American Black Walnut

Often confused with European Walnut.

Heartwood can range from a lighter brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Colour can sometimes have a grey, purple hue. Sapwood is pale yellow to nearly white. The grain is usually straight, but can be irregular. Black Walnut is very durable.

Generally easy to work provided the grain is straight and regular. Planer tear out can sometimes be a problem when surfacing pieces with irregular grain. Glues, stains, and finishes well. Responds well to steam bending.

Used for furniture, cabinetry, and turned items.



The heartwood is a very light to medium brown colour, though darker streaks can also be seen, which is known as Olive Ash. The grain is almost always straight and regular. Ash Produces good results with hand or machine tools. Responds extremely well to steam bending. Glues, stains, and finishes well.

Common uses are furniture, tool handles and mast hoops. When stained, ash can look very similar to oak without the distinctive medular rays.



Beech is typically a pale cream colour, sometimes with a pink or brown tinge. Quarter sawn surfaces have a silvery fleck pattern. Straight grain. It machines well, glues, finishes, and turns well. Beech also responds superbly to steam-bending. It does, however, have a large amount of movement in service, so movement and wood stability must be taken into account.

Often used in flooring, toolmaking, furniture, cabinetry, musical instruments and turned objects.



Heartwood is a light pinkish brown when freshly cut, it darkens to a medium reddish brown with time. Sapwood is a pale yellowish colour. The grain is usually with the exception of figured pieces with curly grain patterns. Cherry is very durable and resistant to decay.

Cherry is known as being one of the best all-around woods for workability. It is stable, straight-grained, and machines well. The only difficulties occur if the wood is being stained, as it can sometimes give blotchy results.

Often used in cabinetry, fine furniture, flooring and turned objects.


Douglas Fir

Can vary in colour based upon age and location of tree. Usually a light brown colour with a hint of redish orangey yellow, with darker growth rings.  In quarter sawn pieces, the grain is typically straight and plain. In flatsawn pieces the wood can show wild grain patterns.

Typically machines well. Stains, glues, and finishes well.

Used in boatbuilding, spar making and its a very good structural construction timber.



Heartwood is light to medium reddish brown. Paler sapwood is usually well defined. Grain is interlocked (making it very resistant to splitting).

Can be a challenge to work because of interlocked grain, especially on quartersawn surfaces. Planing can cause tearout. Glues, stains, and finishes well.

Common uses include furniture, cabinetry, hockey sticks and Archery bows amongst other things.

Elm trees are commonly infected with Dutch elm disease, a fungal disease spread by elm bark beetles. It has wiped out millions of Elm trees worldwide.


European Walnut

Very Similar To American Black Walnut.

Heartwood can range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Colour can sometimes have purple, or reddish hue. Sapwood is nearly white. European Walnut can occasionally also be found with swirly grain but is usually straight.

Typically easy to work provided the grain is straight and regular. Glues, stains, and finishes well.

Common Uses are furniture, cabinetry, turned items.



Heartwood is usually a yellow to golden or medium brown, with colour tending to darken over time. Pale yellow sapwood is clearly visible from the heartwood. Iroko has a an interlocked grain.

Generally easy to work, with the exception of its interlocked grain, which may cause some tear out during planing. Iroko glues and finishes well. Often used for flooring, furniture, cabinetry, boatbuilding and turned items

Iroko is very durable, and is resistant to both rot and insect attack and given the high prices of genuine Teak, Iroko could be considered a low-cost alternative. The wood is stable, and has an overall look that resembles Teak.



Heartwood colour ranges from a very pale pink to a deeper reddish brown, sometimes with streaks of darker brown. Khaya tends to darken with age. Grain is generally straight to interlocked, with a medium to coarse texture.

Easy to work, glue, and finish. Tearout can sometimes be a problem if the grain is interlocked. Often used for turned items, furniture, and boatbuilding.

Khaya is a part of the same family which includes mahoganies and therefore is considered a valid substitute for Honduran Mahogany otherwise known as “Genuine Mahogany.”



Pale white to cream colour. The colour is mostly uniform throughout the surface of the wood. Tends to age to a yellow or pale brown colour over time. Easy to work, being very soft and light. European Lime also glues and finishes well.

Lime is used in musical instruments and turned objects but it really is one of the best timbers for carving.



Maple colour ranges from nearly white, to an off-white cream colour, sometimes with a reddish or golden tint. The heartwood tends to be a darker reddish brown. The grain is generally straight, but may be wavy. Has a fine, even texture.

Easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Maple turns, glues and finishes well.

Often used for musical instruments, cutting boards, butcher blocks, paddles, and other turned objects.



The heartwood is a light to medium brown though there can be a fair amount of variation in colour. Nearly white to light brown sapwood is not always easy to tell apart from the heartwood. Quartersawn boards shows prominent medular ray fleck patterns.

Grain is generally fairly straight, but may have irregular or interlocked grain depending on growing conditions of the tree.

English Oak has very good resistance to decay, and is commonly used in boatbuilding.

Oak produces good results with hand and machine tools. Can react with iron (particularly when wet) and cause staining and discoloration. Responds well to steam-bending. Glues, stains, and finishes well.

Commonly used in cabinetry, furniture, interior trim, flooring, and boatbuilding.


Red Gum

Colour ranges from pink to reddish brown. Grain is variable.

Gum glues and stains well. It is hard work with hand tools but can give a nice finish when machining.

Used in flooring, millwork, furniture, and boatbuilding.



Heartwood is a golden to dark reddish brown, which tends to darken with age. A ribbon pattern can be seen on quartersawn boards. The Grain is interlocked, and sometimes wavy.

Sapele can sometimes be tricky to work in some machining operations, (i.e., planing, routing, etc.), resulting in tearout due to the interlocked grain. Sapele has a slight blunting effect on cutters, but it turns, glues, and finishes well. Common Uses include furniture, cabinetry, flooring, boatbuilding, musical instruments and turned objects.


Siberian Larch

Heartwood ranges from yellow to a medium reddish brown. Sapwood is nearly white. Knots are common in the European Larch but are usually small. Siberian Larch has a much tighter grain and has far less knots which makes it far superior for planking on boats.

Larch works well with hand and machine tools. However, natural resins in the wood have a tendency to gum up saw blades.

Commonly used for fencing and sheds. It is used widely in boatbuilding. It is durable and a great all round timber.


Sweet Chestnut

Sweet Chestnut Heartwood is a light to medium brown, darkening to a reddish brown with age. The sapwood is pale white to light brown. The grain is straight to spiral or interlocked. It is a durable wood.

Easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Chestnut splits easily, so care must be taken in nailing and screwing the wood. Glues, stains, and finishes well. Ideal for furniture and carvings.


Western Red Cedar

Reddish to pinkish brown, often with streaks of darker red and brown areas. Has a straight grain and is easy to work with both hand or machine tools, though it dents and scratches very easily due to its softness. Glues and finishes well. Iron-based fasteners can stain and discolour the wood. Cedar has a strong aromatic scent when being worked

Western Red cedar is very durable, hence used for Shingles, exterior cladding and boatbuilding its very light soften used for musical instruments.