Often tossed aside as damaged wood, craftsmen are seeking out spalted wood more and more for exactly the reason it is often trashed. Darker strands travel haphazardly throughout a piece of spalted wood, creating contrasting waves and lines that enhance the grain as only nature can. But what is spalted wood?
Before a tree becomes a beautiful and useful piece of furniture, turning, or carving, it starts as a living, breathing part of nature for the eyes to behold. As it develops in height, it also grows in diameter producing rings which give away it’s age like that of wrinkles on a human face.
In this months Woodcraft catalog, July 2012 edition is a special layout showing hundreds of wood species. With varieties from Ash to Zebrawood in styles of bandings to veneers, now is the time for you to benefit from this special offering with savings up to 60% off. You will also find these savings at your local Woodcraft store and online.
From our blog on Easy Wood Tools, and meeting Rory Curtis, comes a story about a woodworker and an extraordinary individual. I am fortunate to have had the humbling experience to learn about Bob Kennedy’s story, and speak with him personally as Bob has been completely blind since the age of 12.
So you’ve decided to rough turn or carve a green (wet) project, and set it aside to dry. Did you realize the wood may contain over 250% more water before it is dried, depending upon it’s size and mass? Over the long period of time it may take to air dry your project, it can develop grain cracks and checks if not protected. What are checks in the wood? Well, they’re not cashable checks to take to the bank, but end grain splits that can be prevented allowing you to reap the benefits of a beautifully finished item that can be profitable! Both cracks and checks can be fixed by cutting out those areas and replacing with segmented glue-ups, but perhaps that’s not what you had in mind.
Our most recently delivery of Gaboon Ebony (Diospyros Spp.) is native to Western Africa and can now be purchased in a variety of sizes with 23 item offerings from Woodcraft, making it much easier to find the right size for any project. The exceptional quality of this batch was worth the wait. The heartwood is usually jet black, with little to no variation of visible grain. Occasionally dark brown streaks may be present. Can be difficult to work with due to its extremely high density. It is dense enough to sink in water and has a dully effect on cutters. It takes a finish well and has a high luster. Ebony is commonly used for ornamental purposes due to its price and available sizes. We have a selection of large sizes. The species has a long history of use, with carvings found dating back to the ancient Egyptians. In the 16th century fine cabinets were made of ebony. Makers of these cabinets in Paris were known as ebenistes, which remains the French term for a cabinetmaker. Ebony is commonly used for small ornamental purposes, such as piano keys, musical instrument parts, pool cues, carvings. Great for knobs, pulls, inlays and accents in cabinetry. Somewhat difficult to machine, but worth the reward and is excellent turning wood.
Ancient Kauri from New Zealand is the oldest workable wood in the world. Tsunamis leveled the mighty Kauri thousands of years ago and they have been preserved underground in the top half of the North Island of New Zealand for more than 45,000 years. The further north they are found, research has shown the older the Kauri is.
Paulownia wood is available from time to time at your local Woodcraft store and online at Woodcraft.com. Paulownia was named after Queen Anna Pavlovna of Russia (1795-1865), is sometimes called Royal Paulownia or Princess Tree, and is known in Japanese as Kiri. In Japan it is customary to plant a Paulownia tree when a baby girl is born and then to make it into a dresser as a wedding present when she marries. Paulownia seeds were originally used as packing material for shipments from Japan, and have spread prolifically across the U.S. blooming annually.