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Forum topic by kolwdwrkr posted 09-03-2009 02:33 AM 1035 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2821 posts in 3615 days

09-03-2009 02:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am in the process of bidding to build a custom out door table for a return client. His home is in the Arizona desert. He is wanting something that will be rustic. He wants it to be heavy, a tanish, light brown color, wants distressing, hand carvings, etc. I told him teak and he is familier with it, but I’m worried about it’s carveability. I haven’t carved it before. Redwood is out. Mahogany is out. What other wood species would be a good choice that carves well and will hold up to the weather it may incure.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

12 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#1 posted 09-03-2009 02:40 AM

I haven’t carved it before but Epi falls in the other areas it’s very heavy brownish tan it is even fire rated.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3379 days

#2 posted 09-03-2009 02:41 AM

Teak is used extensively in the South East Asian area and is heavily carved,, so that should not be a problem.
Here in Australia Teak is expensive. The only problem I see with using teak is that it is an oily timber and may dry out too much in the Arizona climate. Afraid I can not help with regards other timber that would be suitable.. here in Aussie maybe but not stateside.

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3328 days

#3 posted 09-03-2009 03:05 AM

what about some of that wild and twisted juniper..ive never worked it but have seen some beautiful tables come from it…it would blend into the dessert motif pretty well i would think…..seems to me that teak would be to refined looking…can you get it to be rustic enough…....i know what ever you pick and do will be great…you always do a good job keith…..hope you got that band saw running…congrats on getting it back up and runnin…......grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4007 days

#4 posted 09-03-2009 03:27 AM

Honduran mahogany is KING of the hardwoods

and carves beautifully holding great detail …

it is also weather and insect resistant

I don’t think teak would be much fun at all to carve

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Sam Yerardi's profile

Sam Yerardi

244 posts in 3920 days

#5 posted 09-03-2009 04:59 AM


It’s local to the area, beautiful brown color, shrinks evenly in all directions, very stable, decay and insect resistant and can withstand radical moisture changes

-- Sam

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3615 days

#6 posted 09-03-2009 06:20 AM

Thanks guys. It seems as though Mesquite is prone to Termite damage. Teak is good but liable to insect attack too. Ipe is the front runner so far. If I had more information on the following that would be helpfull:
Peroba, White
Louro Preto
Indain Laurel
Red River Gum

I would be interested in information on availability, price comparison, workability as far as machining and carving, etc.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3761 days

#7 posted 09-03-2009 07:04 AM

I have worked a bit with Peroba red and white and also Ipe. Ipe is VERY hard and dense. It can be carved but will be hell on your chisels. Peroba has very interesting grains. It has a tendency to crack heavily within the coarse grain. We use it for decks and framing in Brazil. I built a fairly large deck with it many years ago and it still looks good. Only one small section has needed repair. Some very nice country furniture is also made from it. Peroba Red is prefered for exterior use. Peroba can be carved. It is now almost depleted. Most of it comes from old factories and buildings.
Ipe is extremely durable. It is just a very hard wood. Seems the darker it is the more durable.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3692 days

#8 posted 09-05-2009 10:32 PM

I can say that teak is beautiful, but if you plan to use it, factor in replacing all the blades in your shop. I built a teak garden bench and afterwards, had to put new sharps on my TS, jointer and rotate the blades on my planer. There is an alot of silica in teak. Here in KY, we call ipe bull wood, cause its so d#@n hard and difficult to work. What about bleaching mahogany and taking it to tan from there?

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4007 days

#9 posted 09-06-2009 12:06 AM

Ipe would be no fun at all to carve unless of course you have a carving machine

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4007 days

#10 posted 09-06-2009 12:07 AM

try wikipedia to look up the hardwoods… bet the information you are seeking is there

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#11 posted 09-06-2009 12:42 AM

I’m sure you already have this web site but may be others don’t, this is one of the most complete photo and information site on wood that I’ve ever seen.

An Epi source

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3876 days

#12 posted 09-09-2009 01:47 AM

I would go with the cedar as well. A few aussie woods like huon pine (particularly incredible rare wood, has no visible grain & beautiful carving material), red gum, jarrah, tallow wood etc but they would be expensive imports.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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