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‘New’ woods

A.J. has gotten me thinking again about ‘new’ woods. The thing is, most of these woods are not new. They have been there all along but have been ignored for various reasons.

The primary reason is that they were long ago determined to be less than desirable for one reason or another. Many of these trees don't reach a size to yield enough lumber to make large scale harvesting practical. And the wood from others is simply not that attractive. Some species throw off some nice looking material but are not stable and are subject to excessive warping and checking. Others are abrasive and difficult to work.

The only exception I am aware of is Lyptus, a genetically modified species of eucalyptus that is being plantation grown in Brazil by Weyerhaeuser. This makes it, technically speaking, a tropical hardwood which sounds very desirable.

I have used this wood for several projects and I am only mildly taken with it. It's not bad looking wood but a bit on the unstable side. Since these trees mature in only 12 years plus or minus and since they are grown under very closely controlled conditions, they do not have much chance to produce wild figure or burls. But it is more or less sustainable, apparently very well managed and not all that expensive.


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The recent disastrous fire that consumed most of the roof structure of the Notre Dame cathedral got me thinking once again about the fragile nature of our wood supply.