Botanical Name: Fiatanus occidentals Growing to heights that top 200 feet, this species and tulip popar are the largest hardwoods in eastern North America. With its light greenish-gray bark, American sycamore is a prominent presence in any forest, and is sometimes called the ghost tree. When quartersawn, this timber possesses a distinctive fleck figure. Used to a great extent in furniture, hcnencan sycamore occasion­ally is rotary cut for veneers.

Other Names: American planetree, buttonwood, plane tree, water beech.

Sources: Eastern and central U. S.A.

Characteristics: Usually straight grain; fine, even tex­ture; pale reddish-brown.

Uses: Furniture, joinery, butcher’s blocks, and veneers. Workability: Generally good; may bind on saws; maintain very sharp cutting edges; high shrinkage with a tenden­cy to warp.

Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

Weight: 35 Ib./cu. ft.

Price: Inexpensive,


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Botanical name: Tectona qrandle Teak is one of the most valuable woods in the world, possessing high strength and durability, along with exceptional beauty. Harvesting this precious timber presents an interesting dilemma. Freshly cut teak is so heavy that it will not float, so trees must be girdled and left to die and dry for up to three years before log­gers can float them down river to the mill. The teak’s leaves, the largest of any tree, possess a natural abrasiveness and are used locally as sandpaper.

Other Names: Eyun, sagwan, teku, teka.

Sources: Burma, Southeast Asia. Also grown as plan­tation trees in the Caribbean, East and West Africa. Characteristics: Straight to wavy grain; coarse tex­ture; oily surface; uniform golden brown to rich brown with deep brown markings.

Uses: Shipbuilding, Interior and exterior furniture and joinery, cabinetmaking, flooring, plywood and veneers. Workability: Satisfactory; extreme blunting of cutters due to high silica content; pre-bore for nailing; difficult to glue; sawdust is skin irritant.

Finishing: Accepts oil finishes especially well.

Weight: 40 Ib./cu. ft.

Price: Expensive.



Botanical Name: Daiberqia fruteecene This is an extremely valuable timber, lighter in color than any other rosewood, normally available in small cuttings only. Like all rosewoods, it grows very slowly and needs centuries for the heartwood to develop top-quality color. Because of its poor availability, tulipwood is not usually used in solid form, but as veneer for inlay on fine pieces. When it is worked, this wood tends to splinter and, like many of the rosewoods, gives off a fragrant aroma. Other Names: Brazilian pinkwood, y'mkwood (U. S.A.); pau de fuso, jacaranda rosa (Brazil).

Source: South America.

Characteristics: Irregular grain; medium-fine texture; rich golden-pinkish hue with salmon to red stripes. Uses: Turning, brush backs, woodware, jewelry boxes, cabinetwork, inlay work, inlaid bandings, marimba keys, decorative veneers for inlay work and marquetry and antique repairs.

Workability: Difficult; extreme dulling of cutters; pre­bore for nailing.

Finishing: Accepts finishes very well; can be brought to a high natural polish.

Weight: 65 Ib./cu. ft.

Price: Very expensive.


Botanical name: Juglans nigra 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. Although known for Its workability, walnutdoes contain juglone, a chemical believed to cause dermatitis in some woodworkers.

Other Names: American black walnut, American walnut, Virginia walnut (U. K.); walnut, Canadian walnut.

Sources: Eastern U. S.A. and Ontario, Canada. Characteristics: Tough wood of medium density; gener­ally straight grain; medium coarse texture; dark brown to purplish black.

Uses: Fine furniture, gunstocks, interior joinery, cabi­netmaking, turning, boat building, musical instruments, clock cases, carving, plywood, paneling and veneers. Workability: Good; blunts cutters moderately; good bending properties.

Finishing: Accepts natural wood finishes especially well. Weight: 40 Ib./cu. ft.

Price: Moderate.

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