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General Wood Directory

 

Alder

Botanical Name: Alnus rubra
Description: Red alder is easy to cut and it takes finishes very well, especially if a wash coat of thinned shellac is applied before staining. This wood can be of significant value in woodworking, despite its relatively modest reputation.
Other Names: Western alder, Oregon alder.
Source: Pacific Coast of North America.
Characteristics: Generally straight grain; fine, even texture; pale yellow to reddish brown.
Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

Douglas Fir

Botanical Name: Pseudotsuga menziesii
Description: One of the most widely used woods in North America and the continent’s most plentiful species. Douglas-fir is highly valued as a construction wood because of its strength, stiffness, moderate weight and availability of large size timbers.
Other Names: British Columbia pine, Oregon pine, yellow fir, red fir.
Source: Canada, Western U.S.A., Europe.
Characteristics: Straight grain; medium texture; reddish brown; may be resinous.
Finishing: Accepts finishes fairly well.

White Ash

Botanical Name: Fraxinus americana
Description: White ash can be considered the all-American leisure wood. It is used to make oars, pool cues, baseball bats, garden tool handles and is used extensively in boat building.
Other Names: American white ash, Canadian ash, American ash.
Source: Canada and U.S.A.
Characteristics: Straight grain; coarse texture; light brown heartwood with almost white sapwood.
Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

Hickory

Botanical Name: Carya spp.
Description: For strength, hardness and flexibility, hickory is the best commercially available wood in North America. It is used for tool handles, such as axes and mauls and for sporting equipment.
Other Names: Shagbark hickory, pignut, hickory, mockernut hickory, red hickory, white hickory
Source: Eastern U.S.A.
Characteristics: Normally straight grain, but can be irregular or wavy; coarse texture, brown to reddish brown heartwood; white sapwood.
Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

European Steamed Beech

Botanical Name: Fagus Sylvatica
Description: Hard, strong and heavy close-grained hardwood, used for everything from fruit and berry baskets, barrels and containers, drawer construction, fences and jig and fixture work used in woodworking. Beech is good for producing wood toys because of its non-toxic qualities and its lack of any tendency to splinter.
Other Names: German Beech and French Beech.
Source: Europe, United Kingdom, and West Asia.
Characteristics: Straight to interlocked grain, close-grained; fine texture. White sap wood; Heartwood whitish to pale/pinkish/brown.
Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

Lyptus

Botanical Name: Eucalyptus spp.
Description: The characteristics of this new species are that it is a fast growing, dense hardwood, grown on plantations, interspersed with native species to give balance to the ecosystem. Not a rainforest species, its tremendous growth values allow it to produce 30x the volume of wood per acre, compared to unmanaged forests.
Source: Lyptus is plantation grown in Brazil and Uruguay.
Characteristics: Lyptus is a new species of wood with the appearance of cherry and the grain of fine mahogany. It has a density ranging from genuine mahogany to hickory and the surfacing qualities of mahogany, yet does not have the finishing problems often associated with these comparison species. Varies in color from reds to light brown.
Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

Red, White, Natural Birch

Botanical Name: Betula papyrifera
Description: Birch is a tough, heavy wood. Its bark was used by Native Americans to fashion wigwams and canoes so that many people still refer to it as “canoe birch.”
Other Names: White birch, sweet birch, American birch.
Source: Canada, U.S.A.
Characteristics: Straight grain; fine texture; wide, creamy white sapwood, pale brown heartwood.
Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

Cherry

Botanical Name: Prunus serotina
Description: Extremely stable when it comes to checking and warping and exceptionally beautiful. Black cherry is one of North America’s finest cabinet woods.
Other Names: American cherry, rum cherry, whiskey cherry, wild cherry, fruitwood.
Source: Canada, U.S.A.
Characteristics: Fine grain; smooth texture; reddish brown to deep red heartwood.
Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

Honduras Mahogany

Botanical Name: Swietenia macrophylla
Description: Not only one of the most valuable timbers in South and Central America, this species is also, without a doubt, one of the foremost cabinet woods in the world.
Other Names: Caoba, Acajou; Central American, Honduras, Peruvian, Brazilian, Costa Rican, Nicaraguan mahogany, etc.,according the the country of origin.
Source: Central and South America.
Characteristics: Straight to interlocked grain; medium coarse texture; light reddish brown to medium red.
Finishing: Excellent with all finishes.

White Oak

Botanical Name: Quercus spp.
Description: This oak – a wood of unique versatility – produces the finest oak veneers and lumber. Its most valued property is a honeycomb-like substance that makes the wood watertight and ideal for whiskey barrels.
Other Names: American white oak, burr oak, swamp white oak, chestnut oak, overcup oak, swamp chestnut oak.
Source: Canada and U.S.A.
Characteristics: Straight grain; moderately coarse texture; light tan with a yellowish tint.
Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

Maple

Botanical Name: Acer saccharun
Description: A dense wood, hard maples uses often take advantage of its resistance to wear and abrasion. It is used in bowling alleys and dance floors.
Other Names: Rock maple, sugar maple, white maple (sapwood), birds eye maple (if the distinguishing grain is present).
Source: Canada and U.S.A.
Characteristics: Straight grain, occasionally curly, wavy or birds eye; fine texture; heartwood is reddish brown; sapwood is white.
Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

Red Oak

Botanical Name: Quercus spp.
Description: Red oak, the most common oak variety in North America, grows very quickly - young trees often sprout a foot a year.
Other Names: Northern red oak, American red oak, Canadian red oak, gray oak.
Source: Canada and Eastern U.S.A.
Characteristics: Straight grain; coarse texture; pinkish red color.
Finishing: Satisfactory because of open pores. It should be filled before any finishing or painting.

Ponderosa Pine

Botanical Name: Pinus ponderosa
Description: One of the most attractive pines, the ponderosa grows across western North America and sometimes makes its home at elevations of more than 10,000 feet in the Rockies.
Other Names: Big pine, bird’s eye pine, knotty pine, pole pine, prickly pine, western yellow pine.
Source: Canada and Western U.S.A.
Characteristics: Wide light yellow sapwood; darker yellow to reddish brown heartwood; generally straight grain; even texture.
Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

Walnut

Botanical Name: Juglans nigra
Description: Owing to its great beauty and good working characteristics, black walnut is one of the most valuable native woods in North America. Since colonial times, its wide range of figures has graced the finest American cabinetwork.
Other Names: American black walnut, American walnut, Virginian walnut (U.K.); walnut, Canadian walnut.
Source: Eastern U.S.A. and Ontario, Canada.
Characteristics: Tough wood of medium density; generally straight grain; medium coarse texture; dark brown to purplish black.
Finishing: Accepts natural wood finishes especially well.