Snakewood is an incredibly beautiful wood which originates mostly in Suriname, South America. The specific gravity is around 1.2, making it one of the worlds hardest woods. The part sold as snakewood is really the heartwood of the larger tree. This wood is usually felled with axes and carried on the backs of hard working natives over streams and through snake infested jungle areas. Each tree felled is monitored, and the government has developed a strict permit process to control harvesting.
This beautiful burl comes from Morocco. Reportedly it comes from the root systems of trees which have died a long time ago. It is very difficult to find as the tree tops have disappeared years ago, leaving small depressions in the ground where it is dug to see if a burl is there. It has a characteristic smell and a very fine grain. The color may very from deep reddish to bronze to tan. The black spots may be sparse or more packed together. Even though the tree is a conifer, the wood is very hard and somewhat oily. A favorite turning wood for years.
Brazilian tulipwood is a classic high-quality wood, it is very dense with a lovely figure. Tulipwood is a stunningly beautiful hardwood which is in short supply. The tree itself is only found in a narrow geographical area, and it’s small enough to be considered a shrub: typically yielding very small and narrow boards.
Brazilian Kingwood is a beautiful member of the rosewood family. The unfinished color of the wood usually has a violet hue. This wood can be beautifully finished and is an excellent turning wood. The specific gravity is between .8 and 1.2, making it a very dense wood.
Some people consider cocobolo to be the classic rosewood. It comes in many shades and colors. It is a rosewood that usually has a fair amount of natural oil in the wood. Mexican cocobolo can also have more or less orange or brown, straight or wavy lines, many lines or few lines. Each piece varies a little.
A rare, exotic hardwood that grows in Southeast Asia and has a fragrant aroma. It can vary in color from yellow to golden brown to red, and is generally considered excellent for both turning and finishing.