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Forum topic by Wiley posted 06-25-2010 04:01 PM 1075 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Wiley

71 posts in 1688 days


06-25-2010 04:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I won a car in a sweepstakes, and ended up selling it for more than I thought I would. I get the check today, and plan on celebrating with a lumber shopping spree. I mostly make small decorative boxes with inlays, so a board foot or two goes a very long way, and I figured I’d get smallish amounts of a bunch of different types of wood. So far my shopping list includes bubinga, wenge, purpleheart, walnut, padauk, mahogany, and birdseye maple. But the lumber yard is also full of different domestic species I’m not very familiar with. I’ve already got quite a bit of birch, cherry, and oak, but what other woods would you add to the list if you were going on a spree? I’m looking for woods that will look distinctive either as the body of a box or as strips of inlay, so grain pattern and color are both significant. Also, what woods are completely annoying to work with and best avoided so I don’t cause myself too many headaches?

-- "When you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think straight" - Inherit the Wind


27 replies so far

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1643 days


#1 posted 06-25-2010 04:09 PM

Redwood is amazing if you can ever get your hands on it.
Sycamore is pretty fun and a nice alternative to maple.
I would be on the hunt for walnut with character too. :)

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

View jusfine's profile

jusfine

2280 posts in 1583 days


#2 posted 06-25-2010 05:26 PM

I agree with Lis, claro walnut would be one of my first choices.

Lacewood can look amazing used sparingly on boxes, as is zebrano, quilted maple, and the ones I have used for inlay are holly, cherry, ipe, maple, bubinga, yellowheart, the list goes on and on…

I really enjoy shopping for lumber…

I’m happy for your good fortune!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View DanCo's profile

DanCo

66 posts in 1556 days


#3 posted 06-25-2010 06:04 PM

All the woods mentioned are nice. Not sure of availability in your area but I would mention Elm (often under appreciated), Texas Ebony, Mesquite, Marble wood, tulip wood, amboyna, and look for anything burl. Congrats on the money.

-- Daniel

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Raftermonkey

560 posts in 1570 days


#4 posted 06-25-2010 06:31 PM

I agree with everything stated above. Spalted sycamore is great and since the money is there I would be in the market for some pink ivory, gaboon, amboyna burl, snakewood, brazilian rosewood. I could keep going but I’ll stop and say get one of everything, oh and flame box elder cuz Its awesome. I’m going to do some flame box elder bowls to use at a 4th of july party. Nice flames and explosive reds. YEAH

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

712 posts in 2276 days


#5 posted 06-25-2010 06:36 PM

Zebra wood

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View woodprof's profile

woodprof

44 posts in 1847 days


#6 posted 06-25-2010 06:41 PM

Since you have plenty of $$ to work with, and you only need small quantities, tulipwood is gorgeous. Unbelievable color and grain in the heartwood! Turns nicely too.

View woodsmith1's profile

woodsmith1

58 posts in 1613 days


#7 posted 06-26-2010 03:32 PM

English oak is one of my favorites! Also spalted maple.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4524 posts in 1732 days


#8 posted 06-26-2010 03:59 PM

For an incredibly interesting grain, try Chechen. Most people don’t know much about it. I’m surprised that others haven’t mentioned cocobolo, bocote or bloodwood – some of my favorites.

Regarding tulipwood – There are 2 woods called tulipwood. The north american version is a type of poplar and it is not very interesting. The south american version (a.k.a. pau rosa) is spectacular. It is a member of the rosewood family. There are many members of the rosewood family and most of them are very beautiful. I’m particularly fond of indian rosewood and honduran rosewood. Warning – the dust from rosewoods can be toxic.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View lew's profile

lew

10035 posts in 2413 days


#9 posted 06-26-2010 04:58 PM

What woods do you like?

I see you enjoy building boxes. Woods that have unique/interesting grain patterns, in smaller areas, would enhance smaller projects.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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woodprof

44 posts in 1847 days


#10 posted 06-26-2010 07:04 PM

Hi Rich,

I used to think that tulipwood referred to tulip poplar (I’ve got a huge one in my front yard), and wondered why the price was so high for such a basic and uninteresting wood, and why it was available only in relatively small sizes. Then a professional woodworking friend gave me a tulipwood cutoff for pen turning, and boy, were my eyes opened!

You’re right, tulipwood is a rosewood (dalbergia frutescens), as is cocobolo (dalbergia retusa), and anything with dalbergia as part of the scientific name.

View spclPatrolGroup's profile

spclPatrolGroup

223 posts in 1552 days


#11 posted 06-26-2010 07:29 PM

I love the look of Elm with a clear finish, that and butternut are my two favorites,

-- Dave, from ND "The mind is an infinitely long workbench, and its cluttered with half-finished thoughts and ideas, sometimes we need to clear off the workbench and start again from step one."

View hObOmOnk's profile

hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 2785 days


#12 posted 06-26-2010 08:10 PM

My favorite woods are those that I personally obtain locally and regionally.
Currently, that narrows my choice to about 60 species here in Kentucky.

-- 温故知新

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1668 days


#13 posted 06-26-2010 08:19 PM

Woods sold by the pound… :)

I’m with Rich. Love the rosewoods, especially Indian and Brazilian (Pau Ferro).

Zebrawood

Wenge is a pain to work with due to the splinters…

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View TheWoodsman's profile

TheWoodsman

65 posts in 1554 days


#14 posted 06-26-2010 09:34 PM

S A S S A F R A S !!!

You might also head over to Paxton Lumber Co. in Denver and see what kinda goodies they have. The Paxton in Cincinnati has a wood selection room with all sorts of domestics and exotics. Last time I was in there I walked out with a bunch of figured purpleheart.

-- I'm the Woodsman . . . the four-wheelin', tree-farmin', custom-furniture-makin' descendant of Olaf "The Woodcutter" Ingjaldsson.

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richgreer

4524 posts in 1732 days


#15 posted 06-26-2010 11:38 PM

I’ve always heard that it was illegal to export Brazilian Rosewood out of Brazil. I also understand that this particular rosewood is very rarely grown outside of Brazil. Therefore, it is very hard to get Brazilian rosewood. I know I have never seen any available for sale. Am I wrong (I often am)?

At least 2 people on this page have referenced Brazilian rosewood. Where are you getting it?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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