Botanical Name: Pseudotsuga menzieeii 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. It is frequently spelled without the hyphen as “Douglas fir,” although it is, in fact, not a fir at all but part of the genus Pseudotsuga, or “false hemlock.” Current shortages of this lumber are due more to logging bans than any real scarcity. With its prominent growth ring figure, Douglas-fir also yields attractive veneers and plywood.
Other Names: British Columbia pine, Oregon pine, yellow fir, red fir.
Sources: Canada, Western U. S.A., Europe. Characteristics: Straight grain; medium texture; reddish brown; may be resinous.
Uses: Plywood, joinery, veneers and a wide range of construction applications.
Workability: Generally good; better with machine tools; blunts cutters moderately.
Finishing: Accepts finishes fairly well.
Weight: 33 ib./cu. ft.
Botanical Name: Dioepyroe 5pp.
All ebony is rare and expensive, especially the famed, intense black ebony which, at one time, was obtained primarily from India and Sri Lanka. Today, it is found in limited quantities in areas of Equatorial West Africa. Unlike Macassar ebony, African ebony is generally solid black, without stripes or mottling. Shipped to North America in short heartwood billets, it is used in the finest wood objects. Sawdust from ebony can cause respiratory problems.
Other Names: Batulinau, Indian ebony, Ceylon ebony, African ebony, Madagascar ebony, Gabon ebony etc., according to country of origin.
Sources: India, Sri Lanka, Africa.
Characteristics: Dense wood with a coarse texture; straight to interlocked grain; very dark brown to black. Uses: Turnings, brush backs, musical instruments, handles, inlay, butts of billiard cues, occasionally veneers and other highly decorative applications.
Workability: Difficult; dulls cutters severely; pre-bore for nailing.
Finishing: Accepts finishes well.
Weight: 65 Ib./cu. ft.
Price: Very expensive.