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Summerfolk 2014: Aug 15-17 at Summerfolk 2014Summerfolk Music & Crafts FestivalMark August 15th, 16th and 17th on your calendars and join us at the 39th annual Summerfolk Music Festival.  Presented by the Georgian Bay Folk society, this outstanding festival is held at beautiful Kelso Beach Park on Georgian Bay in Owen Sound.  As always, the festival is a great weekend to share the love of folk inspired music, fine craft, food and friends (both old and new).

As long time patrons of this festival we have always admired the quality and diversity of the of the work displayed in the artisan village, and are delighted to be part of this event as artisan vendors for our second year.  (And of course we love and enjoy the music too!)

Make sure you drop by the tent and check out our latest inventory of handmade spice mills and related accessories.  Made from a wide assortment of domestic and exotic hardwoods, we will have a terrific selection of our newest mills available.  Featuring our hallmark minaret style design, variations in wood grain, colour and texture make each of our spice mills truly one-of-a-kind.  Beyond the fine craftsmanship and beautiful design is an authentic CrushGrind™ ceramic mechanism. This makes every mill ideal for grinding peppercorns, salt or spices.

See you this August at Summerfolk . . . Read the rest of this entry »

We’ve just restocked our eStore with a great new selection of mills

DSCN1044We have just added 22 new hand turned Artisan Spice Mills™ to our eStore here at

Click here to check out this beautiful new selection which includes among others, mills made from: Read the rest of this entry »

The perfect finishing touch for your kitchen renovation


The perfect finishing touch to your kitchen renovation...

click on image to read more about our handturned Artisan Spice Mills™


6th Annual Hanover Home & Garden Show: April 12 & 13, 2014

Mark your calendars for the Hanover Home and Garden Show, April 12th and 13th at Hanover’s P&H Centre.  We’ll be there with a great selection of our unique handmade spice mills (they grind pepper, salt or spices) and spice bowls. 

Handmade artisan pepper mills from Mapleseed Gallery on
Renovate, renew and refresh!  Back Porch Event Management proudly presents the 2014 Hanover Home and Garden Show!  The past five years they have attracted many great quality exhibitors, showcasing many of their new and upcoming products and services!

The folks at Back Porch are busy bringing together the very best products, services and experts for you to shop, save and discover what’s new, all under one roof.

“It’s going to be bigger and better than anything that’s hit Hanover before, It’s definitely going to be worth getting off your couch for, because whether you live in a brand new house or in an apartment, everybody needs something for their home. You’re definitely going to come away with some very cool new products and ideas.” Read the rest of this entry »

Artfest at the Distillery Spring Art & Craft Show: May 17-19, 2014

Come see us in Toronto’s Historic Distillery District for the
“Artfest at the Distillery Spring Art & Craft Show”

Artfest at the DistilleryArtfest Toronto launches the summer with a celebration of the top 85 artists & artisans from across Canada.

Artists are exhibiting at the Historic Distillery District for three days only. Come stroll the cobble stone lanes and take in the beauty of the Distillery District. Featuring pottery, glass, jewellery, paintings, wood turning, gourmet foods, live music and more. FREE admission. will be there with a great variety of our functional and artistic handcrafted spice mills and spice bowls.

Come see us in Toronto for Artfest at the Distillery on the Victoria Day long weekend.  Hope to see you there!

About the Show

  • Artfest at the Distillery Spring Art & Craft Show
  • Saturday May 17th to Monday May 19th, 2013
  • 11am-6pm daily
  • Free admission
  • 55 Mill St Toronto (click here for map)


Muskoka Art & Crafts’ 52nd Annual Summer Show: July 18 to 20

Join us in Bracebridge July 18th to 20th for the Muskoka Art & Crafts’ 52nd Annual Summer Show.

This will be our first year at the Muskoka Art & Crafts’ Show, and we are really excited about bringing our hand turned Artisan Spice Mills™ and spice bowls to this long established highlight event.

Muskoka Arts & Crafts' Summer Show

Now in its 52nd year, Muskoka Arts & Crafts’ Summer Show is Muskoka’s oldest and largest outdoor art show. Set in a beautiful park, the Summer Show features 200 creative artists from across Canada. Approximately 20,000 to 25,000 enthusiastic people visit the Summer Show to meet the makers and see their work.

Show Details

Dates & Times

  • Friday, July 18, 2014 (10am-7pm)
  • Saturday, July 19, 2014 (10am-5pm)
  • Sunday, July 20, 2014 (10am-5pm)


  • Annie Williams Memorial Park (located at the corner of Santa’s Village Road & Wellington Street in Bracebridge, Ontario. )


  • by Donation
  • Free Parking

More info (including map)





We’ve been busy in the workshop / studio

New batch of spice mills from Spicemills.caNews from the Workshop:  The newest batch of hand turned Artisan Spice Mills™ is almost ready . . .

We’ve been busy this winter in the workshop turning spice mills for our eStore here at and for the gallery shop at the the Owen Sound Artists’ Co-op.  In recent weeks we’ve turned our attention to making additional inventory for some of our upcoming shows and events.  As you can see in the photo, our newest batch of mills is just about ready.  The lathe work is done and this batch of 30+ mills is in the process of receiving seven hand rubbed coats of our special earth friendly blend of oils and waxes.

We recently purchased some stunning wood billets Read the rest of this entry »

The new show season is almost here. . . and we’re getting ready

shows2013 SpicemillsWith spring just around the corner, we’ve been working hard out in the workshop/studio making new spice mills and getting ready for the show season.

It’s shaping up to be a busy year with ten shows confirmed so far, and several more in the works. When all is said and done, we anticipate taking on the road for fifteen or sixteen shows again this year. We will be returning to some favourites and will be introducing a few new ones to our schedule. Read the rest of this entry »

About The Woods We Use

About-the-woodOur wood mill blanks are hand picked for quality, stability and visual appeal. Primarily sourced from Canadian timbers, we also use exotic timbers from around the world. Our wood is obtained from many different commercial, retail and private sources. We strongly believe in environmental responsibility and do our best to ensure that our suppliers follow responsible purchasing, sourcing and harvesting practices. Some of our suppliers are FSC certified, but as the exact origin of every wood blank, billet or board purchased cannot be 100% guaranteed to us, we are not able to claim 100% compliance to FSC or other standards. We do however promise to be diligent when selecting suppliers and sourcing wood for our products. Eco ResponsibilityHere’s a list and some additional information on
some of the woods we have used to make our Artisan Spice Mills™

Species Image Origin Description
African Blackwood African-Blackwood Africa   Dalbergia melanoxylon (African Blackwood or Mpingo) is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to seasonally dry regions of Africa from Senegal east to Eritrea and south to the Transvaal in South Africa. It is a small tree, reaching 4–15 m tall, with grey bark and spiny shoots. The leaves are deciduous in the dry season, alternate, 6–22 cm long, pinnate, with 6-9 alternately arranged leaflets. The flowers are white, produced in dense clusters. The fruit is a pod 3–7 cm long, containing one to two seeds. The dense, lustrous wood ranges from reddish to pure black. The tonal qualities of African Blackwood are particularly valued when used in woodwind instruments, principally clarinets, oboes, piccolos, Highland pipes, and Northumbrian pipes. Furniture makers from the time of the Egyptians have valued this timber.
African Peartree African-Peartree Africa   Native to West African, and commonly referred to as African Peartree, it goes under many names and is also called Moabi, African Pearwood, Adjap, Ayap, Dimpampi, Muamba jaune, Adza, Mfoa. This exotic hardwood is of medium darkness with pinkish to reddish brown tones.
Applewood Applewood Canada & USA   The apple forms a tree that is small and deciduous, reaching 3 to 12 metres (9.8 to 39 ft) tall, with a broad, often densely twiggy crown. The leaves are alternately arranged simple ovals 5 to 12 cm long and 3–6 centimetres (1.2–2.4 in) broad on a 2 to 5 centimetres (0.79 to 2.0 in) petiole with an acute tip, serrated margin and a slightly downy underside. Blossoms are produced in spring simultaneously with the budding of the leaves. The flowers are white with a pink tinge that gradually fades, five petaled, and 2.5 to 3.5 centimetres (0.98 to 1.4 in) in diameter. The fruit matures in autumn, and is typically 5 to 9 centimetres (2.0 to 3.5 in) in diameter. The center of the fruit contains five carpels arranged in a five-point star, each carpel containing one to three seeds, called pips.
Ash Ash Canada & USA   Fraxinus is a genus flowering plants in the olive and lilac family, Oleaceae. It contains 45-65 species of usually medium to large trees, mostly deciduous though a few subtropical species are evergreen. The tree’s common English name, ash, goes back to the Old English, while the generic name originated in Latin. The leaves are opposite (rarely in whorls of three), and mostly pinnately compound, simple in a few species. The seeds, popularly known as keys or helicopter seeds, are a type of fruit known as a samara. (Also see Olive Ash)
Bigleaf Maple Burl Bigleaf-Maple-Burl Canada & USA   Big leaf Maple Burl (Acer macrophyllum) has figure consisting of swirly, unpredictable grain patterns with light to dark variations of cream brown to dark brown color. Natural edges, bark inclusions and internal voids may be present and are not considered defects (in fact, they usually add character to a piece). Big leaf maple burl can be somewhat difficult to turn because of its unpredictable grain. It does, however, polish very nicely.
Birch Birch Canada & USA   The white birch is found everywhere in Ontario except for along the shore of Hudson Bay. It’s a medium sized tree that can be 25 metres tall. The tree’s trunk is covered in thin smooth white bark which peels off in large sheets. Bark from the white birch is very strong and pliable – it can be used to make canoes. Buds, leaves and seeds from the white birch are a great source of food for birds and animals.
Birdseye Maple
Birdseye-Maple Canada & USA   Birdseye Maple is not technically a distinct species of Maple, but rather, it’s a figure that’s occasionally found in Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) trees. It’s named “birdseye” (sometimes simply written out as: Bird’s Eye Maple) because the figure resembles small bird’s eyes. The figure is reportedly caused by unfavorable growing conditions for the tree. The Sugar Maple attempts to start numerous new buds to get more sunlight, but with poor growing conditions the new shoots are aborted, and afterward a number of tiny knots remain. Birdseye Maple is frequently sold in veneer form, but solid lumber is available as well. Being tiny knots, the birdseye figure is most noticeable and pronounced on flatsawn pieces of lumber.
Black Cherry
Black-Cherry Canada & USA   Native to Eastern North America, black cherry (Black Cherry, Cherry, American Cherry) trees grow to between 50-100 feet tall. Heartwood is a light pinkish brown when freshly cut, darkening to a deeper golden brown with time and upon exposure to light. Sapwood is a pale yellowish color. Cherry is commonly used in furniture construction and turned items.
Black Walnut
Black-Walnut Canada & USA   The Eastern Black Walnut is a species of flowering tree in the hickory family, that is native to eastern North America. It grows mostly in riparian zones, from southern Ontario, west to southeast South Dakota, south to Georgia, northern Florida and southwest to central Texas.
bloodwood South America   Traditionally known by the name Satine, it’s no wonder that the wood (now more commonly called Bloodwood) has grown so popular as an imported wood species. Though it poses some challenges in working characteristics, its hardness, strength, and coloration make this a crimson favorite.
bocote Central America   Cordia is a genus of flowering plants in the borage family, Boraginaceae. It contains about 300 species of shrubs and trees, which are found worldwide mostly in warmer regions. Many of the species are commonly called manjack, while bocote may refer to several Central American species in Spanish. The wood of several Cordia species is commercially harvested. Ecuador Laurel (C. alliodora), Ziricote (C. dodecandra), Spanish Elm (C. gerascanthus), and C. goeldiana are used to make furniture and doors in Central and South America. Ziricote and Bocote are sometimes used as a wood for making acoustic guitar backs and sides.
Boxelder Canada & USA   Boxelder is a member of the Maple Family. Sometimes referred to as Manitoba Maple, boxelder is native to lower elevations in North America, extending through Mexico into Guatemala, excluding Pacific Coast states and south central Canada. This particular piece of boxelder was locally harvested and seasoned in Southern Ontario.
Bubinga Africa   Native to Africa, Bubinga has a close resemblance to rosewood, and is often use in place of more expensive woods. Yet Bubinga also features a host of stunning grain figures, such as flamed, pommele, and waterfall, which make this wood truly unique. Bubinga also has an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio.
Bulletwood Caribbean, Central & South America   The many good characteristics of Bulletwood make it useful for a number of special uses. It is used for billiard cues, violin cues, turnings of all types, and furniture. Its strength, high wear resistance, and excellent durability adapt the timber for use as sheathing, boat frames, mill rollers, and keel shoes.
Chakte Kok     See Redheart
Chakte Viga
Chakte-Viga Mexico   Perhaps the closest relative to the more-famous Brazilwood (used for violin bows), Chakte Viga shares many of the same excellent acoustic properties. With great color, a smooth texture, and a unique iridescent quality that seems to shimmer under the proper wood finish, Chakte Viga has an almost subliminal cachet. While not considered “endangered” like it’s cousin Brazilwood, Chakte Viga is considered rare and expensive, and has become very difficult to find commercially.
Chechen Mexico & Central America   Chechen is hard, fairly heavy, and has beautiful coloration. Because of these characteristics, it is sometimes referred to as Caribbean Rosewood or Mexican Rosewood though it is not actually in the Dalbergia genus.
    See Black Cherry
Chestnut North America, China, Europe   Chestnut trees are of moderate growth rate (for the Chinese chestnut tree) to fast-growing for American and European species. Their mature heights vary from the smallest species of chinkapins, often shrubby, to the giant of past American forests, Castanea dentata that could reach 60 m. In between these extremes are found the Japanese chestnut (Castanea crenata) at 10 m average; followed by the Chinese Chestnut (Castanea mollissima) at about 15 m, then the European chestnut (Castanea sativa) around 30 m.
Claro Walnut
Claro-Walnut USA   Claro Walnut is a commercially important tree species that’s used as rootstock on walnut orchards. The robust roots of Juglans hindsii are well-suited to the California climate, and are combined with grafts of English Walnut (Juglans regia) to produce a higher yield of walnuts. The hybrid trees are sometimes called “Paradox” or “Bastogne Walnut.” It is highly figured with a rich brown color and striking grain patterns, especially in the crotch areas, where large limbs meet the trunk and is prized for furniture, cabinets, gunstocks, musical instruments, veneer, turned items, and other small wooden objects.
Cocobolo Central America   Cocobolo is a tropical hardwood of the tree Dalbergia retusa from Central America. Only the heartwood is used: this is typically orange or reddish-brown in color, often with a figuring of darker irregular traces weaving through the wood. The sapwood (not often used) is a creamy yellow, with a sharp boundary with the heartwood. The heartwood is known to change color after being cut, lending to its appeal. Due to its density and hardness, even a large block of the cut wood will produce a clear musical tone if struck.
Curly Maple
Curly-Maple Canada & USA   Curly Maple is not actually a species, but simply a description of a figure in the grain—it occurs most often in soft maples, but is also seen in hard maples. It is so called because the ripples in the grain pattern create a three dimensional effect that appears as if the grain has “curled” along the length of the board. Other names for this phenomenon are: tiger maple, fiddleback maple, (in reference to curly maple’s historic use for the backs and sides of violins), quilted maple or flamed maple.
Curly Red Maple     See Curly Maple
Curly Silver Maple     See Curly Maple
East Indian Rosewood East-Indian-Rosewood India   Native to India, East Indian Rosewood can vary in colour from a golden brown to a deep purplish brown, with darker brown streaks. The wood darkens with age, usually becoming a deep brown. It is commonly used for fine furniture, musical instruments, veneer, turned and other specialty wood objects.
Ebony India, Sri Lankka, Africa, Indonesia   Ebony is a general name for very dense black wood. In the strictest sense it is yielded by several species in the genus Diospyros, but other heavy, black (or dark colored) woods (from completely unrelated trees) are sometimes also called ebony. Some well-known species of ebony include Diospyros ebenum (Ceylon ebony), native to southern India and Sri Lanka; Diospyros crassiflora (Gaboon ebony), native to western Africa; and Diospyros celebica (Macassar ebony), native to Indonesia and prized for its luxuriant, multi-colored wood grain. The Mauritius ebony, Diospyros tesselaria, was largely exploited by the Dutch in the 17th century.
Espave     See Wild Cashew
Etimoe Africa   This West African hardwood is sometimes known as the African Rosewood because of its similarity in appearance to the Dalbergia Rosewoods. Etimoe is lighter than the true Rosewoods but there are applications were Etimoe offers enough resemblance to be used as a rosewood substitute. The heartwood is reddish-brown to grey brown and can have darker reddish-brown veining. Etimoe has a straight to interlocked grain with a fine, even texture. It is fragrant and easy to work.
Granadillo Mexico & Central America   An exotic hardwood full of character, Granadillo’s heartwood consists mostly of red to reddish brown coloring and black undertones with occasional violets and oranges penetrating thru. The sapwood is blonde to ivory white and augments the overall appearance of this beautiful tonewood.
Hormigo     See Macawood
Honey Locust
Honey-Locust Canada & USA   Native to North America, Honey locusts (Gleditsia triacanthos), can reach a height of 20–30 m (66–100 ft), with a life span of typically about 120 years. The leaves are pinnately compound on older trees but bipinnately compound on vigorous young trees. The leaflets are 1.5–2.5 cm (smaller on bipinnate leaves) and bright green. They turn yellow in the fall (autumn). Leafs out relatively late in spring, but generally slightly earlier than the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). The strongly scented cream-colored flowers appear in late spring, in clusters emerging from the base of the leaf axils.
Imbuia Brazil   Sometimes called “Brazilian Walnut,” Imbuia bears little botanical relation to true walnuts in the Juglans genus. However, even though Imbuia isn’t a true walnut, it still possesses deep, rich colors and interesting grain patterns that rival the classic cabinet hardwood. Heartwood color can vary substantially; typically medium to dark brown, sometimes with a reddish, golden, or olive-colored cast. Light grayish yellow sapwood is usually differentiated from the heartwood. Burls and wildly figured boards are commonly seen.
Ipe Brazil   Ipe is a hardwood from Brazilian rainforests that has garnered lots of attention in the past decade or so. Why? For one thing, it’s as hard — or harder — than nails. Ipe is so dense that it often needs to be predrilled before pieces are connected. Some compare its strength to that of steel. Ipe is also known as Brazilian Walnut or Lapacho
jatoba Caribbean, Central, and South America   Hymenaea courbaril (Jatobá or Guapinol) is a tree common to the Caribbean, Central, and South America. It is a hardwood that is used for furniture, flooring and decorative purposes. Although Jatoba is sometimes referred to as Brazilian Cherry or South American Cherry, it is not a cherry tree and it is in no way, botanically or otherwise related to the Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), a very common North American hardwood. Depending on the locale, Jatoba is also known as Brazilian Copal, South American Locust, the West Indian Locust Tree, or Stinking Toe, Old Man’s Toe or Stinktoe (because of the unpleasant odor of the edible pulp inside its seed pods). Jatoba produces an orange, resinous, sticky gum that converts to amber through a chemical process that requires millions of years.
Kentucky Coffeewood
Coffeewood USA   The wood of the Kentucky Coffee tree was prized, being called “Kentucky Mahogany” for its rich color and dense grain. It was used for furniture, cabinets, interior millwork, fence posts, railroad ties, and rails, general construction, railway sleepers, bridge timbers, sills and fuel. The wood is ring porous, resembling Ash, Honey Locust or Sassafras. Its sapwood is narrow and yellowish white, while the heartwood is light red to reddish brown. The wood has no characteristic odor or taste. It is hard and heavy, with a coarse, straight grain. For about 6 months of the year, the tree lies dormant, leading to the name Dead Tree or Stump Tree.
Macawood South America   aka Macacauba, Macawood, Hormigo, Orange Agate Heartwood color can be highly variable, ranging from a bright red to a darker reddish or purplish brown, frequently with darker stripes.
Magnolia Magnolia USA   Very wide sapwood is a creamy white to grayish color. Comparatively narrow heartwood color ranges from a medium to dark brown, sometimes with green, purple or black streaks.
Mahogany Americas   The name mahogany is used when referring to numerous varieties of dark-colored hardwood. It is a native American word originally used for the wood of the species Swietenia mahagoni, known as West Indian or Cuban mahogany. The term was next applied to the wood of Swietenia macrophylla, which is closely related, and known as Honduras mahogany. Both are from the Meliaceae family. Today, all species of Swietenia grown in their native locations are listed as a protected species, and the world’s supply of commercial mahogany comes from tree plantations in India, Fiji, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. .The natural distribution of these species within the Americas is geographically distinct. S. mahagoni grows on the West Indian islands as far north as the Bahamas, the Florida Keys and parts of Florida; S. humilis grows in the dry regions of the Pacific coast of Central America from south-western Mexico to Costa Rica; S. macrophylla grows in Central America from Yucatan southwards and into South America, extending as far as Peru, Bolivia and extreme western Brazil.
maple Canada   It is the generic maple species that was proclaimed as Canada’s arboreal emblem. Of the 150 known species of maple (genus Acer), only 13 are native to North America. Ten of these grow in Canada: Sugar, Black, Silver, bigleaf, Red, Mountain, Striped, Douglas, Vine and the Manitoba. With the exception of four species, native maples are large trees. At least one of the ten species grows naturally in every province.
Meranti Southeast Asia   Philippine Mahogany also known as red, white or yellow Meranti (Lauan) is native to southeast Asia. Color can be highly variable depending upon the species: ranging from a pale straw color, to a darker reddish brown. Philippine Mahogany in not related to the “true mahogany” in the Swietenia and Khaya genera.
MOABI Africa   Native to West African, and commonly referred to as African Peartree, it goes under many names and is also called Moabi, African Pearwood, Adjap, Ayap, Dimpampi, Muamba jaune, Adza, Mfoa. This exotic hardwood is of medium darkness with pinkish to reddish brown tones.
Mopane Africa   The mopane or mopani (Colophospermum mopane) tree grows in hot, dry, low-lying areas, 200 to 1,150 meters in elevation, in the far northern parts of southern Africa, into South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Angola and Malawi. The tree only occurs in Africa and is the only species in genus Colophospermum. Heartwood is medium to dark reddish brown, with black stripes. Color tends to darken with age. Well-defined sapwood is a pale yellow. Mopane is an often neglected and overlooked African hardwood, though its density and durability are virtually unrivaled. The wood is also said to have excellent acoustic properties, comparing similarly to African Blackwood.
Mulberry North America, China, Europe   A medium density hardwood with a closed, straight grain. Color is a bright yellow sapwood with a light tan heart wood. Easily confused with osage orange. The late growth in mulberry is full of open pores, much like ash, whereas the late growth in osage orange is solid. Also, the rays and general structure are different but that’s harder to detect.
Narra Southeast Asia   Grain is usually interlocked, and can sometimes be wavy, or display a variety of figuring such as: ribbon-stripe, mottle, or curl. Narra has an uneven medium to coarse texture with good natural luster. Narra is the same wood species (Pterocarpus indicus) as Amboyna, with Amboyna being the specific name of Narra that is in burl form.
New Guinea Walnut
    See Papuan Walnut
Oak Canada & USA   Heartwood is a light to medium brown, commonly with an olive cast. Nearly white to light brown sapwood is not always sharply demarcated from the heartwood. Quartersawn sections display prominent ray fleck patterns. Conversely, Red Oak tends to be slightly redder, but is by no means a reliable method of determining the type of oak.
Oak (Red) RedOak Canada & USA   Heartwood is a light to medium brown, commonly with a reddish cast. Nearly white to light brown sapwood is not always sharply demarcated from the heartwood. Quartersawn sections display prominent ray fleck patterns. Conversely, White Oak tends to be slightly more olive-colored, but is by no means a reliable method of determining the type of oak.
Olive Ash
Olive-Ash Canada & USA   The term Olive Ash does not refer to any specific species of Ash (Fraxinus genus), but instead is in reference to the darker heartwood found in some Ash trees, which tends to resemble the wood of Olive trees in the Olea genus. And it should come as little surprise that Olive Ash can be a dead ringer for actual Olive, (with the exception of the porous grain structure, which gives its true identity away easily), because both Ash and Olive are placed in the same family: Oleaceae. The dark-on-light stripes of Olive Ash are also vaguely reminiscent of Zebrawood; though interestingly enough, the darker portions of Olive Ash do not correspond to the growth rings on the tree, but are independent of them, as can be observed from the endgrain.
Olivewood     Heartwood is a cream or yellowish brown, with darker brown or black contrasting streaks. Color tends to deepen with age. Olive is somtimes figured with curly or wavy grain, burl, or wild grain. Olive trees are commercially important throughout the natural regions where they grow. There are several subspecies and hundreds of cultivars of Olea europaea; the olives harvested from the trees are made into olive oil. The mechanical data and density readings shown above are an average between Olea europaea and O. capensis. Olivewood (Olea spp.) is sometimes confused with Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), though it bears little relation to true Olive and is in an entirely different family of trees. Technically, Olive is a part of the Oleaceæ family and is more closely related to Ash (Fraxinus spp.) and Lilac (Syringa vulgaris).
Orange Agate
Orane-Agate Europe & eastern Africa   See Macawood
Osage Orange
Osage-Orange USA   Osage-orange, Horse-apple, Bois D’Arc, or Bodark (Maclura pomifera) is a small deciduous tree or large shrub, typically growing to 8-15 metres (26-49 ft) tall. It is dioeceous, with male and female flowers on different plants. The fruit, a multiple fruit, is roughly spherical, but bumpy, and 7-15 cm in diameter, and it is filled with a sticky white latex sap. In fall, its color turns a bright yellow-green and it has a faint odor similar to that of oranges. It is not closely related to the citrus fruit called an orange: Maclura belongs to the mulberry family, Moraceae, while oranges belong to the family Rutaceae. Maclura is closely related to the genus Cudrania, and hybrids between the two genera have been produced. In fact, some botanists recognize a more broadly defined Maclura that includes species previously included in Cudrania and other genera of Moraceae.
Padauk Africa & Asia   Native to Africa or Asia, Padauks are any of several species of tropical trees of the genus Pterocarpus in the family Fabaceae. When freshly cut, this wood is a very bright red but when exposed to sunlight fades over time to a warm brown. Its colour makes it a favourite among woodworkers.
Papuan Walnut
Papuan-Walnut New Guinea   New Guinea Walnut (Papuan Walnut) is a large hardwood that co-occurs with the taun timber species in the lowland forests of Papua New Guinea. It is also found in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. New Guinea Walnut timber products are mainly
Patagonian Rosewood
Patagonian-Rosewood Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia   Anadenanthera columbrina is also known as Angico Preto, Kurapay, Curapay, and Curapau. Extremely hard and dense with a Jenka rating of 3840! A relatively rare species originating in Paraguay, Argentina, and Bolivia. Although it is not a true Rosewood, it shares many of the same qualities and colors. It is less expensive than true Rosewood which is a definite advantage! Used extensively for flooring, cabinets, decking, turning, and fine articles. Kiln dried and surfaced two sides. Nice clean boards. Most of them have figure.
Pau Rosa
PauRosa Africa   Formerly classified in the Swartzia genus along with Katalox and Wamara, Pau Rosa has since been placed into its own genus, Bobgunnia. Pau Rosa is one of only a handful of woods that have the potential of being nearly rainbow-colored; its appearance is reminiscent of Tulipwood or Canarywood. Some common uses for Pau Rosa include: veneer, carvings, furniture, turned objects, and other small, specialty wood items. Pau Rosa grows in African rainforests.
Pear-Wood Europe & USA   Pear wood is one of the preferred materials in the manufacture of high-quality woodwind instruments and furniture. It is also used for wood carving, and as a firewood to produce aromatic smoke for smoking meat or tobacco. Pear wood is valued for kitchen spoons, scoops and stirrers, as it does not contaminate food with color, flavor or smell, and resists warping and splintering despite repeated soaking and drying cycles.
Philippine Mahogany
    See Meranti
Purpleheart Central & South America   Purpleheart is a genus of 23 species of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae, native to tropical regions of Central and South America, where they occur in tropical rainforests. They are medium-sized to large trees growing to 30-50 m tall, with trunk diameters of up to 1.5 m. The leaves are alternate, divided into a symmetrical pair of large leaflets 5-10 cm long and 2-4 cm broad. The flowers are small, with five white petals, produced in panicles. The fruit is a pod containing a single seed.
Quilted Maple Quilted-Maple Canada & USA Quitled Maple is not actually a species, but simply a description of a figure in the grain. Quilted maple occurs most often in soft maples, but is also seen in hard maples. (The highest grade quilted maple is most commonly seen in Bigleaf Maple.)  Quilted maple is so named for its resemblance to patchwork patterns seen on fabric quilts. Much like birdseye maple, the figure on quilted maple becomes most pronounced when the board has been flatsawn, which is the opposite of curly maple, which becomes most prominent when quartersawn. Alternate names and sub-categories for this type of figuring include blistered, curly-quilt, sausage-quilt, tubular-quilt, and angel-step.
Red Elm Red-Elm Canada & USA   The Slippery Elm is a deciduous tree which can grow to 20 m in height with a 50 cm d.b.h.. The tree has a different branching pattern than American Elm, and its heartwood is reddish-brown, giving the tree its alternative common name ‘Red Elm’. The leaves are 10–18 cm long and have a rough texture, coarsely double-serrate margin and an oblique base. The perfect wind-pollinated apetalous flowers are produced before the leaves in early spring, usually in clusters of 10–20. The fruit is an oval winged samara 20 mm long and containing a single, central seed. Slippery Elm may be distinguished from American Elm by the hairiness of the buds and twigs (both smooth on the American Elm) and by its very short-stalked flowers.
Red Maple
    See Maple
Red Oak See Oak
Redheart South America   Redheart, Chakte Kok: Aptly named, in some instances freshly surfaced Redheart can be a very bright, watermelon red—though color can vary in intensity and hue from board to board: anywhere from a light orange/pink, (similar to Pink Ivory), to a darker brownish red. In some cases, it can look quite similar to Bloodwood, though usually with a more visible and figured grain pattern. Redheart’s vibrant color fades to a reddish brown in direct sunlight. Although Chakte Kok and Redheart are from two different genera, (Simira and Erythroxylum, respectively) the working properties and appearance of the two are so close, and both have so poorly documented scientific data, (both Simira salvadorensis and Erythroxylum mexicanum are currently unrecognized species at GRIN), the two different species and genera have been combined on this page for the sake of simplicity and consolidation. Wood retailers will sometimes sell the two woods interchangeably.
Rosewood Various   Rosewood refers to any of a number of richly hued timbers, often brownish with darker veining, but found in many different hues. All rosewoods are strong and heavy, taking an excellent polish, being suitable for guitars, marimbas, turnery (billiard cues, the black pieces in chess sets, etc), handles, furniture, luxury flooring, etc. All genuine rosewoods belong to the genus Dalbergia. The pre-eminent rosewood appreciated in the western world is the wood of Dalbergia nigra which is now a CITES – listed endangered species. It is best known as Brazilian Rosewood, but also as “Rio Rosewood” or “Bahia Rosewood.” This wood has a strong sweet smell, which persists over the years, explaining the name “rosewood”. Another classic rosewood is that yielded by Dalbergia latifolia known as (East) Indian Rosewood or sonokeling. Not all species in the large genus Dalbergia yield rosewoods; only about a dozen species do. They can be found in tropical America, Southeast Asia, and Madagascar. The woods of some other species in the genus Dalbergia are notable—even famous—woods in their own right: African Blackwood, Cocobolo, Kingwood, and Tulipwood.
Russian Olive Russian-Olive Europe, Asia & North America   Colour ranges from a light yellowish-brown to a darker golden brown, sometimes with a greenish hue. Sapwood a much lighter yellow-white. Russian olive is not related to Olivewood.
Silver Maple
    See Maple
Spalted Woods Spalted-Maple Various   Spalting is any form of wood coloration caused by fungi. Although primarily found in dead trees, spalting can also occur under stressed tree conditions or even in living trees. Although spalting can cause weight loss and strength loss in the wood, the unique coloration and patterns of spalted wood are sought after by woodworkers. Spalting in hardwoods is divided into three main types: pigmentation, white rot and zone lines. Spalted wood may exhibit one or all of these types in varying degrees. Pigmentation: Also known as sapstain, or in its most common form, bluestain, this type of spalting occurs when the darkly-pigmented fungal hyphae grow in the sapwood parenchyma of a tree. A visible color change can be seen if enough hyphae are concentrated in an area. While pigmentation fungi do not degrade the wood cell wall, this type of decay can lead to a reduction in toughness (amount of energy absorbed before breaking), and increased permeability. Pigmentation can occur on both hardwood and softwood, unlike other types of spalting which are more host specific. White Rot: The mottled white pockets and bleaching effect seen in spalted wood is due to white rot fungi. Primarily found on hardwoods, these fungi ‘bleach’ by consuming lignin, which is the slightly pigmented area of a wood cell wall. Some white rotting can also be caused by an effect similar to pigmentation, in which the white hyphae of a fungus, such as Trametes versicolor (Fr.) Pil., is so concentrated in an area that a visual effect is created.Zone Lines: Dark dotting, winding lines and thin streaks of red, brown and black are known as zone lines. This type of spalting does not occur due to any specific type of fungus, but is instead an interaction zone in which different fungi have erected barriers to protect their resources.They can also be caused by a single fungus delineating itself. The lines are often clumps of hard, dark mycelium, referred to as pseudosclerotial plate formation. Zone lines themselves do not damage the wood. However, the fungi responsible for creating them often do. 
Sugar Maple
Sugar-Maple Canada & USA   See Maple
Sunburst Honey Locust
Sunburst-Honey-Locist Canada & USA   Native to North America, Sunburst Honey Locust is a very popular shade tree, valued for its delicate, ferny appearance which casts a dappled shade below; foliage emerges a brilliant yellow, fading to light green; broad spreading habit of growth, seedless, very tolerant of adverse growing conditions
Tiger Maple See Curly Maple
Tigre Caspi
Tigre-Caspi Central & South America   Heartwood is a yellow to golden or orangish brown, with irregular brown/black streaks. Grayish yellow sapwood is slightly paler than heartwood, and lacking contrasting streaks: not always immediately distinguishable from heartwood. (The wood sample pictured has about 3/4? of sapwood on the left side.) Overall appearance is very similar to Marblewood. Tigre Caspi, sometimes spelled as “Tiger Caspi,” is a unique hardwood that has irregular heartwood stripes with high contrast.
Wild Cashew
Wild-Cashew South America   The Wild Cashew or Espavé ( Anacardium excelsum ; syn. Anacardium rhinocarpus ) is a tree in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The tree is common in the Pacific and Atlantic watersheds, found as far north as Guatemala and extending south into Ecuador. It is a large evergreen tree growing to 45 m tall, with a straight, rose-hued trunk reaching 3 m in diameter. The leaves are simple, alternate, oval-shaped, 15-30 cm long and 5-12 cm broad. The flowers are produced in a panicle up to 35 cm long, each flower small, pale green to white. Older flowers turn pink and develop a strong clove-like fragrance.
White Oak See Oak
Zapatero Mexico, Central & South America   Zapatero (scientific name: Hyeronima alchorneoides) is also known as Pantano, Pilón or Shoemaker’s Tree. Its name derives from Zapato (Spanish for shoe) and is owed to the wide-spreading roots that visibly support the tree. It is also called Pilón (Spanish for trough) due to its extremely hard wood suited for carving motars that are used to grind corn. The Zapatero grows up to a height of 100 to 150 feet in average. The first 65 feet are free of branches. Zapatero wood has a rust-red color with slight copper tones. Zapatero trees grow in tropical moist to very moist regions up to 2,950 feet above sea level. Its distribution ranges from southern Mexico to the Amazon region of Peru and Brazil.
Zebrawood Africa   The wood of Microberlinia, also known as Zebrano or “Zebrawood”, in native to Central Africa. The heartwood is a pale golden yellow, distinct from the very pale colour of the sapwood and features narrow streaks of dark brown to black. Zebrawood can also be a pale brown with regular or irregular marks of dark brown in varying widths. It is a heavy and hard wood with a somewhat coarse texture, often with an interlocked or wavy grain. The interlocked grain of this wood, like that of many tropical woods, can make it difficult to work. It is a decorative exotic wood and is often used for veneer, custom furniture, inlay bandings, marquetry, and turnery.

Information about wood species listed above is accurate to the best of our knowledge and has been sourced from many resources, including The Wood Database at

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