- Michael Sharpe
WOOD you rather?
Updated: Jul 22, 2020
Did you know that we offer completely custom, live edge dining tables? You can easily build your own in our shop's "CUSTOM" listings, or talk with a designer today! Learn more about the wood species that we often use at Blowing Rock Woodworks, below.
Guanacaste is our best seller here at Blowing Rock Woodworks. The wood is harvested in Costa Rica, and the average tree stands at 65-100ft and the trunck diameter ranges from 5-8ft (which makes for a great coffee table round!). Heartwood of a Guanacaste slab is a deep brown with a reddish hue, and the sapwood is a distinctive blonde color. In the customization process, you can choose to leave the slab with a live edge and blonde sapwood, slim to just the heartwood for a more uniform look (like the photo above), and you can also choose to cut the slab at a straight edge.
Walnut is our most popular domestic wood option, as it has a classic and uniform look. It's the perfect material for a sleek, modern design paired with our steel legs or crafted with a wooden base. Walnut grows in many places, most commonly harvested in America, near England, Peru (for Peruvian Walnut), and Africa for (African Walnut). Aside from furniture builds, Walnut is also great for instruments and flooring because of it's durability.
Tiger Wood is an exotic wood that we often use in the shop because it is so versatile. Tiger Wood is a nickname of sorts, for a group of woods from different species - what they all have in common is a distinct strip pattern, like that of a tiger. Two common woods in this category are Hawaiian Koa or African Lovoa Trichilioides. It was originally harvested by US importers because it is a fast growing and short-living tree, most only living 80-100 years. It is a popular wood for porches or decks, because once kiln dried it is very resilient to rot or decay.
Here are a few examples of Tiger wood builds that we have created, you can see the different in color and striping.
We often use various strains of Maple for our builds, there are 128 species across Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. The most valuable types of Maple for timber are Sugar Maple from North America, and Sycamore Maple from Europe. One that we often use in the shop is Ambrosia Maple, because of it's texture and figuring (seen to the right). Some decorative figuring is called flame, quilt, bird's eye, and burl wood.
There is a long history of furniture building with Maple woods. Cherokee Indians used the bark from Maple trees to create purple dyes for clothing.
Cherry is one of the most used wood species for furniture builds, because of it's reddish-brown color, smooth grain, and it's ability to withstand the test of time - it is a hard wood and it darkens as it ages. It is a woodworker favorite because it is easy to obtain being a domestic wood, and very malleable. Extraction from a cherry tree's bark has also been used as an ingredient for bronchitis and coughs. Black cherry can be found all over the United States, including Florida, the Dakotas, Texas, and most popularly throughout the Appalachian region (and it even spans as far north as Nova Scotia!).
Other Exotics/ Builds
Though we frequently use the woods listed above, we also work with other exotic woods. Bubinga (shown in top left) is an African hardwood with a rich red color and great figuring. From Australia, River Gum (bottom right) is another unique wood that makes for a great conversation piece as a coffee table!