It is said that the carvings done in Mahogany are worth the most. It is usually thought of as finishing in a grained red color, however its natural finish is more close to orange and is red only if stained. It has long been a premier choice for high end furniture and millwork. Usually the grade is excellent and the average width is wider than most domestic hardwoods. Due to its fine finish and beautiful grain properties it is one of the most sought after woods.
In cabinetmaking, cherry is rated one of the favorites because of its beauty and versatility… it has warmth, personality and charm. As a craft wood it cuts, stains and sands beautifully, which makes it a hobby wood of choice. Black cherry stands alone for its commercial value as a lumber wood. Other cherry trees most often function as decorative trees or fruit bearers. Black cherry is characterized by late maturing fruit and is distinct from the other cherries because it has dark bark with irregular scales that peel off easily and a light to dark reddish brown heartwood. The grain pattern welcomes a full range of medium to dark finishes and bleaching treatments. The best way to achieve a uniform deep red color is to let Mother Nature do her work rather than attempt staining. All in all a favorite for furniture especially when it comes to cabinets.
A highly exotic and expensive wood found in West Africa. The heartwood is dark brown, almost black. On the quartersawn surface, fine pencil-thin, light tan lines interspersed with blackish brown stripes make the surface appear as if it has been stroked by the fine claws of some wild jungle animal. As with most exotic woods, it is selected for its color and dramatic appearance in any project that seems appropriate. It is a very heavy wood and is very porous, thus only a master workman can bring a good finish on this wood. The end result of Wenge can be awe inspiring provided the artist and crafter are up to the challenge.
Teak is one of the best woods for carving and has excellent decay resistance. It is generally straight grained with a coarse, uneven texture, medium luster and an oily feel. The heart wood is yellow brown to dark golden brown with a greyish or white sapwood. It stains and finishes well although natural oils can cause adhesion difficulties. Teak has numerous uses including ship building (especially decks), indoor or outdoor furniture, high class joinery, flooring, paneling, plywood, decorative veneers, turnery, carving, chemical tanks and vats.
Beech is a heavy, hard and strong wood. It is stiff with good shock resistance and wear properties. It has medium luster, and finishes well. Its heartwood is light reddish brown, displaying fine medullary ray flecks. Beech is a versatile wood and is carver friendly. It is one of the most used woods in the making of furniture.
The sapwood is nearly white and usually one to two inches thick; the heartwood is brown with a tinge of red or pink. It is broadly available in a good selection of widths and thicknesses. Red Oak finishes and stains easily, however it is very difficult and challenging to carve upon. It has none of the blotching problems that are associated with birch or maple and and is used to build furniture, veneer, and flooring.
Walnut is used for fine furniture, carving, architectural woodwork, musical instruments, decorative panels, interior trim, and flooring. Large amounts are also used for veneer. Its stability and shock resistance make it the wood of choice for gun stocks. Walnut takes any finish and most complement the lovely satin sheen of the wood. It polishes well. Rarely do you find sap pockets that cause difficulty. Walnut works easily with power or hand tools but may cause some dulling of cutting edges. Planing, turning, shaping, routing and sanding all produce crisp detail, thus
a wood of choice for beautiful carved furniture pieces.
Sheesham is part of the rosewood family. It often grows in mixed stands on new alluvial lands or the low banks of rivers. The heartwood is described as golden brown to deep brown in color, with darker streaks that give the wood an attractive appearance. The wood is hard, with a uniform and medium coarse texture. Natural resistance to decay is very high, and the heartwood is reported to be rarely attacked by borers and ants. Carving properties are reported to be very good, and it is considered to be one of two most popular carving and engraving woods in India and Pakistan. Sheesham is reported to be a good turnery wood. It also peels exceptionally well to produce highly decorative veneers which are applied without difficulty. The wood variety is highly durable, easily carved and is exclusively used for making furniture, almirahs and cabinets.