News Focused on the Wood Market

Soft maple can be a low-cost alternative

Sunday, 14 November 2010 00:00

25_softmaple_01Soft maple doesn't receive the spotlight that many domestic woods do, but for cabinetmakers and some furniture makers it is a popular alternative to the more expensive hard maple. A year ago, Woodshop News wrote the following about the status of domestic wood markets: "Wood dealers have a 'wait-and-see' attitude when it comes to forecasting how wood markets will perform in 2010. The majority of suppliers agree that wood markets have bottomed out and may actually be slightly on the rise. But any mention of a substantial rally taking place was greeted cautiously by even the most optimistic of dealers."

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Wherever you are, ebony will cost you — perhaps $100/bf

Monday, 18 October 2010 00:00

29_ebonyThere are several certainties about African ebony. First of all, it is hard, heavy and dense. What is also noticeable about the wood is its price - ebony is one of the most expensive woods in the world. Regularly priced between $75/bf and $100/bf, it makes one wonder why more people don't ebonize a significantly cheaper species with the use of aniline dye, stain or paint. But for wealthy customers, the real deal is the only deal.

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Versatile cypress is making a splash

Monday, 18 October 2010 00:00

30_cypressCypress, also known as bald cypress, is found primarily in the South and often grows partially submerged in swampy areas. The rot-resistant softwood comes from an unusual-looking, but very recognizable, tree - especially for its knees, which protrude from the water. Although it is a conifer, the tree loses its needles in the fall and got its name for its "bald" look during the winter. The green needles are produced again in the spring.

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Claro walnut is ‘dramatic’ in color

Monday, 13 September 2010 00:00

28_CLAROWALNUT_01Claro walnut has a limited growing area - California to Washington - but is highly sought after for its figure and size. It is often sold in slab form for table tops, sometimes in immense sizes. The wood received international recognition thanks to George Nakashima's Peace Altars and large table tops.

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Old hickory gains some new popularity

Monday, 13 September 2010 00:00

29_oldhickory_01Hickory may be one of the country's least known domestic hardwoods, but of late it has gained increased popularity in the cabinetry and flooring markets. The wood is hard, dense and relatively inexpensive; all fine attributes in today's economy. Originally known for years as the best species for handles on axes, hatchets, picks and hammers, hickory has enjoyed a slight rejuvenation in demand during the last several years.

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