Wood Sense: Spotlight on PADAUK

Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk, senior editor - 01-18-2017

Ironically, the chemical cocktail that makes African Padauk (Pterocarpus soyauxii) distasteful to insects and fungi contributes to the color that makes it practically irresistible to woodworkers. One of the most strikingly colorful woods, padauk is widely esteemed for its bold red-and-orange heartw...

Wood Sense: Spotlight on Olivewood

Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk, senior editor - 11-03-2016

Although better known for its fruit and oil, the European Olive tree (Olea europea) hides a treasure under its gnarled bark: a creamy sapwood that transforms into deliciously striped, sometimes marbled, heartwood. Despite its hardness, the wood’s tight grain and natural oil make it friendly to tu...

Wood Sense: Spotlight on Elm

Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk, senior editor - 09-01-2016

A century ago, Dutch Elm Disease (DED) decimated millions of elm trees, many of which adorned American city streets. (Fun fact: “Elm” is the 15th most common street name in the USA.) The encouraging news is that these fast-growing trees are enjoying a comeback. Elm lumber still isn’t as readil...

Wood Sense: Spotlight On White Ash

Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk - 03-21-2016

Even if you haven’t laid woodworking tools to white ash (Fraxinus americana), odds are good that you’ve done plenty of other work with this wood. It’s the traditional handle material for garden implements such as rakes, hoes, and other non-striking tools. Because it imparts no odor or taste to...

Wood Sense: Spotlight on Walnut

Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk - 01-18-2016

Black walnut (Juglans nigra), which tops many lists of favorite furniture woods, also has a surprisingly multi-faceted role as a nation-builder. As early generations of American furnituremakers were discovering the splendor of this dark domestic wood, pioneers and colonists were harvesting the tree...

Wood Sense: Spotlight on Cherry

Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk - 11-16-2015

Does cherry (Prunus serotina) need an introduction? Colonial cabinetmakers first substituted this homegrown hardwood for mahogany. Years later, cherry played prominent roles in Shaker and Arts and Crafts furniture. Today, the wood continues to add dazzle to contemporary design. Woodworkers ...

Wood Sense: Spotlight on Koa

By Dr. Sara Robinson; Technical Consultant: Larry Osborn - 10-29-2015

f you’re lucky enough to live on one of the Hawaiian islands, then you are no doubt intimately familiar with koa – a wood of rich browns and reds, which tends to display interlocking grain and, in some cases, eye-popping figure. Unfortunately, for most of us, koa wood can be hard to come by (an...

Wood Sense: Spotlight On Birch. America's Do-It-All Lumber

Pete Stephano w. Technical Consultant Larry Osborne - 09-10-2015

The commercially important birch species found in North America are but a few of the 50 types of birch found around the world–from Japan to Scandinavia to Russia. The native birches most used by the U.S. and Canadian forest products industry are yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), sweet b...

Wood Sense: Spotlight On Ebony

Pete Stephano w. Technical Consultant Larry Osborne - 08-29-2015

The nearly 300 shrubs and trees of the ebony family (Ebenaceae) grow throughout the world’s tropic and mild temperate regions. One of the world’s darkest woods, ebony was highly prized even in ancient times and frequently offered as tribute to reigning monarchs. Even today’s woodworkers have a...

Making Good with Salvaged Wood: Give new life to old boards, and reap the rewards.

Tim Snyder - 08-06-2015

Today, more and more woodworkers are interested in using salvaged wood. Some are building furniture that combines “reclaimed wood” with new material, while others complete entire projects using boards rescued from the dumpster. Even the high-end home furnishing catalogs tout this trend, showing ...

Previous Page
Next Page