A little bit ago, I had a few customers asking me what other type of wood I have used to make my chairs besides my usual Sequoia (redwood). The more I thought about it, the more I realized I have not really ventured out and worked with any hardwoods and any exotic woods. Well I think its time for me to start and we are going to jump right into it with some of the worlds finest and most durable species of wood. I am going to talk about their characteristics along with some general information.
Cypress– I am going to kick things off with Cypress, which is a moderately hardwood and has good strength and stiffness. It has medium bending and crushing strength. It works easily with hand and machine tools, holds screws well, glues satisfactorily, sands easily and accepts finishes readily. The heartwood contains oils that make it very durable when its exposed to moist weather. It grows on the east coast of the USA.
Jatoba– Also known as Courbaril, West Indian locust and Brazilian Cherry Wood. It is very hard, tough and strong. Can be moderately difficult to work with because of its hardness but with skill can be bought to a great finish. It can be stained well and its gluing properties are good along with its steam-bending properties. Jatoba is durable and very resistant to dry-wood termites and is very popular for furniture. It grows in the West Indies, South and Central America.
African Mahogany- The wood is usually light pinkish-brown when freshly cut, darkening on exposure to a deep reddish color, often with a purple cast. The grain is typically interlocked but can be straight. Swirly figures are often present and the texture is variable. Resistant to shock loads and its generally easy to work with. It turns, sands, bores, glues and nails satisfactorily. Also it stains and polishes very well. The heartwood is highly resistant to preservatives. Its grows in the tropical areas of West, Central and East Africa.
Sapele– This wood is in the mahogany family also called scented mahogany, aboudikro, penkra and sapele mahogany. It has a very high crushing strength and is fairly easy to work with. It bores, routes, carves, nails, screws, staines, varnishes and paints very well, and sands great. The wood can exhibit an attractive range of figure, with ribbon, bee’s-wing and regular stripe on quarter sawn stock. Typically used for musical instuments, window frames, furniture and boats. It grows in West, Central and East Africa.
Purpleheart– This wood is definitely one of my favorites. It is hard, dense and heavy, with high crushing, stiffness and bending strength. It glues, waxes, stains and polishes well. When freshly cut it is bright purple then turning a deep purplish brown color on exposure. It is straight grained but can be wavy or irregular. Purpleheart is highly durable and very resistant to decay fungi and dry-wood termites. It is used in quality furniture, boat building, billiard or pool cue butts and heavy exterior construction. It grows in Central America and northern South America.
Teak– The mother of all woods, ha ha. Most Teak is a dark golden-yellow that turn to a rich brown with darker, deep brown markings. The distinct narrow to medium-width sapwood is white to pale yellow. The grain is typically straight but sometimes wavy and feels oily to the touch. It is a hard, medium density wood that is strong, incredibly durable and has a high crushing strength. Working with it is relatively easy but it does have a severe blunting effect on cutting tools. Amazingly Teak is acid and fire resistant due to its silica content. Very resistant to termites and fungi and an excellent material for outdoor furniture. it grows in Burma ( Myanmar) India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Java; also Malaysia, Borneo, Philippines, Central America and tropical Africa.
I hope this information was beneficial and helped guide you in the right direction of what type of wood you would like you furniture to be made from. If you are interested in prices you will have to contact me because prices at lumber yards tend to change often and some lumber may have to be special ordered.
Thank you for stopping by T H E H U N G A R I A N W O R K S H O P and have a great day!