Processes/About Woods

Processes and Wood Care



Wood care

All woods will darken over time, and exposure to sunlight and the elements. This is more evident in lighter colored woods such as Maple and Birch. Exposure to direct sunlight can expedite this effect, no matter how dry the wood, or the finish.

All oils & waxes, used when creating a Food Safe finish, will not be able to hinder this effect, and the darkening can happen more rapidly than with other types of finishes. Other finish materials, such as some Shellacs, Polyurethane's, and Pre-catalyzed Lacquers, can have a UV inhibitor included, that will retard the process, but not completely stop it.

The darkening of the wood as it ages is considered a good effect among most wood workers, and can create some nice contrast within the grains that weren't evident before. If you wish for this to not happen, then vessels must be kept out of direct sunlight, and exposure to the normal atmospheric elements. (by keeping them stored/displayed in a darker/cooler section of your house)




The process of using a vacuum chamber to remove all the air from the grain/pores of the wood, and replacing it with an acrylic type compound,or polymer resin, then curing in oven @ 200 degrees for approximately 4-6 hours (until resin has stabilized).

This fortifies dry, chippy woods, and makes them completely solid and workable, and also enhances the grain/coloring.

When properly done the chemicals penetrate the wood grain and fibers to their core,and turn into a solid giving the wood additional weight and hardness for increased durability.



Spalted Woods

Wood that is in the initial stages of fungal attack and decay.

Spalted wood is highly prized by many wood turners for its magnificent color and character. Spalted wood usually contains dark black lines (known as zone lines) that run in irregular patterns throughout the wood.

As the fungal activity continues in the timber, areas of the wood are compromised as they loose some of their strength and density.

Fungal activity usually ceases when the moisture content of the timber drops below 20%. Once the 20% moisture content is reached there are no possibilities of any medical issues or reactions.



Segmented Turning

Any turning that incorporates numerous small sections of wood in its design. Larger segmented turnings can include several thousand pieces of wood, all precisely cut and assembled to form special designs or pictures.

Segmented turnings include turnings where the entire turning made from segments, as well as those where only a small portion of the turning is segmented like the rim, or foot.

With the latter example, the balance of the turning is typically made from a single piece of wood.



About Burls

Burls are seldom found on trees less than 50 years old. The burls themselves must grow for at least 50 years to be useful for the wood carver. The trees from which the burls are found on are usually 100 to 400 years old. Burls can yield a very peculiar and highly figured wood, one prized for its beauty by many, and sought after by people such as furniture makers, artists, and wood sculptors.

There are a number of well-known types of burls. Quality burl wood often comes from redwood, walnut, buckeye, maple, baldcypress, teak and other species.




Buckeye Burl

Common Name(s): Buckeye, Ohio Buckeye, Yellow Buckeye Scientific Name: Aesculus spp. (A. flava, A. glabra, and A. octandra)



Pollyanna Burl

Family:Cupressaceae Genus:Juniperus Species:occientalis IRVINGIA

MALAYANA BURL hails from Southeast Asia and is also known as Pau kijang.

This tree bears an edible fruit, a mango. And the nut is also edible. Also known as Pollyanna burl. The wood is creamy colored, reddish brown with dense eyes. A very nice wood.



Yellow Box Burl

Common Name(s): Yellow Box Scientific Name: Eucalyptus melliodora. Yellow Box Burl is a unique and interesting Australian exotic wood with a lot of interesting figure & burl!

The heartwood ranges from light pink to golden brown with pale gray sapwood that is sharply demarcated from the heartwood.

Yellow Box Burl is fine grained and able to take a high natural polish.



Red Mallee Burl

Common Name(s): Red Mallee Scientific Name: Eucalyptus oleosa and E. socialis

General Characteristics: Heartwood is light red to dark red when first cut turning a rich mahogany-like hue on exposure; distinct from the narrow pale sapwood.

Texture moderately coarse; grain is commonly interlocked or wavy, sometimes curly; without distinctive odor or taste.

Gum veins or pockets are a common defect.



Australian Coolibah Burl

Common Name(s): Coolibah, Coolibah burl Scientific Name: Eucalyptus coolabah, Eucalyptus microtheca

Coolibah burls showcase a deep, rust red color with swirling figure and tight eyes. Coolibah (sometimes spelled coolabah) is a eucalyptus species native to Australia, and is among the hardest woods available.



Australian Red Mallee

Common Name(s): Red Mallee Scientific Name: Eucalyptus oleosa and E. socialis

Red Mallee burl is an incredible species with vivid color and figure.

This native Australian timber has a distinctive mix of pink, red, and violet heartwood, with contrasting white sapwood.

The wood is dense and easily yields a smooth, durable finish with light sanding.




Iroko is a large hardwood tree from the west coast of tropical Africa. It is one of the woods sometimes referred to as African Teak, although it is unrelated to the teak family.

The wood colour is initially yellow but darkens to a richer brown over time. Heartwood is usually a yellow to golden or medium brown, with color tending to darken over time. It is a very durable wood.




Curly Maple

Curly Maple is not actually a species, but simply a description of a figure in the grain—it occurs most often in soft maples, but is also seen in hard maples. It is so called because the ripples in the grain pattern create a three dimensional effect that appears as if the grain has “curled” along the length of the board. Other names for this phenomenon are: tiger maple, fiddleback maple, (in reference to curly maple’s historic use for the backs and sides of violins), or flamed maple. Unlike quilted maple, curly maple is most pronounced when the board is quartersawn, and the curls usually become much less pronounced or absent in flatsawn boards. Hence, on wide boards where the grain tends to be close to vertical (quartersawn) near the edges and horizontal (flat sawn) in the center, The curly pattern will be most evident on the edges of the board, with the figure diminishing in the center.



Ambrosia Sycamore

Ambrosia sycamore comes from regular sycamore trees that have been infested by the ambrosia beetle, who tunnels are responsible for streaks and patches in the wood... The infestation of the ambrosia beetle is terminated during the kiln drying process, and will not start again in dry wood as the beetle needs somewhat wet wood to survive.




Chechen is a striking species with colors that are highly varied—red, orange and brown, contrasted with darker stripes of blackish brown. Because of the coloration it is sometimes referred to as Caribbean rosewood. Overall it is easy to work, with the exception of planing the interlocking grain. Excellent for box makers and turners. Wood is Native to Central America and Mexico



Mesquite, Black

Black Mesquite is a heavy hardwood that ranges from rich brown, to chocolate with purple overtones in color with a grain structure resembling mahogany. Turns and polishes well.
Origination: Argentina, South America




Zapote, also known as Chico Zapote, is a very hard, strong, dense wood. Its color varies from a deep, solid reddish-brown to a light reddish-orange, and it often displays a combination of both colors.

Sapwood is cream in color and makes for a nice contrast against the red hues. It is normal for Zapote to have some minor checking and /or gum pockets.

Wood is native to Southern Mexico and Central America




Has a very conspicuous flecking that gives this wood its namesake. The wood itself is a medium to dark reddish brown with grey or light brown rays, which resemble the spots of a leopard.

Like other woods that exhibit the strongest figure in quartersawn pieces, (such as Sycamore), Leopardwood has the most pronounced figure and displays the largest flecks when perfectly quartersawn; this is due to the wood’s wide medullary rays, whose layout can be seen the clearest when looking at the endgrain.

Native wood from Central and South America



Burmese Blackwood

Heartwood color is variable, and ranges from a medium olive or reddish brown, to a darker purplish brown, frequently with nearly black streaks throughout.

Color tends to darken with age. Pale gray sapwood is clearly demarcated from heartwood. With the light and dark streaks and lighter parenchyma bands, the wood can have a very unique (though subtle) grain pattern, particularly on flatsawn surfaces. Native wood is from Southeast Asia



Yucatan Rosewood

Typically a cinnamon brown, heartwood color can be highly variable, ranging from a light brown to a deep, russet brown.

Grain tends to be somewhat bland, but darker streaks or swirled grain is occasionally present. Overall appearance is very similar to Honduran Rosewood. Native wood from Central and South America




Cocobolo is a tropical hardwood of the tree Dalbergia retusa from Central America.
Cocobolo can be seen in a kaleidoscope of different colors, Only the heartwood is used,
ranging from yellow, orange, red, and shades of brown with streaks of black or purple.  
often with a figuring of darker irregular traces weaving through the wood.
The sapwood (not often used) is a creamy yellow, with a sharp boundary with the heartwood.
The heartwood is known to change color after being cut, lending to its appeal.

Cocobolo is oily in look and feel.
This oil lends a strong, unmistakable floral odor even to well seasoned wood,
and occasionally stains the hands with prolonged exposure.
Standing up well to repeated handling and exposure to water, a common use is in gun grips and knife handles.
It is very hard, fine textured and dense, but is easily machined, although due to the abundance of natural oils,
the wood tends to clog abrasives and fine-toothed saw blades, like other very hard, very dense tropical woods.
Due to its density and hardness, even a large block of the cut wood will produce a clear musical tone if struck.
Cocobolo can be polished to a lustrous, glassy finish.
The high natural oil content of the wood makes it difficult to achieve a strong glue joint,
and can inhibit the curing of some varnishes, particularly oil based finishes.
Cocobolo is in limited supply, and is also in relatively high demand, (for ornamental purposes),
and is likely to be quite expensive.




Olive wood is very hard and is prized for its durability, colour, high combustion temperature and interesting grain patterns.
Heartwood is a cream or yellowish brown, with darker brown or black contrasting streaks.
Color tends to deepen with age. Olive is somtimes figured with curly or wavy grain, burl, or wild grain.
Because of the commercial importance of the fruit, and the relatively small size of the tree,
olive wood and its products,Turning squares, burls, and other figured pieces are occasionally seen, are relatively expensive.
Common uses of the wood include: kitchen utensils, carved wooden bowls, cutting boards, fine furniture, and decorative items.


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