Wood Types

African Mahogany

African Mahogany

Description: Relatively hard; works well; highly lustrous; polishes well; durable.

Common Names/Species: Khaya

Hardness: Medium

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Anigre

Anigre

Description: Medium to coarse texture; grain usually straight, sometimes wavy; with a fiddleback, mottled, or bees wing figure. Generally reported to saw and machine well, but some species are silicious and have a blunting effect on cutters.

Common Names/Species: Aniegre, anegre, aningeria

Hardness: Medium to Hard

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Ash

Ash

Description: Sapwood white with a yellowish tint with the heartwood is a light brown in color. Grain is considered to be straight and even textured.

Hardness: Hard

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Basswood

Basswood

Description: Because this light-weight wood works very easily with both hand and power tools, it is the wood of choice for many wood carvers. It cuts cleanly, nails, screws, and glues well. Can be painted, stained, and finished without difficulty.

Common Names/Species: American Basswood, American lime, American linden, Linn, White Basswood

Hardness: Soft

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Birch

Birch

Description: A straight-grained wood with fine even texture. Heavy and very strong. Swirly or irregular grain may be difficult to machine without tear out.

Common Names/Species: American birch, Birch, Gray birch, Silver birch, Swamp birch, Yellow birch

Hardness: Hard

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Cherry

Cherry

Description: Cherry is easy to work, fine textured, strong and fairly durable. This makes this species popular with cabinetmakers. Highly rated in all working properties including wood bending and turning. Becomes darker and richer with age.

Common Names/Species: Black Cherry, Wild Black Cherry, or Wild Cherry

Hardness: Moderately Hard

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Cumaru

Cumaru

Description: Freshly cut heartwood is reddish-brown or purplish-brown in color with yellowish-brown or purple streaks. Unlike many hardwoods, Cumaru actually lightens in color and gradually becomes a uniform light-brown or yellowish-brown. Sapwood is a distinct yellowish-brown color. The lumber has a fine uniform grain and texture with very small open pores. The grain is interlocked with a waxy or oily feel.

Common Names/Species: Brazilian Teak, Tonka

Good for outdoor use

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Genuine Mahogany

Genuine Mahogany

Description: 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.

Common Names/Species: Honduras mahogany, Brazilian mahogany, big leaf mahogany, true mahogany

Hardness: Medium

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Hickory

Hickory

Description: Extremely tough and resilient. May be somewhat difficult to work. Finishes nicely. Good turning wood.

Common Names/Species: Pignut Hickory, broom hickory

Hardness: Hard

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Ipe

Ipe

Description: A strong, tough, resilient wood. Naturally durable and weather resistant. Moderately difficult to work especially with hand tools; has a blunding effect on cutting edges, finishes smoothly except where grain is very roey.

Hardness: Very Hard

Good for outdoor use

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Jatoba

Jatoba

Description: Hard, heavy, and tough. Grain is commonly interlocked with a medium coarse texture. Somewhat difficult to work due to its hardness and weight.

Common Names/Species: Brazilian cherry, Jatoba, Jutai, Kawanari, Locust, Pie de venado, Rode locus, Rode rode locus, Sirari, West indian locust

Hardness: Very Hard

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Maple (White Hard)

White Hard Maple

Description: Known for its durability and strength. 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.

Common Names/Species: Sugar Maple, Rock Maple

Hardness: Hard

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Maple (White Soft)

White Soft Maple

Description: 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.

Common Names/Species: Maple, Red maple, Scarlet maple, Soft maple

Hardness: Hard

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Poplar

Poplar

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

Common Names/Species: Tulipwood

Hardness: Soft

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Red Oak

Red Oak

Description: 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.

Common Names/Species: Northern Red Oak, Appalachian Red Oak, Southern Red Oak

Hardness: Hard

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Red Oak, Qrtrd.

Red Oak, Quartered

Description: Quartersawn Red Oak has figure called flecking, produced from sawing radially from the center of the log and exposing medullar rays. Flecking is more subtle than in White Oak.

Common Names/Species: Northern Red Oak, Appalachian Red Oak, Southern Red Oak

Hardness: Hard

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Red Oak, Rift

Red Oak, Rift

Description: Rift sawn Red Oak is similar to quarter sawn but cut at a slight angle to the radiaus of the log creating a tight straight grain and little or no flecking and a very uniform look.

Common Names/Species: Northern Red Oak, Appalachian Red Oak, Southern Red Oak

Hardness: Hard

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Royal Cedar

Royal Cedar

Good for outdoor use

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Santos Mahogany

Santos Mahogany

Description: The wood is hard, moderately difficult to saw, and has a high blunting effect on cutters. Sawdust from machining may cause respiratory irritation in some individuals. A dust mask or respirator is advised.

Common Names/Species: Balsamo, Cabriziva, Cedro chino, Chirraca, Estoraque, Incienso, Nabal, Palo de balsamo, Santos mahogany, Sandalo, Tache, Tolu

Hardness: Hard

Good for outdoor use

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Sapele Mahogany

Sapele Mahogany

Description: Texture rather fine; grain interlocked; sometimes wavy. Lustrous. Works fairly well. Exellent substitute for Genuine Mahogany.

Common Names/Species: Aboudikroe, Penkwa, Assi, Sapele, Assie sapelli, Sapele mahogany, Lifari, Sapeli

Hardness: Medium to Hard

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South. Yellow Pine

Southern Yellow Pine

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Spanish Cedar

Spanish Cedar

Description: Natural decay and rot resistance, straight-grained, wavy, curly and mottled grain. Soft with a moderately coarse texture. Easy to work.

Common Names/Species: Brazilian cedar, Honduras cedar, Cedar, Cedre rouge, Cedro, Central American cedar, Cigar box cedar

Hardness: Medium

Good for outdoor use

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Teak

Teak

Description: Teak is easily worked and has natural oils that make it suitable for use in exposed locations, where it is durable even when not treated with oil or varnish.

Hardness: Hard

Good for outdoor use

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Utile Mahogany

Utile Mahogany

Description: This wood closely resembles swietenia macrophylla and khaya in appearance and working characteristics.

Common Names/Species: Sipo Mahogany

Hardness: Medium to Hard

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Walnut

Walnut

Description: The sapwood of black walnut is nearly white, while the heartwood is light brown to dark, chocolate brown, often with a purplish cast and darker streaks. The wood is heavy, hard, and stiff and has high shock resistance.

Common Names/Species: American black walnut

Hardness: Soft to Medium

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Wenge

Wenge

Description: Heartwood is a dark brown with streaks of black grain along the board. The sapwood is a very distinguishable yellowish-white. Texture of Wenge is coarse with a straight grain.

Common Names/Species: Panga Panga

Hardness: Hard

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White Ash

White Ash

Description: Considered rather similar to Red Oak in appearance and many working properties. Excellent shock resistance. Straight-grained with moderately coarse texture. Glues, Stains, and finishes well.

Common Names/Species: American ash, Ash, Biltmore ash, Biltmore white ash, Fresno, White ash

Hardness: Hard

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White Oak

White Oak

Description: 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.

Common Names/Species: American white oak

Hardness: Hard

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White Oak, Qrtrd.

White Oak, Quartered

Description: Quartersawn White Oak has dramatic figure called flecking, produced from sawing radially from the center of the log and exposing medullar rays.

Common Names/Species: American white oak

Hardness: Hard

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White Oak, Rift

White Oak, Rift

Description: Rift sawn White Oak is similar to quarter sawn but cut at a slight angle to the radiaus of the log creating a tight straight grain and little or no flecking and a very uniform look.

Common Names/Species: American white oak

Hardness: Hard

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White Oak, Rustic

White Oak, Rustic

Description: A more rustic grade than WHND White Oak. Small unsound knots and larger sound knots are not considered defect. Also exellent for wide plank flooring.

Common Names/Species: American white oak

Hardness: Hard

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White Pine

White Pine

Description: A versatile lumber which is neither strong nor durable.

Common Names/Species: Eastern, western and northern white pine, yellow pine

Hardness: Soft

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