Exotic Timbers

Here at TG Timbercraft we are passionate about wood, and we feel it is important that you to understand the basic facts about the timber we use.

We stock a wide variety of timber including many exotic woods. Although the choice of local wood is limited we are currently attempting to source more local timber as we believe it is important to support local business. We only buy timber if our supplier is able to convince us that the wood is responsibly sourced, so when considering the rare and exotic timbers you can be sure you are buying responsibly.

Below is a list of the exotic timbers we have in stock at present. We have tried to provide you with a feel for the colour, origin, and relative cost, (£ cheapest to £££££ most expensive), of each timber, together with any specific points or interesting facts.

Bird’s Eye Maple

Bird's Eye Maple

Colour  Cream white with a reddish tinge & a distinctive pattern that resembles tiny swirling eyes
Origin  North America and Canada
Key Features  This timber is often used in a decorative way but it is also used in the construction of musical instruments and small items such as jewellery boxes.
Relative Price  £££

It is not known what causes the so called “Birds Eye” pattern in this timber. Research into the cultivation of bird’s eye maple has so far discounted several theories but no one has yet demonstrated a complete understanding of what causes this effect. Although there are a few clues in a tree’s bark that indicate there may be a bird’s eye figure, it is usually necessary to fell the tree and cut it apart to know for sure.

Black Palmira

Black Palmira

Colour  Black fibres embedded in a lighter tan or light brown coloured body. 
Origin  Tropical Asia & Africa
Key Features  Highly decorative timber used in furniture making, knife handles and similar small decorative pieces of wood trim.
Relative Price  ££££

Black Palmira is the wood of the Asian palm and has a unique structure with dark, almost black, hard streaks in a paler background. Interestingly this timber is neither a hardwood nor softwood but is in its own category along with bamboo and one or two others.

Ebony

Ebony

Colour  Black
Origin  India and Africa
Key Features  Due to strict export controls Ebony plank sizes are quite limited. This, coupled with the high cost of this majestic timber means it is usually used to decorate larger pieces or for making small items such as little trinket boxes.
Relative Price  £££££

Indian Ebony is one of the finest ebonies available today. It is a dense black wood with an even straight grain & has a fine texture permitting a very smooth finish when polished. This wood is subject to very tightly controlled export laws which make it very expensive.

Indian Rosewood

Indian Rosewood

Colour  Deep purple brown to reddish brown
Origin  India
Key Features  This timber is used primarily in the construction of fine furniture and musical instruments.
Relative Price  £££££

Indian rosewood is historically one of the main rosewoods of commerce and was traded alongside Brazilian rosewood for hundreds of years. Brazilian rosewood is now endangered and the felling of Indian rosewood is strictly controlled by the Indian government. The timber is very dense and hard, (it quickly blunts tools), but always looks top class when finished.
 

Purpleheart

Purpleheart

Colour  Deep Purple
Origin  Central and southern America, (Mexico to Brazil)
Key Features  When freshly cut the heartwood of Purpleheart is a dull greyish/purplish brown. Upon exposure to the light the timber becomes a deep purple. With further age and exposure to UV light, the wood becomes a dark brown with a hint of purple. As with Bloodwood below, this colour-shift can be slowed by keeping items away from direct sunlight.
Relative Price  £££

Purpleheart is one of the hardest woods in the world. The trees grow to 170 feet and have a 5 foot trunk diameter. This beautiful timber is popular for woodturning and for detail in cabinets.

Satine Bloodwood

Satine Bloodwood

Colour  Bright Strawberry to Blood Red
Origin  Brazil
Key Features  The timber colour will change from bright red to red/brown over the years, keep out of direct sunlight to slow this process down.
Relative Price  ££££

This timber is known under many different names. Blood wood, Satine Rubane, Muirapiranga, Caicique & Cardinal wood. It has a fine texture with small pores and will take a natural glass like finish. The timber is very hard and dense and is typically used as trim or decoration on larger pieces.

 

Wenge

Wenge

Colour  Extremely Dark Brown
Origin  West Africa
Key Features  Wenge has a straight grain with a course texture. Commonly used in flooring, paneling and furniture.
Relative Price  ££££

Wenge is a dark enough brown to be used as a substitute for Ebony. The trees grow to 60 – 90 feet tall and have a trunk diameter of 3 – 4 feet. It is a dense wood with straight grain and very large pores which makes it difficult, (but not impossible), to achieve a smooth finish.

 
 

Zebrano

Zebrano

Colour  Golden yellow finely marked with regular dark blackish brown streaks.
Origin  West Africa
Key Features  This timber is often used for fine furniture making.
Relative Price  ££££

Also known as Zingana or Zebrawood on account of its dark stripes vaguely resembling those of the Zebra, Zebrano has a fairly course texture is difficult to work – but it looks fantastic. Trees grow to around 150 feet in height and have a trunk diameter of 4 -5 feet.