Wood Glossary


Durable hard wood from fast growing trees grown in the Far East and South America used in Inlay work.


Fine-textured hardwood widely used in turnery which turns a deep orange when cut but fades with time to a paler, richer brown


Also known as Purple Heart this unique wood is purplish in colour making it very stylish and elegant.


beautiful mottled and curled East Indian wood often used for its distinctive 'birds eye' burr figurings, used both on large surfaces and for inlays.


Dense hardwood, reddish-brown in colour with straight grain used for inlays and marquetry designs.


Rough, supple hardwood with streaks in the direction of its growth.


Strong, dense hardwood with reddish brown heartwood and light sapwood. Often used for frames.


Pale, close-grained wood with a straight plain grain.

Bog Oak

Durable, strong black wood which has been buried in peat bogs and preserved from decay.


A very tough and heavy white-yellow wood with a fine regular texture, used for stringing lines and inlay work

Brazil Wood

Durable dense wood reddish brown in colour used in veneering, or as an inlay


A very heavy and hard, fine-grained wood that is hazel brown with black stripes used for veneer and bandings in Regency furniture.


Aromatic and yellow to brown in colour it has insect repellent qualities so has been widely used in military campaign furniture.


Aromatic softwood of reddish-brown colour resistant to warping, often used as drawer linings and humidors due to its moth repellent qualities


A moderately hard, light to red-brown wood which darkens with age and when exposed to light. It has a straight grain and satiny smooth texture and is easy to carve and polish.

Circassian Walnut

Strongly figured wood with brown to yellow tones the Italian variety has black inclusions


The name given to the timber of firs and pines


very dense, strong black wood with a fine texture and a very smooth finish when polished which makes it valuable as an ornamental wood


Hard, durable wood of yellow brown colour with an interlocking grain that makes it resistant to splitting.

Gonçalo Alves

A durable, reddish brown wood of outstanding beauty used in fine furniture and cabinetry.


Cut sycamore stained with ferrous sulphate used sparingly in inlays and as a veneer.


White, fine-grained wood used for inlay, marquetry work and stringing.


A Brazilian wood with rich violet-brown and distinctive streaky markings favoured by French kings for their furniture.


Hard fine-grained wood of yellowish tint streaked with brown used in oyster veneers.


Reddish brown wood with light brown rays which result in a highly decorative lace pattern when quarter sawn.

Lignum Vitae

Tough and dense dark wood that sinks in water.


Straw coloured with close, compact grain it is tough, durable and easy to work making it one of the best woods for carving.


A dark close-grained hardwood that varies in colour from yellowish to rich dark brown and polishes to a high lustre.


A compact, fine-grained white that takes a good polish. It was used in marquetry and as veneer in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The 'bird's eye' maple is an American wood and much superior with its fine grain and texture and figuring.


A dense wood of great strength and hardness that is resistant to infestation and has a very attractive grain.

Olive Wood

A hard, heavy and strong wood with high density wood of greenish yellow colour with black cloudy spots and veins.


Is a hardwood that is red in colour but darkens with exposure to light.


From light golden yellow tones to dark brown tones palmwood is used occasionally in veneer work.


Chocolate brown wood with darker flecks, resembling the markings of a partridge wing used sparingly in inlay work.


A white, fairly soft, durable wood, often used in country furniture and carving.

Pitch Pine

Very grainy with a high resin content it has a yellowish colour with reddish tints.


White close-grained wood.


Very hard wood from the tropics it is dark reddish brown in colour and has a marked grain.


Fragrant yellowish heartwood with insect repellent properties used for carving and cabinet work.

Satin Walnut

Reddish brown wood from the heartwood of the gum tree it sometimes has black striped markings.


A hard, close-grained, heavy wood with a golden hue which can be polished to a high gloss. Very fine grained and durable it was used extensively by Adam, Hepplewhite and Sheraton.


A rare and very beautiful yellowish wood mottled with deep brown marks and bearing a slight resemblance to the markings of a snake.


This tough, elastic wood is from the largest of the European maples and is white to cream in colour.


Yellow to dark brown hardwood which is extremely heavy, strong and durable.


North African wood with golden brown colour and exceptional natural patterns in the grain, used for inlay work.


A hardwood of yellowish colour with reddish stripes; it is usually cut across the grain and used in veneers for crossbanding.


A fairly hard, tight-grained wood of rich brown colour with a very smooth finish. The colour ranges from creamy white in the sapwood to dark chocolate in the heartwood.


A very hard, tough, pliable wood of orange red or dark brown colour, with strong markings.

Zebra Wood

Yellowish brown heartwood with a dark contrasting grain which gives it a zebra like appearance, the colour does not darken over time.