Wood A to Z


Pale orange-brown to pink sapwood. Mostly straight grained with even texture.

Main uses: furniture and cabinet work, mouldings and lippings


Heartwood darkens to deep orange-brown. Straight to interlocked grain, with medium texture. Heavy, dense timber.

Main uses: exterior and interior joinery, cabinet making and boat building


Pale pinkish-straw heartwood. Fine textured and durable.

Main uses: interior and exterior joinery, boat building, panelling, furniture and mouldings

Alder, Western Red

Pale yellow to reddish brown heartwood. Straight grained with attractive figure. Soft, perishable timber.

Main uses: furniture, turnery, craving and woodenware


Creamy, pinkish heartwood. Straight grained sometimes displaying mottled figure. A lustrous timber.

Main uses: furniture, cabinetwork, high-class joinery and light construction

Ash, American

Light coloured to nearly white sapwood, light brown to streaked yellow heartwood. Generally straight grained. Greater degree of lighter sapwood in southern grown lumber.

Main uses: furniture, flooring, high-class joinery, tool handles, sports goods and turnery

Beech, Canadian

Timber is reddish brown and far coarser than European Beech. Straight grained with even texture.

Main Uses: furniture, flooring, turnery and interior joinery

Beech, European

Pale pink-brown heartwood turning to reddish brown if steamed. Large movement in service and perishable but has vast range of uses.

Main uses: cabinet making, high-class joinery, furniture, chair making, tool handles, turnery and musical instruments.


Light orange heartwood with darker brown bands. Pale brown sapwood, straight grained with fine even texture.

Main uses: furniture and turnery


Light pink brown to reddish brown with streaks of darker red or purple. Straight and interlocked grain, often mottled. Hard and heavy.

Main uses: cabinetwork, high-class joinery, furniture, cue butts and carving


Heartwood varies from rich red to reddish brown and darkens on exposure. Sapwood is creamy white. Has a fine straight grain and smooth texture. Can contain small gum pockets and brown pith flecks.

Main uses: furniture and cabinet work, high-class joinery, kitchens and mouldings

Elm, Red

Greyish white to light brown sapwood with reddish brown heartwood. Grain can be straight but often interlocked. Coarse texture.

Main uses: flooring, furniture, cabinet work, internal joinery and panelling


Pale pinkish-brown heartwood with a fine even texture. Straight to interlocked grain producing a mottled or curly figure. Stable and durable.

Main uses: furniture, cabinet making, high-class joinery and woodware


Pale yellow-brown heartwood. Straight to slightly irregular or interlocked grain. Fairly coarse and uneven texture.

Main uses: furniture, interior and exterior joinery


Golden-orange to brown in colour. Interlocked and sometimes irregular grain. Rather coarse but even texture.

Main uses: boat building, interior and exterior joinery, laboratory benches, furniture, flooring, decking and marine work


Pale, straw colour to almost white. Coarse texture with a shallowly interlocking grain. When flat sawn has a plain appearance, but a conspicuous fleck on quartered surfaces. Works well and seen as an alternative to Obeche, Ramin and Beech.

Main uses: furniture and interior joinery


Creamy yellow to straw colour. Close grained with fine texture. Heavy, hard and stable.

Main uses: archery bows, brush backs, chessmen and engraving blocks

Lignum Vitae

Brown to green with light stripes and veins. Close interlocked grain with marble like texture.

Main uses: ship bearings, sculpture, croquet mallets and truncheons

Mahogany, African

Light to deep reddish brown heartwood. Grain straight to interlocked, moderately coarse textured. Moderately durable.

Main uses: furniture, interior and exterior joinery, office, shop and bank fittings


Varies from pinkish or purple-brown to dark red. Usually straight grained with fine texture. Dust can be irritant. Very durable, giving high quality finish.

Main uses: furniture, high-class joinery and boat building

Maple, Hard

Creamy, white sapwood with reddish brown tinge. Heartwood varies from light to dark red brown. Close, fine texture, generally close grained.

Main uses: flooring, kitchen cabinets, table tops and interior joinery

Maple, Soft

Similar to Hard Maple. Greyish white sapwood with light to dark reddish brown heartwood. Usually straight grained. Can be stained to resemble cherry and used as a beech substitute.

Main uses: furniture, panelling, interior joinery and mouldings

Meranti, Dark Red

Medium to dark red brown. Interlocked grain with coarse texture. Moderately durable to durable.

Main uses: interior and exterior joinery

Oak, European

Yellowish brown. Generally straight grain but varying with grown condition. Durable heartwood.

Main uses: furniture, flooring, interior and exterior joinery. Lower grades used for fencing and gates

Oak, American Red

White to light brown sapwood, pinkish to reddish brown heartwood. Mainly straight grained with coarse texture. Named because of the red autumn leaves.

Main uses: furniture, flooring, internal joinery, kitchen cabinets and coffins

Oak, American White

Similar to European Oak. Light coloured sapwood with light to dark brown heartwood. Mostly straight with medium to coarse texture.

Main uses: construction, furniture, flooring, kitchen cabinets, architectural and exterior joinery, mouldings and barrel staves


From light yellow to brown with grey or black stripes. Hard, heavy and durable, it works well and gives a solid finish.

Main uses: furniture, cabinets and turnery

Padauk, African

Deep plum red with varying shades that mellow with age. Has a slightly interlocked grain and course texture. Hard, heavy and stable, it finishes well.

Main uses: cue butts, handles, joinery and turnery

Pear, Steamed

Pinkish brown, evenly grained and textured. Stable and strong and can have a mottled figure.

Main uses: cabinets, furniture inlay, carvings and specialist drawing intruments

Pine, Eastern White (Quebec)

Creamy white pine characterised by tight red knots in lower grades. Texture very fine and even, straight grained and very stable. Easy to work.

Main uses: mouldings, joinery, fire surrounds and traditionally for pattern making

Pine, Southern Yellow

White to yellowish sapwood, yellow to reddish-brown heartwood. High density gives it natural strength, weight and wearing resistance.

Main uses: construction, furniture and joinery


White to pale straw heartwood. Straight to shallowly interlocked grain with moderately fine, even texture. Large movement in service and perishable.

Main uses: furniture, interior joinery, carving, flooring, picture frames and toys


Medium to dark reddish-brown heartwood. Interlocked or wavy grain with fairly fine texture.

Main uses: furniture, interior and exterior joinery, solid doors and flooring

Tulipwood (Poplar)

Creamy white sapwood that may be streaked with heartwood varying from pale yellowing brown to olive green and purple. Straight grained wit medium to fine texture. Non durable.

Main uses: furniture, interior joinery, kitchen cabinets, doors, picture frames and mouldings


Heartwood darkens to deep red brown. Interlocked to rather irregular grain with uniformly moderate texture. Works well and is durable.

Main uses: furniture, cabinet making, high quality interior and exterior joinery, boat building and musical instruments

Virola, Soft

Heartwood darkens to deep reddish brown on exposure. Straight grained with medium to coarse texture. Perishable but works easily.

Main uses: furniture mouldings, lightweight joinery and cigar boxes

Walnut, African

Bronze shade of yellowish brown, sometimes marked with dark veins. Not a true walnut, it shows interlocked grain and a moderately fine texture. Moderately durable.

Main uses: furniture, cabinet work, joinery and panelling

Walnut, American Black

Rich dark brown to purplish-black heartwood. Mostly straight grained with coarse texture. Works well. Very durable.

Main uses: furniture and cabinetwork, high-class joinery, floors, panelling and gunstocks


Dark brown heartwood with very close, fine almost black veins. Closely spaced whitish banks of parenchyma give a most attractive appearance. Very limited availability.

Main uses: furniture, cabinet work, flooring and interior joinery.


Golden brown with purple streaks and spots. Striking figure often seen. Durable and finishes well.

Main uses: furniture, archery bows and turnery


Light yellow to golden with narrow streaks of brown and black which produce vivid stripes on the quartered face. Hard, heavy and strong. It works well.

Main uses: cabinet work, joinery and turnery