Do you prefer working exotics?

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 11-08-2012 11:13 PM 813 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3104 posts in 2520 days

11-08-2012 11:13 PM

The exotic woods that is. I’ve never been one to buy exotic woods, but I’ve gotten my self a bit of polauk and it’s not too hard to work. It’s pretty easy and it smells great when you cut it, like nothing else I’ve ever smelled.

I guess paying 55$ for about 2 sq fr of wood kinda makes me nervous. Forces me to take my time and measure a couple times.

Was it any big deal for you when you got your first piece of expensive exotic wood?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

6 replies so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3542 days

#1 posted 11-08-2012 11:20 PM

I like both exotics and local woods. I find that some of the exotics come in a lot of bright and unusual colors that are not as common in local woods….bloodwood, purpleheart, cocobolo, padauk and numerous others. Domestic woods also cover a wide variety. My goal is to use as many different woods as possible from around the world.

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2811 days

#2 posted 11-09-2012 12:48 AM

My first exotic was purpleheart. It was a new experience, but after a bit of working with it, not much different than any other wood. Now, some woods, you end up sitting there and staring at because they’re so beautiful (bird’s eye maple, quilted maple, crotch walnut, etc.).

I was also very pleases the first time I worked some cherry.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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3104 posts in 2520 days

#3 posted 11-09-2012 12:50 AM

I get nervous when working with exotic and have been know to drastically alter my design to avoid a risky cut.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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5688 posts in 3542 days

#4 posted 11-09-2012 01:15 AM

I have ruined a few pieces of those expensive exotics in the past while experimenting with new sculpting designs on my boxes. I learned quickly to experiment on new designs using flat boards and cheaper woods before attempting the patterns on a box. A few weeks ago I sold 9 of my experimental pieces after cleaning them up, finishing them and turning them into wall hangings….so not a total loss.

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3365 posts in 3343 days

#5 posted 11-10-2012 03:03 AM

If you buy your exotic wood from a “boutique” woodworking supply, you are going to pay up to 10X what you would pay at a regular hardwood store. If you don’t want to buy a big board you just have to bite the bullet. I just bought a zebra wood board, and paid way less that way. OK, $55 for a 1X6 by 6 feet is pretty steep, but it’ll make a pile of the parts that I need.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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2185 posts in 4004 days

#6 posted 11-10-2012 03:15 AM

I buy mainly yellowheart and bloodwood for bandings and marquetry. A few years ago they where realitively reasonable in price but the last two years price has jumped way up while quality has gone down. Now I buy only what I need and I am very careful in using it, it’s difficult to make your money back on it.

-- Tom D

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