Exotic Lumber Species


Uses: Indoor furniture, cabinetry, flooring, turning, veneer

Source: West Africa

Characteristics: Coarse texture, straight interlocked grain

Workability: Machines easily with sharp steel or carbide blades and bits

Finishing: Take stains and clear finishes well

Price: Moderate to expensive


Uses: Turning, inlay, decorative veneers, furniture and cabinetry

Som·ce: West Africa

Characteristics: Interlocked, light and dark variegated grain pattern

Workability: Somewhat difficult to machine . Use carbide blades and bits

Finishing: Can be difficult to stain evenly

Pri ce: Expensive


Uses: Inlay, turning, decorative veneers

Source: Equatorial Africa

Characteristics: Hard, dense straight grain with coarse texture. Heavy.

Workability: Dulls steel blades and bits quickly, so carbide cutters are recommended. Drill pilot holes for screws and nails.

Finishing: Pore should be filled before finish is applied

Price: Moderate


Uses: Indoor and outdoor furniture, veneers and trim, boat-building

Sources: Central and South America

Characteristics: Straight, interlocked fine grain. Dimensionally stable.

Workability: Machines well with carbide blades and bits

Finishing: Takes stains and clear finishes well

Price: Moderate


Uses: Pool cues, decorative inlay, veneers, indoor and outdoor furniture.

Sources: Central and South America

Characteristics: Straight grain with coarse texture

Workability: Gum deposits in the wood make it difficult to machine; cutt ing edges dull quickly

Finishing: Takes stains and clear finishes well.

Price: Moderate


Uses: Boat-building, indoor and outdoor furniture, veneers, flooring

Sources: Southeast Asia, Africa, Caribbean

Characteristics: Straight grain with oily texture. Dense and hard.

Workability:  High silica content will dull steel blades and bits quickly.  Oily surface require cleaning with mineral spirits first or glue will not bond.

Finishing: Takes oil finishes well

Price: Expensive


Uses: Inlay, turning, veneers, cabinetry, furniture, musical instruments

Sources: Southern India

Characteristics: Interlocked grain with medium to coarse texture

Workability: Dense structure dulls cutting edges quickly

Finishing: Takes stains and clear finishes well

Price: Expensive

Exotic Hard Woods

George discusses the characteristics of some types of imported lumber.

Densest Wood in the WORLD vs the Lightest! Exotic wood Showdown MUST SEE

Watch the Densest wood and the Lightest wood in the WORLD both dropped into a tank of water. See the incredible difference in density between these two species as we weigh them on a balance! Plus, this video will give you a close up look at some of the most amazing species of wood around our planet.

All about Exotic Wood Species

I will be discussing the pros and cons of various exotic species. Including, cocobolo, lignum vitae, ebony, african blackwood, padauk, purple heart, and many many more. I will show samples live on air, both raw boards and finished pieces. I will also talk safety regarding exotics, what is toxic and hazardous along with what precautions should be taken.

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