Imported Hardwoods

All of NNT’s imports are of the highest quality. We work closely with our suppliers to ensure that all materials are FSC certified or are at least selectively harvested. Some of the older growth materials cannot be FSC certified due to them being in large stands of natural forest. The older growth material comes from well documented sources that register with local forestry sustainability’s as well as their own government. None of our lumber is harvested via clear cutting.


honduran-mahogany1

Honduran Mahogany

Color/Appearance: Heartwood color can vary a fair amount with Honduran Mahogany, from a pale pinkish brown, to a darker reddish brown. Color tends to darken with age.

Grain/Texture: Has medium to large sized pores, and a medium texture. Grain can be straight, interlocked, irregular or wavy. Mahogany also exhibits an optical phenomenon known as chatoyancy. (See video below.)

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; mineral deposits occasionally present; growth rings distinct due to marginal parenchyma; rays barely visible without lens; parenchyma banded (marginal), paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric.

Rot Resistance: Considered durable or very durable in regards to decay resistance, though it has been reported as being susceptible to insect attack.

Workability: Typically very easy to work with tools: machines well. (With exception to sections with figured grain, which can tearout or chip during machining.) Slight dulling of cutters can occur. Sands very easily. Turns, glues, stains, and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Sustainability: This wood species is in CITES Appendix II, and is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.

Common Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, turned objects, veneers, musical instruments, boatbuilding, and carving.

Comments: Honduran Mahogany goes by many names, yet perhaps its most accurate and telling name is Genuine Mahogany. Not to be confused with cheaper imitations, such as Philippine Mahogany, Swietenia macrophylla is what most consider to be the real and true species when referring to “Mahogany.”

An incredibly important commercial timber in Latin America, Honduran Mahogany is now grown extensively on plantations. It has been widely exploited, leading to its inclusion on the CITES Appendix II in 2003. In effect, this limits the international exporting of the lumber to certified sustainable sources. (This is also why many lumber retailers located in the United States are unable to ship Honduran Mahogany outside of the country.) Substitutes sometimes used are African Mahogany or Sapele.

Honduran Mahogany’s easy workability, combined with its beauty and phenomenal stability have made this lumber an enduring favorite.

cocobolo

Cocobolo

Color/Appearance: Cocobolo can be seen in a kaleidoscope of different colors, ranging from yellow, orange, red, and shades of brown with streaks of black or purple. Sapwood is typically a very pale yellow. Colors are lighter when freshly sanded/cut, and darken with age; for more information, see the article on preventing color changes in exotic woods.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to interlocked, with a fine even texture. Good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium to very large pores in no specific arrangement, very few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; various mineral deposits occasionally present;  parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, vasicentric, and marginal; rays narrow, fairly close spacing.

Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable, and also resistant to insect attack. Its natural oils are reported to give it good resistance to degrade from wet/dry cycles.

Workability: Due to the high oil content found in this wood, it can occasionally cause problems with gluing. Also, the wood’s color can bleed into surrounding wood when applying a finish, so care must be taken on the initial seal coats not to smear the wood’s color/oils into surrounding areas. Tearout can occur during planing if interlocked grain is present; the wood also has a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges/tools due to its high density. Cocobolo has excellent turning properties.

Odor: Cocobolo has a distinct spice-like scent when being worked, which some find unpleasant: though it has been used in at least one women’s perfume.

Sustainability: This wood species is in CITES Appendix II, and is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.

Common Uses: Fine furniture, musical instruments, turnings, and other small specialty objects.

Comments: One of today’s most prized lumbers for its outstanding color and figure; yet also one of the most infamous for its difficulty in gluing, and its tendency to cause allergic reactions in woodworkers.

Also, there are a few misleading reports of Cocobolo’s Janka hardness being only about 1,100 lbf, and it’s modulus of elasticity at only about 1,100,000 lbf/in2: which is almost certainly either a typo or a different wood than what is commonly called Cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa). Reports indicate that Cocobolo is stronger and denser than Brazilian Rosewood, and that is the basis for the strength values (bending strength and modulus of elasticity) that are quoted at the top of this page.

Specific gravity is used to predict the hardness of wood with a fair degree of accuracy, and given its incredibly high density, (it sinks in water: see video below), Cocobolo’s hardness (and other strength properties) is most likely several times higher than the 1,100 lbf which is sometimes reported.

teak1

Teak

Color/Appearance: Heartwood tends to be a golden or medium brown, with color darkening with age.

Grain/Texture: Teak has a coarse texture with medium-sized open pores. The grain tends to be straight, though it can occasionally be wavy or interlocked. Teak also has a slightly oily or greasy feel due to its natural oils.

Endgrain: Ring-porous or semi-ring-porous; large, solitary earlywood pores, medium-small latewood pores solitary and in radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses and other mineral deposits common; growth rings distinct due to uniseriate row of earlywood pores; rays visible without lens; parenchyma banded (marginal), with bands sometimes wide enough to enclose entire earlywood pores, paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric.

Rot Resistance: Teak has been considered by many to be the gold standard for decay resistance, and its heartwood is rated as very durable. Teak is also resistant to termites, though it is only moderately resistant to marine borers and powder post beetles.

Workability: Easy to work in nearly all regards, with the only caveat being that Teak contains a high level of silica (up to 1.4%) which has a pronounced blunting effect on cutting edges. Despite its natural oils, Teak usually glues and finishes well, though in some instances it may be necessary to wipe the surface of the wood with a solvent prior to gluing/finishing to reduce the natural oils on the surface of the wood.

Odor: Teak can have a leather-like scent when freshly milled.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Ship and boatbuilding, veneer, furniture, exterior construction, carving, turnings, and other small wood objects.

Comments: Used extensively in India and within its natural range for centuries, Teak has grown into a worldwide favorite. With its superb stability, good strength properties, easy workability—and most of all, its outstanding resistance to decay and rot—it’s no wonder that Teak ranks among the most desired lumbers in the world.

Much like the many names and knockoffs of Mahogany, the moniker “Teak” has been affixed and assigned to a number of different woods seeking acclaim. The usual procedure is to  take a wood bearing any degree of resemblance to Teak and insert a geographical location in front of the name. For instance, Cumaru is sometimes referred to as Brazilian Teak, while Rhodesian Teak bears little botanical relation to real Teak—Tectona grandis. The name Burmese Teak, however, does refer to genuine Teak.

swiss-pear-sealed

Pearwood

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a pale pink or light reddish brown. Sapwood is slightly paler but is not usually distinct from heartwood. Pear is sometimes steamed to deepen the pink coloration. Pear is also occasionally dyed black and used as a substitute for ebony.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually straight, with a very fine uniform texture.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; very small pores in no specific arrangement (very numerous); exclusively solitary; heartwood mineral/gum deposits (reddish brown) occasionally present; growth rings distinct; rays not visible without lens; parenchyma not clearly observable with hand lens.

Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable regarding decay resistance.

Workability: Overall easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Turns, glues, and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Veneer, architectural millwork, marquetry, inlay, carving, musical instruments, furniture, cabinetry, and turned objects.

Comments: It’s been said that Pear is used in Europe much in the same way that Black Cherry is used in the United States: as a popular and high-quality domestic hardwood.

Eucalyptus viminalis

Eucalyptus

The heartwood is pale yellow or pink, and is not clearly demarcated from the sapwood. The grain is usually straight, texture coarse. The density is 670–940 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content. The wood is difficult to dry without degrade, because it tends to check and warp, but proper stacking can reduce this tendency to a minimum. Strong collapse may occur, but reconditioning by steaming is possible. The rates of shrinkage from green to oven dry are high: 5.2–13.0% radial and 9.7–31.0% tangential.

The wood is tough, hard and moderately strong to strong. At 12% moisture content the modulus of rupture is (106–)140–183 N/mm², modulus of elasticity 11,500–17,800 N/mm², compression parallel to grain (47–)63–76 N/mm², shear 8–11 N/mm², cleavage 14–27 N/mm and Chalais-Meudon side hardness 6.0–7.8. Once dried, the wood is not stable in service.

The wood is fairly difficult to saw and plane, but African plantation trees give much better quality sawn wood than Australian native trees. Quartersawing is recommended. The wood may split on nailing and screwing, and pre-boring is recommended. The wood is not durable, being susceptible to attacks by termites and marine borers. The sapwood is susceptible to Lyctus borers. The heartwood is extremely resistant to impregnation with preservatives, the sapwood is permeable to moderately resistant.

Eucalyptus viminalis
is considered to have potential to become more important as a source of pulp for paper making. Wood from 10-year-old trees from Australia had fibres 0.83 mm long, with a diameter of 20 μm. The wood contained 44% cellulose, 22% glucuronoxylan and 29% lignin. A bleached kraft pulp yield of 54% was obtained, with 3.8 m³ wood needed to obtain 1 t of bleached pulp. Compared to pulps from Eucalyptus globulus Labill. and Eucalyptus grandis W.Hill ex Maiden, which are currently the main sources of Eucalyptus pulpwood, pulp from Eucalyptus viminalis had a high strength, high opacity and low porosity, making it especially suited for wood free printing and writing papers and specialty papers.

In Ethiopia leaves yield 0.8% essential oil, with as main components 1,8-cineole (50.9%), α-pinene (28.2%), globulol (5.1%) and limonene (4.3%). The leaves of Brazilian trees contain 1.3–1.8% essential oil, with 1,8-cineole (84–87%) as main component. The essential oil content is highest in the summer season, when temperature and humidity are high.

angelimpedra

Angelim Pedra

Angelim Pedra is found in South America, primarily in Brazil and Guyane.   The heartwood has a beautiful rich color; varying from a light orange tan to orange brown with brown vertical stripes.  The sapwood is a creamy gray color.

Properties: Angelim Pedra is easy to work with both hand and machine tools and can attain a smooth finish

Uses: Because of its durability, Angelim Pedra is popular for making decking, flooring and is used in building construction.  It is also a desirable wood for fine furniture making especially when wide widths are needed.

Curly European Ash

European Ash

Color/Appearance: The heartwood is a light brown color, though darker shades can also be seen, which is sometimes sold as Olive Ash.

Grain/Texture: Has a medium to coarse texture similar to oak. The grain is almost always straight and regular, though sometimes curly or figured boards can be found.

Endgrain: Ring-porous; large earlywood pores 2-4 rows wide, small latewood pores solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses common; growth rings distinct; rays barely visible without lens; parenchyma banded (marginal), paratracheal parenchyma around latewood pores vasicentric, aliform, and confluent.

Rot Resistance: Heartwood is rated as perishable, or only slightly durable in regard to decay. Ash is also not resistant to insect attack.

Workability: Produces good results with hand or machine tools. Responds well to steam bending. Glues, stains, and finishes well.

Odor: Gives off a distinct, moderately unpleasant smell when being worked.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Flooring, millwork, boxes/crates, baseball bats, and other turned objects such as tool handles.

Comments: European Ash has fairly good strength properties for its weight, and is also shock resistant.