ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WOOD

BALSA

(H)

Botanical Name: Ochroma pyram і dale Balsa has the lightest weight of any commercially used hardwood. This property has made it a key ingredient of life rafts and a wide variety of safety and buoyancy devices since World War II. In fact, the word balsa means raft in Spanish. Although it is difficult to dry, once it does it is a relatively stable and strong wood for its weight. Other Names: Guano (Puerto Rico, Honduras); lanero (Cuba); polak (Belize, Nicaragua); topa (Peru);tami (Bolivia).

Sources: West Indies, Central America, tropical South America (Ecuador).

Characteristics: Straight grain; fine, velvety texture; white to oatmeal-brown with a pinkish tint.

Uses: Model-making, toys, water sports equipment and theatrical props.

Workability: Extremely good provided blades are kept very sharp; will not bend without buckling; little blunting of cutters.

Finishing: Accepts finishes well; absorbs a great quan­tity of finishing material.

Weight: 6-16 Ib./cu. ft.

Price: Moderate.

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ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WOOD

ZIRICOTE

(H) Botanical Name: Cordia dodecandra A stunning, dark wood, ziricote is easy to work and can be broughtto a very smooth finish. Though difficult 5o dry, once this is achieved …

ZEBRAWOOD

(И) Botanical Name: Microberlinia brazzaviWeneie Distinctive in appearance, zebrawood comes from two species of large trees found mainly in Cameroon and Gabon, West Africa. While it is usually seen as …

WILLOW

(H) Botanical Name: Salix nigra While its European cousin is used most notably in cricket bats, black willow is most frequently used in North America by school woodworking shops; it …

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