Wood Descriptions

Alder -- Botanical Name: Alnus Rubra

Harvested from the Pacific coasts of USA and Canada. Alder is used for furniture and guitar bodies. Strat type bodies may weigh 4.0 - 4.3 lbs. The wood is medium weight and weighs 36.0 to 42.0 lbs/cb. Ft. This is very easy to machine, glue and nail. Being close grained, it can be finished very easily, although the grain is very faint.

Ash - Ultra Light -- Botanical Name: Fraxinus Americana

It is one of our specialty items and is used mostly for guitar bodies. Lightweight Ash bodies weigh from 4.21 lbs. to 4.89 lbs. and Ultra lightweight Ash bodies weigh from 3.5 lbs. to 4.20 lbs. Ultra Light Ash weighs 33.6-39 lbs./CbFt. ft. and Ultra lightweight Ash weighs 26.4-33.6 lbs./CbFt. The material is open grain, and takes a lot of finish, very easy to machine, nail and glue. Being a heavily textured wood, it is very good for a clear finish. This wood Swamp ASH is not to be confused with Northern Ash, which is very heavy and is used for hockey sticks, baseball bats, etc.

African Blackwood -- Botanical Name: Dalbergia melanoxylon

Black like Ebony but only at first glance. African Blackwood hosts a color between a dark-purple and a dark-brown thus almost looking black, but when examined you can distinguish these two colors. Unlike the usual piece of ebony this wood has figure to it rather than just grain. The figure is usually straight but it is also common to see variance. The wood is tough to work with having strength in all properties making it a tough wood to do almost anything with as well as having an oily contact. It blunts tools rapidly and takes a very long time to dry around 7 years, kiln drying this timber is not effective as it damages the wood and does not make justice to it's drying time as it still takes long, but if you are looking for a figured blackwood this is the material you are looking for.

Basswood -- Botanical Name: Tilia Americana

This wood grows mostly in the North Eastern United States, and part of Canada. It is one of the cheaper lightweight woods. The wood is close grained and is good for solid colors. It is quite soft and so it dents easily. The guitar bodies can weigh approximately 3.75-4 lbs. The weight of lumber is 30-36 lbs./CbFt. The wood is very easy to work with and nails and glues well.

Bloodwood -- Botanical Name: Brosimum Paraense

This red color wood is a native of Brazil and also known as satine. It is a very heavy, close grained, and strong wood. The wood machines well, works quite well for cabinetry, furniture, and boxes and is very durable.

Padauk -- Botanical Name: Pterocarpus Soyauxii

A wood that is pretty various within itself. Many times we see Padauk as being referenced to as a "Red, Brick Red, Crimson" colored wood, we disagree. It is true that this timber can sometimes host a red-ish color but its is more like an orange-red. We receive this wood from Africa and the color of the wood is orange with grain stripes that vary from orange to a brown-orange and even to orange-red. The texture is interlocked with a moderate to heavy coarse grain that sometimes becomes irregular and wild. It is a very strong hard timber with excellent bending and crushing strengths. Despite its power and strength it surprisingly machines and takes nails easily.

Purple Heart -- Botanical Name: Peltogyne Pubescens

Also loosely known as Amaranth or violet wood. Purple heart is as you can imagine a purple colored wood. Overtime if left unfinished the timber matures to a dark brown, but is swiftly restored when surfaced. The grain is straight but often irregular, and sometimes interlocked making a striped figure on quarter sawn faces. Purple heart is a dense wood, and a bit difficult to work with gumming and blunting tools a bit, it is best to cut this timber slowly. Despite it's strength in order to get a solid purple colored wood it is the way to go.

Bocote -- Botanical Name: Cordia Alliodora

We receive this wood from Mexico and is one of the prettier woods available for guitar necks and furniture. The wood weighs approximately 40 lbs./cb.Ft. Its machine ability is medium and gluing quality is good. It takes screws well, but hammering nails may split it. the heart wood is a dull yellow with varying markings and possesses a wild figure, with straight grain.

Bois De Rose -- Botanical Name: Dalbergia Louveli

It is the prettiest Rosewood we have ever seen with it's deep reddish-mauve color It is a little more expensive than East Indian, but a lot more rare; we are trying to introduce it to provide more variety of Rosewoods. It grows only in Madagascar and hosts a fairly straight grain with fairly straight dark violet figure which both vary.

Bubinga -- Botanical Name: Guibourtia Demeusei

Medium-brown wood with lighter red to purple veining. This wood grows with straight or interlocked grain and is a very heavy rose wood originating from Africa, mostly used for solid bodies by our customers.

Red Cedar -- Botanical Name: Thuya Plicata

Red Cedar is very popular for guitar tops, and is straight grained with coarse texture. This wood goes through a very amazing color change with age from when fresh cut till after maturing. When fresh the colors you will see are dark chocolate, whitish-pink as well as colors between the two. It matures to a reddish-brown and the ultimately a silver-gray which is in it's prime for guitars.

Cherry -- Botanical Name: Prunus Serotina

From a deep red to reddish-brown cherry has a tight grain which is finely textured. We use mostly curly cherry that we receive from New York, although it's not as curly as maples.

Cocobolo -- Botanical Name: Dalbergia Retusa

This is one of those woods that sometimes makes you say "Wow". It belongs to the Dalbergia family, which means Rosewood. Coco's color is a rich red to variegated yellow, orange, with red and dark violet to almost black streaks. The yellows and oranges mature to a mellow orange-red upon exposure. It can be easily nailed, but gluing is difficult due to resin contact certain steps must be taken before finishing but is a marvel when finished. The grain of Coco is irregular but has a fine texture, it is also a very heavy wood.

Ebony -- Botanical Name: Diospyrus Malanoxylon

Very dense, Strong, and stiff, the weight runs approximately 5.3 lbs/bdft. The grain is dominantly straight but sometimes can curl, with a fine and even texture. Mostly sought for it's pitch black color ebony most of the time has brown mixed in which appears as streaks, stripes, or splotches. It's uses are various from knife handles, pistol grips, door knobs, butt ends of billiard cues, inlay work, and much more.

Jatoba -- Botanical Name: Hymenaea Courbaril

This heavy wood from South America weighs approximately 60-65 lbs./cb.Ft. It is also called Courbaril and Brazilian Cherry in U.S.A. It is very good for turning, but it is known to dull the tools. It is difficult to nail, but holds threads well and takes on a good shine. The wood is not expensive and has been used in many places for flooring, furniture and turning. We have sold a good quantity for pool cues as well.

Koa -- Botanical Name: Acacia Koa

Growing in the paradise's of Hawaii, Koa's grain is interlocked which sometimes can curl producing a fiddle back figure. The texture is medium with a lustrous surface.

Korina -- Botanical Name: Terminalia Superba

Korina or Limba, as it's commonly known names grows in Africa. The wood is a pale yellow-brown to a straw yellow color. The heartwood sometimes has black streaks or markings in it which is distinguished as Black Korina when enough is present to create an attractive figure. The grain is somewhat coarse but has an even texture.

Lace wood -- Botanical Name: Platanus Hybrida

A pretty wood with a figure best described as scales, flakes or rays through out the wood which refracts when held to light at different angles. The color of the heart wood is light reddish-brown with a medium fine texture. This wood is almost but not quite identical to Fishtail Oak except for certain details.

Mahogany -- Botanical Name: Swietenia Macrophylla

Somewhat plain but undeniably pretty wood, Imported from South America. The heartwood color varies from a light salmon to a dark reddish-brown to even a deep crimson-ish red. Not always true but the lighter the color the lighter the wood, and in general for guitars mahogany is a happy medium as far as weight goes. The grain grows straight to interlocked.

Name: Maple, Birdseye Botanical Name: Acer Saccharum

From the Maple family it is harvested from upstate New York, Michigan and Canada. The feature of this maple is the little spots that grow through out the wood which resemble little eyes hence "Bird's eye Maple". The Wood is graded upon how many "eyes" appear through out the wood the more spots the higher the grade.

Maple, Eastern Flamed -- Botanical Name: Acer Pleatanoides

From the Maple family it is harvested from North Eastern part of the United States. It takes the characteristics of soft maple as far as grain and figure goes but has of course what it is known for a flame to it. The flame always varies through out the logs and the grading is handled by how intense the flame is. This wood is very popular for laminates and every log does not produce a 5A figure.

Maple, Western Flamed -- Botanical Name: Acer macrophyllum

From the Maple family it is harvested from the north western parts of the United States and Canada. It tends to come with a much more straighter grain than it's eastern cousin however not always true. It's colors remain on the cream side but seems to have a bit of grayish tinge compared to Eastern flamed maple. The flame always varies through out the logs and the grading is handled by how intense the flame is. This wood is very popular for laminates and just like Eastern Flamed every log does not produce a 5A figure.

Maple, German Flamed -- Botanical Name: Acer Platanoides

From the Maple family it is harvested from not surprisingly Germany, but is also known as European Maple. It is a light cream color when fresh cut but matures to a light tan. The grain is curly and fine textured. This maple can create some very super tight intense flame that is sometimes difficult to find in other maples.

Maple, Soft -- Botanical Name: Acer Rubrum

One of the less fancier maples, Soft Maple is a creamy white color and straight grained. It is a little bit more expensive than poplar and basswood and also a bit heavier but also carries a bit more personality as far as figure is concerned, it is also a bit less lustrous than rock maple.

Holly -- Botanical Name: Ilex Aquifolium

Holly harbors very little characteristics as far a figure goes. The grain tends to be irregular with a fine texture. The feel of timber is very smooth and not course at all. It plays very nice as inlay or as just a bright solid colored plain wood.

Fishtail Oak -- Botanical Name: Cardwellia Sublimis

Almost Identical to Lace wood, Fishtail Oak has a "you guessed it" fish scale appearance through out the wood which are also known as rays, these rays also tend to be larger in Fishtail Oak and less uniform than in lacewood. The wood hosts a dark reddish-brown color and has a moderately coarse texture.

Poplar -- Botanical Name: Liriodendron Tulipifera

The sapwood in Poplar is generally a creamy-White to grey color with sometimes a very pale brown or pinkish-brown color. The heart wood however is a pale-greenish color and maintains a straight and smooth grain. This wood is easy to obtain and harvested from the eastern coasts of the U.S. and Canada.

Pau Ferro (Bolivian Rosewood) -- Botanical Name: Caesalpinia Echinata

This wood goes by a few names but commonly known to us a Pau Ferro, other names are Morado and Bolivian rosewood however, this wood is not an actual Rosewood or part of the rosewood family. It's colors are a brownish-orange color which matures to more of a light to medium brown, with black stripe figure.

Brazilian Rosewood Botanical Name: Dalbergia Nigra

This wood comes from Brazil. At present, the export and import of wood is banned per CITES II treaty. To export one requires permission from the Department of Fisheries. All of the Brazilian Rosewood, which we have in stock, was milled before the CITES II treaty. The wood weighs 48 to 52 lbs. /CbFt, but has more color variation than East Indian Rosewood. It is known for its interlaced grain pattern. It is easily identified by its smell, which is very unique and sweet. This wood is a wonderful tone wood and is at present extremely high priced. It dries very well and is used for guitar fingerboards, backs and sides, laminate tops, bridge blanks, turning squares and fine furniture.

East Indian Rosewood Botanical Name: Dalbergia Latifolia

As evidenced by the name, this wood comes from India. It also grows on plantations in Indonesia, but the grain of that wood is very wide and it is lighter in color. The wood is medium weight and varies between 48 to 52 lbs./cb. Ft. Ft. The color ranges from rose to dark violet with darker purple to black lines which produces a ribbon figure. The grain is interlocked and the texture is moderately coarse. At present, it is not allowed to be exported from India as lumber, but we can still import guitar fingerboards, backs and side sets, laminate tops, solid body blanks, guitar necks, bridge blanks, turning squares and many finished violin parts. In India it is used for expensive furniture. The wood is easy to machine, but does not nail well. It is very stable wood, but a little hard to glue due to resin.

Madagascar Rosewood -- Botanical Name: Dalbergia Baroni

Mad. Rosewood is similar to East Indian Rosewood in texture but its color is a light grayish-brown with mid-tone purple figure. It almost appears to be like Brazilian rosewood at times, but that is when the color is dark and there is lots of striping and figure present which then becomes classified as a Kingwood.

German Spruce -- Botanical Name: Picea Abies

Distributed Mostly through out Europe, this timber's colors range from an almost white to a very pale yellowish-brown. The wood has a straight grain and has a fine texture with a natural luster.

Sitka Spruce -- Botanical Name: Picea sitchensis

Also known as Silver Spruce this wood is a greatly sought after tone wood being it is fairly priced. The wood's colors are light-pale-yellow to a creamy-white with a pink tinge to the sapwood. It is predominantly straight grained and the figure also runs straight with an occasional spiral grain. The timber's texture is medium and non-resinous very pleasant to work with and is easy going on tools.

Black Walnut -- Botanical Name: Juglans Nigra

This wood comes from the Eastern USA and Ontario, Canada. This rich dark brown to purplish-black wood, is mostly straight grained which hosts curl occasionally. This is a hard, tough wood with medium density, and is very durable. It glues satisfactorily, holds nails and screws well, and polishes to a high finish. Black Walnut works well for electric guitar bodies, as well as for high quality furniture, and cabinetry.

Wenge -- Botanical Name: Millettia Laurentii

This heavily dense wood is a dark brown color with very tight streaks or veins which are nearly black on quartered faces giving the wood a very attractive streaked appearance. The grain is dominantly straight with a coarse texture.

Zebra Wood -- Botanical Name: Microberlinia Brazzavillensis

This hard, heavy, stable wood comes from West and Central Africa. The heartwood is a light golden-yellow with streaks or narrow veining of dark brown to almost black. This is what gives the wood it's zebra-like appearance, and has a an interlocked grain with a coarse texture.