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Hard Maple is one of the most common hardwoods that come from North America, mainly in the northeastern United States. You may know this wood from its typical use for maple syrup and on the Canadian flag. The wood has color ranges from nearly white, to an off-white cream color, sometimes with a reddish or golden hue. It is widely used in situations that need to hold up to abuse such as baseball bats, butcher blocks and even gym floors. With one of the most consistent grain patterns, there isn't much for variation with Hard Maple. With a Janka hardness of 1,450 lbf it is the hardest of the domestic North American hardwoods and one of the easiest to care for.
Black Walnut is typically found in the eastern United States and is the darkest of the North American hardwoods. It is the most popular wood for woodworkers in the United States due to its ease of working with and its dark, rich color. It is typically used in furniture, cabinetry, and gunstocks. With a Janka hardness of 1,010 lbf it is one of the softer North American hardwoods, but is typically selected for its rich brown color.
Black Cherry is a light pinkish brown when freshly cut, and will darken to a medium reddish brown over time after exposure to light. It is typically found in the midwest to eastern United States and scattered throughout Central America. It is by far one of the easiest hardwood to work with and thus, is used to build cabinetry, fine furniture, flooring and interior millwork such as trim and doors. With a Janka hardness of 950lbf it is the softest of the domestic North American wood types, but is typically selected for its reddish brown color.
Have you ever seen what happens to a black cherry utensil when it gets too hot? It tends to char and leave black marks when working with it too close to a burner or resting it on the edge of a hot pan. We take this one step further and actually flame-burn the cherry to a black finish. This results in one of the smoothest utensils we have and will last for years and years with this unique coloring. Although you need to be careful the first few times you wash and dry these pieces to prevent blackening your rags, the finish will hold true even after heavy use. We love using ours because of the almost plastic-like smoothness that the finish leaves behind.
Spalted Maple is just a variation of Hard Maple, whic his one of the most common hardwoods that come from North America, mainly in the northeastern United States. Spalting is caused by fungi and cause random, very unique patterns and coloration in the wood. With the same Janka hardness of 1,450 lbf as Hard Maple, it is the hardest of the domestic North American hardwoods and one of the easiest to care for.
Bocote has a yellowish brown body with dramatic dark brown to almost black stripes. Color tends to darken with age. Also, the grain patterning can be quite striking, particularly on flatsawn areas. Bocote can be a very eye-catching wood as it’s not uncommon to see many “eyes” and other striking patterns throughout the wood. It is typically used in boatbuilding, musical instruments and furniture. With a Janka hardness of 2,010lbf it is one of the hardest woods we work with that comes from the Mexico and Central American region.
Chechen has a lot of variation in color with red, orange, and brown contrasted with darker stripes of blackish brown. Over time the wood tends to shift to a darker reddish brown with age and exposure to sunlight. With this wood typically found the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, Guatemala, Belize, and southeastern Mexico and a Janka hardness of 2,250lbf it is one of the strongest and unique patterns we work with.
Leopardwood has to be one of the most unique woods we've ever seen or worked with. This medium to dark reddish brown with grey or light brown rays, in some cases almost perfectly resemble the spots of a leopard. With a Janka hardness of 2,150lbf this unique leopard looking wood is sturdy enough to hold up well in the kitchen.
Marblewood is a yellow to golden brown color, with brown, purple, or black streaks giving it a lot of variation throughout. This wood has a lot of contrast between the golden brown base against the darker streaks that give it the look of natural marble which is where it got it's name of "Marblewood". Marblewood is very similar to the Zebrawood found below but has a much finer texture to the grain pattern. With a Janka hardness of 2,5300lbf this wood found in Northeastern South America is sure to be your favorite.
The process that Purpleheart goes through from cutting to finishing is one of the most unique things you'll ever see. When freshly cut, Purpleheart is a dull grayish brown. Once left exposed to UV light, the wood slowly turns into a deep purple color. With further age, the wood will become a dark brown with a hint of purple, giving it one of the most interesting colors you could use in your kitchen. As one of the toughest wood types in the world with a Janka hardness of 2,520lbf it is typically used for flooring, furniture, boatbuilding, truck beds, and a variety of heavy construction projects and grows from Mexico down to Southern Brazil.
With Spalted Tamarind it is impossible to find any two pieces of wood that look anything alike. Spalting is caused by fungi and cause random, very unique patterns and coloration in the wood. If you've never heard of it, Tamarind trees are actually known for their fruit, not wood. They are native to Western Africa but are now planted in tropical regions around the world for their fruit and ornamental value. Even with this unique pattern and coloration, Tamarind has a Janka hardness of 2,690lbf which makes it the hardest wood type that we work with.