Acacia wood is a type of wood that is derived from the Acacia genus of trees and shrubs which are native to Australia but are also found in Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa and parts of the Americas. There are more than a thousand different varieties of Acacia tree. The hardwood that is derived from the tree is suitable for building long-lasting items of furniture and homeware.
Often completely black, 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.
Heartwood color is variable, ranging from a very pale pink to a deeper reddish brown, sometimes with streaks of medium to dark reddish brown. Color tends to darken with age. Quartersawn surfaces can also exhibit a ribbon-stripe appearance.
Amazakoue heartwood usually presents with varying shades of yellowish to reddish brown with darker brown, gray, or black stripes. In this regard, it may in fact resemble Wenge, another African hardwood. The sapwood is a pale yellow and is not generally of interest to the woodworker. It is common for Amazakoue to present with a curly or rippled grain pattern.
Color can be highly variable, but tends to be medium golden or reddish brown, similar to Koa or Mahogany. There are usually contrasting bands of color in the growth rings, and it is not uncommon to see boards with ribbon-like streaks of color. Boards figured with wavy and/or curly grain are also not uncommon.
Bethlehem Olive Wood
Due to its rich color and appearance, olive wood is a particularly sought-after material for use in decorative items. The wood contains brown streaks that contrast attractively with the lighter yellow streaks of the sapwood. Olive wood takes very well to polishing, and a fine luster can be achieved.
Black and White Ebony
Heartwood is a pale straw color, with darker black streaks throughout; some pieces may be predominantly black rather than white. Sapwood is a paler white color, not always clearly defined.
Black Cherry is one of Canada’s fruit bearing trees, renowned for its purplish-black, slightly bitter tasting fruit. This unique tree is part of the Rose Family and can often be seen in mixed forests, located within the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Southern Quebec, and Ontario. It’s a modest size tree among the other hardwoods, and usually reaches an average height of about 80 feet and an average diameter of 24 inches. Unlike other cherry trees, the black cherry is a commercial lumber. However, the tree isn’t as common as it once was and has become increasingly valuable.
Black fibers embedded in a lighter tan or light brown colored body. Fibers are more densely packed toward the outside of the tree trunk, becoming more and more sparse toward the center of the tree. The center core of the tree is soft and contains none of the darker vascular bundles that give the wood its characteristic look and hardness. (This is nearly opposite of the typical outer sapwood/inner heartwood combination found in dicot hardwoods.)
Has a yellowish brown body with dramatic dark brown to almost black stripes. Color tends to darken with age. Also, the grain patterning can be quite striking, particularly on flatsawn areas. It’s not uncommon to see many “eyes” and other figures in Bocote: though unlike knots, they do not seem to present any special challenges in machining.
Sapwood is a pale white, sometimes with a yellow/green hue similar to Yellow Poplar. The heartwood is a grayish/yellowish brown, frequently with red or pink streaks. The red stain is produced by the tree’s natural defenses when wounded – it is thought that this compound is meant to inhibit the growth of fungus (Fusarium solani) that commonly colonizes the tree. Much of the reddish coloring becomes a more subdued pink or brown/gray upon drying.
Heart is deep red/purple with dark streaks. Sap is a creamy white.
Heartwood is creamy white or light yellow, not clearly demarcated from the white sapwood. Can have grayish streaks. Buckeye burl can feature reddish brown knots, with light to dark gray swirls of discoloring
Heartwood bright orange to golden brown. Sapwood pale white to yellow.
Chechen is frequently referred to as “Caribbean Rosewood” due to the regal color tone and pattern that this timber provides. Heartwood ranges from amber to dark chocolate, oftentimes with dark and light brown streaks. The sapwood has a tanned yellow appearance. This is a very popular wood for fine furniture! Local loggers also refer to Chechen as “black poisonwood” due to the skin irritation they experience when getting fresh sap on their bare skin.
The heartwood of cherry varies from rich red to reddish brown and will darken with age and on exposure to light. In contrast, the sapwood is creamy white. The wood has a straight-grain, a fine, uniform, satiny and smooth texture, and naturally may contain brown pith flecks and small gum pockets.
Cocobolo is an exotic wood with elements of deep brown, maroon, and red. Cocobolo wood is native to Central America and is always in high demand, making it coveted by many. It is durable, and oily, which gives it a sleek, strong look when carved into a handmade wooden pen.
Costa Rican Teak
Costa Rican Teak wood is a light brown with red undertones and with dark brown stripes.
Curly Maple is not actually a species, but simply a description of a figure in the grain—it occurs most often in soft maples, but is also seen in hard maples. It is so called because the ripples in the grain pattern create a three dimensional effect that appears as if the grain has “curled” along the length of the board. Other names for this phenomenon are: tiger maple, fiddleback maple, (in reference to curly maple’s historic use for the backs and sides of violins), or flamed maple. Unlike quilted maple, curly maple is most pronounced when the board is quartersawn, and the curls usually become much less pronounced or absent in
Hence, on wide boards where the grain tends to be close to vertical (quartersawn) near the edges and horizontal (flatsawn) in the center, the curly pattern will be most evident on the edges of the board, with the figure diminishing in the center. It is not completely clear what environmental conditions (if any) cause this phenomenon, but there are different grades of curly maple, which greatly affect its price. Ideally, the criteria for determining value is based upon: color (both uniformity and lightness—whiter is preferred), frequency of the curls (tight, closely-spaced curls are preferred), and intensity (more depth is preferred).
East Indian Rosewood
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.
East Maple Burl
Full of character, maple works well in many styles and finishes. It ranges from creamy white to pale reddish brown and has a subtle grain pattern and smooth, uniform appearance. It may include tiny “bird’s eye” dots and mineral streaks. Burl refers to a swirl or twist in the grain that does not contain a knot.
Eucalyptus heartwood is red to reddish-brown, and darkens as it seasons. Its sapwood is pale cream. The grain of this tree is slightly interlocked, with sometimes ripply or fiddleback patterns. It has a medium to coarse texture.
Heartwood is light brown to gray. Wide sapwood is a contrasting light yellow. Susceptible to blue-gray fungal staining if not processed promptly. It’s overall appearance is similar to ash (Fraxinus spp.), and it’s sometimes used in place of ash.
Additional Woods Available
- Yucatan Rosewood
- Roadside Restoration
- Rhodesian Teak
- Knob Thorn
- Weeping Boer-Bean
- Hazel wood