Bloodwood (also called Satine) has an awesome color which varies from light red to dark blood-red. The tree is found in Brazil and is incredibly hard and dense. It has a tendency to blunt tools which leads to a lot of blade sharpening when working with this wood. It takea great polish and is often used in decorative woodwork.
Brazilian Cherry (also known as Jotaba) is common to the Caribbean, Brazil, central and South America. It is one of the hardest woods around with a reddish-brown Mahogany-like grain. Its color deepens with exposure to light and it will last a lifetime, just like every other wood listed here.
East India rosewood is dark pruple, dark brown, to nearly black and has a very distinct grain as well as with dark streaks visible. It is as the name suggests from India, and is awesome to turn. It takes a very good polish ans is not as porous as Wenge, which makes it better suited to goblets and bowls.
Lignum Vitae, also called Ironwood, has its own specific scent that is so strong it could freshen up a small room all by itself. The tree is called the "Tree of Life" in some South American countries for its chemical ability to treat some ailments. Western medicine is even beginning to look into its oils as a means to treat reumatism! The wood is somewhat oily to touch and the sawdust alone actually moisturizes your skin while working with it.
This wood was used in huge US Navy ships until fairly recently as a self lubricated bearing for propeller shafts. It is one of the hardest woods in the world, and it will sin to the bottom if put in water. Because of its oily nature it is extremely hard to glue. We at MacGowan's have chosen not to glue it at all, but rather use solid pieces as it looks great all by itself. Guitar picks are also made from this wood and sell for as much as $20 a piece.
Lyptus® is a hybrid made by Weyerhaeuser of two different species of Eucalytus tree. It is grown on plantations in Brazil and is a VERY environmentally friendly alternative to other hardwoods that are harvested from old growth forests. Lyptus® takes approximately 15-16 years to mature and is extremely hard! The wood is harder than Hickory, which is used to make baseball bats - it is also harder than Oak! This wood is our favorite due to its almostxero impact on the environment! The color is light pinkish to red and is easily mistaken for Mahogany. The wood is very hard to work with and gives splinters like they're going out of style, but it's well worth the extra effort to save som old growth.
Padauk also comes from Africa. It is reddish to orange in color and usually fades to a brownish color when exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. This is a very hard wood that is used in decorative woodwork and is very durable. It is said that the flowers from this tree were used by some african women as an antiperspirant.
Purpleheart is - as its name suggests - a deep purple, and its dust can stain your clothes. This wood, also known as Violetwood, comes from the tropical rainforests of Central and South America and is another very hard and very heavy wood. Some species have been overharvested and as a result are now endangered, which is why we don't use this wood much, even if we are offering a few pieces with some Purpleheart in them as accents. It is great to work with and looks splendid by itself, but because of the threat of extinction we will only work with species of Purpleheart that we know are not endangered - which is hard, if not sometimes impossible to verify.
Red Oak is a classic! Used in everything from ships to floors to toolhandles to crafts this wood is one of the most popular woods available. It has a very distinct grain and is very durable.
Wenge comes from Africa and is darkbrownish to almost black and is often called a poor man's ebony. It is often used in electric guitars as the fingerboards and by woodturners as it is ery stable to work with. It makes for a great contrast when used with a lighter wood in segmented pieces! This wood is very hard and has a distinct grain... it can be confused with nothing else.