masabalo.Similar to mahogany in colour but lighter red brown with some fiddleback in larger pieces. The timber has a low crushing strength and needs to be dried slowly to avoid splitting. Used to turn high class decorative pieces. Weight 576-736 kg/m3(36-46lb/ft3) average 640kg/m3 (40ib/ft3) specific gravity .64. APPLE Not an easy wood to air dry as it tends to bend and split. However once kiln dried it remains stable, it has a high resistance to cutting edges and therefore has a medium to severe blunting effect on tools. An excellent finish can be obtained if tools are kept very sharp. The wood is used for many decorative turned items and was used for the teeth on milling gear wheels. A heavy timber weight 700-720 Kg/m3 (43-45 lb/ft3, specific gravity .71 ARARIBA Known also as amarillo, balaustrra, amarelo, carijo, rajado, and vermello. Distribution is tropical South America mainly Brazil, the heart wood colouration goes from yellow (amarillo) to a darkish orange red with black streaks. This is a heavy timber with a weight of 750 to 1000kg/m3 (46-62 lb/ft3) averaging around 850 kg/m3 (53 ib/ft3) with specific gravity of .85. Needs to be carefully seasoned or warping will occure cutting edges need to be kept very sharp. Turns well and gives a very good finish. ASH EUROPEAN A very satisfying wood to work it turns well and will give an excellent polished or oiled finish, burr examples can be very decorative. It dries very quickly and seasoning needs to carefully controlled keeping the end grain waterproofed, there is a moderate amount of tool blunting during turning. Weight can be approx 510 to 830Kg/m3 (32-51lb/ft3) average 710kg/m3 (44ib/ft3) specific gravity .71 Some samples can be very tough and
BANKSIA The banksia nut is used by woodturners to turn a wide range of decorative products, these are very dusty items to turn good ventilation and dust protection are essential when turning these nuts. It is usually the Cone type nut of the Banksia Grandis that is used by woodturners. Banksias are large shrubs and trees originally found only on the Australian Continent. There are over 75 individual species with 60 of them originating in Western Australia. They were discovered by, and named after, Sir Joseph Banks who traveled with Captain James Cook on his discovery of Australia in 1770. To learn more go to http://www.banksiaoutback.com/whatsbanksia.html BASSWOOD Known also as lime tree, American lime, American linden, American whitewood. Distribution Eastern US, Canada and Great Lakes states, this is a cream to white and sometimes pinkish brown weighs about 416 kg/m3 (26lb/ft3) specific gravity .41 Seasons well and works very easily with very small amount of blunting. Used in a wide range of general and turned objects including pattern making. BAY Bay Tree wood is excellent for turning and gives an excellent polished finished, however it is difficult to season and tends to check and warp, also blunts tools very quickly. BEECH EUROPEAN Dries quickly and is not very stable during the drying process, readily suffers from furniture beetle and death watch beetle in older buildings, moderate blunting to tools and easy to turn. Used for a wide range of turned items including furniture, cabinet making, bobbins, broom heads, wooden patterns and jigs for engineering, and children's toys. Considered perishable and subject to fungi attack therefore not used for external applications. This timber can be obtained in a sterilised form after undergoing a steam process to prevent fungi attack. Average weight 720kg/m3 (45lb/ft3) specific gravity .72 BIRCH EUROPEAN Very easy to work with and tool blunting is minimal, needs to be dried quickly to avoid fungal and beetle attack. A good finish can be obtained and the wood is used for a wide range of turned items including furniture, bobbins, broom heads. Used in the manufacture of plywood. Weight average 600kg/m3 (41ib/ft3) specific gravity .66 BLACKBEAN Known also as Moreton Bay Bean, Moreton Bay Chestnut, and beantree. Distribution is Eastern Australia a hard heavy wood with a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges but a high cutting resistance Weight 700 kg/m3 (44lb/ft3) specific gravity .7 Used for Mallet Heads, Measuring Instruments, and Electrical Appliances as it has good electrical resistance properties. BLACKWOOD, AFRICAN Other names Mozambique ebony, Mpingo. This timber is dark purple and almost black in colour with an oily surface, it is a very heavy and dense wood with strong properties, very heavy weight of 1200kg/m3 (75ib/ft3) and specific gravity of 1.2. Difficult to season and dries very slowly not easy to work with and causes extreme blunting to cutting edges when sawing it is advisable to use tungsten carbide saw teeth. However an excellent finish can be obtained and the wood is used fo many turned items including Musical Instruments, Chess pieces, Pulley blocks, Bearings and Slides where the oily surface is an advantage over other types. BLACKWOOD, AUSTRALIAN Distribution is Australia andknown sometimes as Black Wattle. Much lighter colour than the African Blackwood being golden-brown often with very attractive fiddleback pattern. Weight approx 660kg/m3 (41lb/ft3) and SG of .66 Dries reasonably well moderate blunting effect, a very good finish is possible which makes the wood very often used for decorative and ornamental turnery. BLACK CABBAGE TREE Common name: Black Cabbage Tree Scientific name: Melanodendron integrifolium IUCN status: Rare. This tree once grew in great abundance amongst the Tree Fern thicket (Dicksonia arborescens) of the island of ST Helena. It grew at altitudes between 700 metres and 820 metres above sea level.
BOXWOOD EUROPEAN This is a very dense wood that takes a long time to dry and easily splits if not sectioned. High resistance to cutting edges causes rapid tool blunting. Large diameter pieces are very rare as most trees are quite small, an excellent finish can be obtained by keeping tools very sharp. The wood is used for many decorative items including inlays and bandings, used extensively in the past for wooden rulers and pulley wheels. average weight is 910kg/m3 (57lb/ft3) SG = 0.91 Excellent turning wood and a good polished finish can be obtained Other types macowani East London Boxwood and unrelated types Gossypiospermum praecox Maracaibo Boxwood, brasiliensis San Domingo Boxwood and Gonioma kamassi Knysna boxwood.
BRAZILIAN ROSEWOOD Other names Rio rosewood, Bahia rosewood.
Colour Brown-chocolate with violet streaks Weight 850 kg/m3
(53lb/ft3) reasonable finish can be obtained but some samples can be
oily and will not take a good polish, used in tools and instruments BRAZILWOOD other names bahia , para , pernumbuco, Brazil ironwood, hypernic, brasiletto. Distribution Brazil. Extremely hard with very high strength the timber is orange red when fresh maturing to a red brown, straight interlocked grain with a natural lustre surface. Seasoning needs to be slow to avoid degradation. Severe blunting effect on tools. A really good finish can be obtained. Many uses including violin bows which utilise the high resilience properties and decorative turned items. A very widely used as a Dye wood. Weight 1200 to 1280kg/m3 (75 to 80lb/ft3) SG = 1.2 Other types Libidibia sclerocarpa from Guianas and tropical South America and Caesalpinia granadillo known as partridgewood, Maracaibo ebony and granadillo. BUBINGA Other names essingang, kevazingo and buvenga Distribution mainly Cameroon, Gabon and Zaire Weight average 880kg/m3 (55lb/ft3) SG = 0.88
CHERRY AMERICAN Other name rum cherry, whisky cherry, and cabinet cherry Weight 580kg/m3 (36lb/ft3) SG = 0.58 Dries quickly but usually easy to season Excellent wood for turning and used for many items including furniture and decorative items. CHERRY EUROPEAN Other names Gaskin, gean, merisier, kers, kirsch. Weight is heavier than the american cherry at approx 610kg/m3 (38lb/ft3) SG = 0.61 otherwise very similar with extensive use in turned work including musical instruments. CHERRY JAPANESE Other names yama-zukura, kaba-zakura Slightle heavier than the european cherry wieght 630kg/m3 (39lb/ft3) SG = 0.63 with very similar properties and uses as the above. CHESTNUT AMERICAN Other names wormy chestnut because of the fungal disease known as chestnut blight which often attacks this timber Weight is 480kg/m3 (30lb/ft3) SG = 0.48 related to the Sweet Chestnut Castanea sativa. The wormy effect is often used to good effect in picture frames etc. CHESTNUT HORSE Distribution in UK and Europe very white in colour heavier than the american chestnut weight 510kg/m3 (31lb/ft3) SG = 0.51 Dries rapidly and should be kilned at a low temperature, very easy to work with and is used in a wide range of turned items and carving. CHESTNUT JAPANESE Other names Tocki, tochi-noki much darker than the horse chestnut with a golden brown colour weight is heavier 590kg/m3 (36lb/ft3) SG = 0.59 Otherwise very similar uses and properties as above. CHESTNUT SWEET pale brown colour similar to Oak in appearance weight 540kg/m3 (34lb/ft3) SG = 0.54 More difficult to season than the other chestnuts and dries slowly. Slight blunting effect on cutting tools and has a high acidic level which will corrode any metallic objects that come into contact which will produce blu to black stains similar uses as above including umbrella handles, walking sticks and casks containing oils, fats, fruit juices and cheap wines. COCOBOLO Other name granadillo, distribution West Coast of Central America colour is very attractive with rich yellow to orange and dark red streaks. This is hard dense timber weight average 1100kg/m3 (68lb/ft3) SG = 1.1 Slow to season witha tendency to split. Moderate blunting effect to tools which need to kept very sharp very nice wood to turn and is used for many decorative items including wooden jewellery. An excellent polished finish can be obtained. COURBARIL Other names locust, jutaby, amerelo. Distribution West Indies, Central and South America this timber is red to orange with dark to black streaks and a golden lustre but polish as well as many other similar timbers. Weight 910 kg/m3 (56lb/ft3) SG = 0.91 Difficult to season and often case hardens with drying, high density makes it difficult to work but has good strength and shockproof qualities which makes it useful in turnery for tool handles and sports goods.
DANTA Other names kotibe, otutu, ovoue, olborbora, eprou, tsanya.Reddish brown timber similar to mahogany with a lustrous surface, slow to dry but with little degrading. Weight 740kg/m3 (46lb/ft3) SG = 0.74 used for bench tops, furniture, and a very good turning timber. DEGAME Other names lancewood, lacewood Distribution Cuba, Central America, tropical South America. Weight 820kg/m3 (51lb/ft3) SG = 0.82 Easy to dry and season and easy to work with low blunting of tools used for tool handles, fishing rod joints, archery bows, billiard cues and carving. Weight 1030 kg/m3 (64lb/ft3) SG = 1.03
INDIAN EBONY Distribution Ceylon,
Sri Lanka, Southern India. Heartwood of Ceylon ebony is jet black. Must
be dried slowly to avoid splits Weight 1030-1090kg/m3 (64-68lb/ft3) Very
strong and an exeptional polished finish can be obtained.
EBONY AFRICAN Distribution Parts of Southern Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Zaire. A very high density heavy timber which dries quickly but is fairly stable. It is a hard wood to work with and severe blunting of cutting tools will be experienced, although difficult to work an excellent polish finish can be achieved which has led to the timber being used for many decorative turned items including piano and organ stops, violin finger boards, parts of bagpipes. EBONY MACASSAR Other names tendu, temru, tuki, timbruni, Distribution The Celebes Islands. Similar to the above but denser Weight 1090kg/3 (68lb/ft3) SG = 1.09 ELM AMERICAN DUTCH & ENGLISH Well dried samples produce good turned items particularly with burls, the timber is subject to insect attack and the resultant finish is variable. Drying is quick with a high tendency to split and check and there is a medium blunting to cutting edges, the end grain can be troublesome when trying to achieve a uniform finish. This timber was used extensively for the manufacture of coffins but is used for many turned items such as bowls, bread boards etc. Weight 560kg/m3 (35lb/ft3) SG = 0.56 for the American Elm with the European Elm being slightly lighter. Now very rare in UK and parts of Europe due the Dutch Elm disease which wiped out virtually all the mature trees. ETIMOE Other namesolumni, allihia, entedua,buini, gum copal, salikunda. Distribution West Africa, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Ghana. It is reasonably easy to work with and a good finish can usually be obtained, it is hard and very strong, rather slow to dry fully. Colour light reddish brown. Weight 770kg/m3 (48lb/ft3) SG = 0.77 very moderate blunting to tools. Used for a range of turnery items. EVERGREEN OAK
See HOLM OAK below
GONCALO ALVES Other names zebrawood, tigerwood, urunday-para, mura, bois de zebre, chiatao, guarita, urunday, aderno. Distribution Brazil, reddish brown with dark spots and streaks similar to rosewood. Weight 950kg/m3 (59lb/ft3) SG = 0.95 A little difficult to work with a moderate blunting effect to cutting edges which must be kept sharp. Tends to warp and check if dried quickly but an excellent turning wood. GREENHEART Other names demerara greenheart, Distribution Guyana, Surinam and Venezuela. Clour varies from yellow green to dark brown black. Very heavy density with high strength properties and resistance to shock, dries very slowly and tends to degrade. Not easy to work and blunting effect is moderate, Has a low acid content therefore does not corrode any metallic objects that are in contact. Weight 1030kg/m3 (64lb/ft3) SG = 1.03 Used in turnery for billiard cue butts, fishing rods, longbows and items where strength is required. An excellent polish finish can be obtained. Caution the splinters are poisonous and care should be taken to avoid these.
Distribution S. Eastern Canada and
Eastern USA. Other
names pignut hickory, mockernut hickory, shellback hickory, shagbark
hickory, red or white hickory. Colour is reddish brown (heartwood) and
white (sapwood) Weight average 820 kg/m3 (51lb ft3) SG = 0.82 High
bending strength and good shock resistance. Dries rapidly with
shrinkage, difficult to work with and blunting of cutting edges is high.
Uses include Hammer & Pick handles many other uses where high shock
strength is important. HOLLY
Distribution UK, Europe & Western Asia cream white in colour with
virtually no other marking. Weight is 800kg/m3 (50lb/ft3) Sg =
0.80 Difficult to dry and will easily distort and split the timber
should be cut in winter converted into small square section and dried
slowly with a heavy weight on top of the pile. Cutting edges must be
very sharp high blunting effect and can be difficult to work when dry.
However it is a very good turning wood and has been used for a very wide
range of items including musical instruments and decorative items. HOLM OAK This
is the common name given to the Evergreen Oak Quercus
ilex hard timber but is good for turning and often has very
nice grain pattern. Gives a very good finish. HONDURAS ROSEWOOD
Pinkish or purple-brown one of the heaviest rose woods Weight
930-1100kg/m3 (58-68lb/m3) Dries slowly moderate blunting effect and a
good finish can be obtained. Because of its hardness is used for knife
handles, tools, and musical instruments. HORNBEAM Distribution EuropeThis is a heavy density wood which is good to machine and polishes well with high mechanical bending properties, there is a reasonable level of blunting to cutting tools. Used a great deal in many ways in musical instruments. piano actions, string instrument bridges, and also for Clubs, Drum Sticks and Billiard Cues.
HORSE CHESTNUT (UK) Very creamy white and dries very quickly but distorts easily, easy to work with and is relatively soft with little tool wear. Has been used for kitchen utensils, vegetable and fruit racks and very good for moulding patterns and jigs. Readily suffers from furniture attack if left.
LAUREL (not a true laurel)Distribution India,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka,Burma. Othe names taukkyan, asna, mutti,
sain, cay, hatna, neang. Heavy timber weight average 860kg/m3
(53lb/ft3) SG = 0.86 Requires expert drying and kilning and
reasonably difficult to work with a moderate degree of blunting.
Very good for turning wide usage including police batons and tool
handles. IPE Other names pau d' arco, tabaco, bethabara.
Distribution Central and South America, Caribbean. Olive brown with
light and dark streaks 1000kg/3 (70lb/ft3) SG = 1.08 Dries rapidly and
generally difficult to work because of the serious blunting effect Used
for Handles, walking sticks, bows and many other where its high strength
and bending resistance can be put to good use. IROKO Other names mvulu, odum,
kambals, tule, intule, moreira,band. Distribution West & East Africa
Orange to brown Weight 640kg/m3 (40lb/ft3) SG = 0.64 Dries quickly
with little degradation severe blunting can occure when calcareous stone
parts are present IVORYWOOD RED Other names mnai,
umgoloti, umnini, m'beza, mulatchine, pau preto, mucarane, sungangona.
Distribution South Africa, Mozambique. Weight 900kg/m3 (56lb/ft3)
SG = 0.9 Very hard strong timber yellow-brown with red-gold
colouring. Must be dried very slowly and under tight control to
prevent degrade difficult to work and has medium to severe. A very good
turning wood and a high polish finish can be obtained, has been
used for many decorative items, chessmen, musical instruments. IZOMBE Distribution West
Africa, Gabon colour Orange-yellow or grayish. Weight 800kg/m3
(50lb/ft3) SG = 0.80 Dries well with small amount of degrade. Easy
to work, Polishes well and stable in use which means that it is a good
jacaranda amarello, escuro,
do mato, paulista, pedra, roxo. Distribution Brazil This wood is very similar to Brazilian
rosewood. Weight 850kg/m3 (53lb/ft3) SG = 0.85 Dries slowly, tends to check easily when dried and causes a high level of blunting of cutting tools and not an easy wood to work with but well worth the effort as a good finish can be obtained. used for a wide range of turned decorative
items including cutlery handles, and decorative items..
BANGKAL Other names magalablab,
manuluko, sapuan. Distribution Philippines, Borneo, Sumatra, Malaya,
India. Weight 400kg/m3 (25lb/ft3) SG = 0.4 Easy timber to season
and easy to work with a small amount of tool blunting used for various
turned items Colour mainly cream. KAHIKATEA
Distribution New Zealand where it is also known as White Pine. Weight
465kg/m3 (29lb/ft3) SG = .46 Low density timber which is
easy to dry but some staining can occur during seasoning. An excellent
timber for a range of turned items. Colour creamy white to yellow. KAKI
Other names Chinese persimmon, japanese ebony. Distribution Japan,
China. Weight 830kg/m3 (52lb/ft3) SG = .83 Very decorative
with orange yellow streaked heartwood and some pinkish samples. Dries
quickly but tends to check. Used
where heavy dense material is required with low wear such as golf club
heads, shuttles and lasts. Used mainly in turnery for small decorative
items as large samples are rare.
Other names basswood, endospermum, sasa, hongopo. Distribution Papua New
Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Fiji. Yellowish colour usually with
straight grain Weight 440Kg/m3 (27 ilb/ft3) SG = 0.44 Easy to work uses
include decorative turnery. KEYAKI Details
of below coming soon
LABURNAM Although very poisonous this is a common tree in gardens All parts of the tree are poisonous particularly the black alkaloid seeds. Laburnum is a very good wood for turning it has been used as an inlay in decorative work, and for bowls and small turned objects. because of its strength, stability, elasticity and good resonance characteristics it has also been used extensively in musical instruments such as flutes, oboes, and bagpipe parts. In ancient times it was also used as a bow wood. The wood is dark often with attractive yellow and chocolate-brown and patterns, the grain is course but a very good polish finish can be obtained. Height is approx 30ft maximum with a maximum girth of approx 3ft most branches are 6 to 12 inches in diameter. Density is high, Flexibility is good, Elasticity is excellent, and Seasoning is difficult. There is a high level of blunting to cutting edges. LIGNUM VITAE
Other names guayacan, bois de gaiac,
palo santo, ironwood.Very dense and heavy with high crushing qualities. Not easy to work with and is difficult to saw or machine.
Weight 1230Kg/m3 (77ilb/ft3) SG = 1.23 Oil content can be as much
as 25% of its dry air weight. Self lubricating properties make it useful for underwater applications in marine equipment. Used for Mallets in stone masonry. LIME
Other names tilleul, linden. Distribution
throughout europe. Weight 540Kg/m3 (34 lb/ft3) SG = 0.54. The name is misleading and should really be Lyne or Linden which meant pliant and was derived from the fact that the inner bark was used for making ropes and cords. The flowers are much enjoyed by bees and the tree can live up to 300 to 400 years. Very easy to work with and most commonly used for wood carving good finish can be obtained but tools need to be very sharp for a good finish (as always).
Details of below coming soon
MESQUITE Other names Honey locust,
Ironwood, Algaroba distribution is North & South America. This
timber grows in the scrubland areas of Texas and New Mexico, the harsh
growing conditions produce a short twisted log but with lots of
character, the timber is heavy and dense Weight 800kg/m3 (50
lb/ft£) SG = 0.8. Colour is reddish tan to reddish brown but can
also be purple. Reasonably easy to season and works well with most
tools. Mesquite shrinks less than most other hardwoods which makes it
very useful in applications where stability is important. Further info
about Mesquite Mockmickey