open main page for all woods open page 2 for articles
GENERAL DISCUSSION OF THIS SITE
The point of this site is to show, with accurate color and detail, pictures of every species of exotic and domestic wood I can get my hands on, and occasionally to also show items made from such woods. Actually "every species" is an exaggeration. I specifically limit myself to woods that a North American woodworker / artisan can reasonably expect to obtain in sizes at least big enough for a pen blank.
I particularly choose to show bowls as "made objects" because these show multiple view of grain direction with just one image. If you're looking for tool tips or woodworking tips or chat rooms on wood or woodworking, this is not the place. All you'll find here is pictures and descriptions of wood, and these will be as accurate as I can make them.
I have also spent a huge amount of time creating a highly cross-refereced (via HTML) and illustrated glossary of wood and woodworking terms. The main page of the glossary is here
When I say "get my hands on", I prefer it to be the wood that I get my hands on, but in the absence of that, I'll settle for just the pictures. The pictures that are not from my own samples are from various sources on the Internet, including eBay auctions. I note that the auction pictures in particular tend to overemphasize the redness of many of the woods. Probably an effect of digital cameras, but possibly a result of overzealous photo editing trying to make the exotic wood more attractive than it really is. I have done my best to select pictures that I know to be realistic and representative for each species, but even so for the more figured exotic woods in particular some of the pictures are of outstanding specimens because that's what people tend to post on web sites, so that's what I've had available. Also, "representative" is not always a terribly meaningful term when used in conjunction with woods because even within a single species, the amount of variety in color, grain, and figure can be astounding.
Pictures that I have taken off of various internet sites are of course not my own and I have no control over the color or identification of the woods involved. I use pics from anywhere I can get them under the premise that this is an educational site and not for profit. Also:
"Theft from a single author is plagiarism. Theft from two is a comparative study. Theft from three or more is research" (unknown author)
Pictures that I have taken myself are identifiable in two ways: first because they are in a section at the top of each individual wood page (the section labeled "my samples") and second because they have a size ruler in the picure. I point this out so that you'll know whether or not I've had the ability to compare the actual wood with the image and color correct if needed.
The main page consists of a set of thumbnails of both exotic wood and common wood, in alphabetical order. Click on the thumbnail to see more details, and note that on many of the wood pictures, the cursor icon will show you that you can get something by clicking on the picture. What you get is a bigger picture. AND, sometimes even the bigger picture has a bigger picture. Just watch the cursor icon to know which is which.
You'll see that each thumbnail on the main page is followed by a set of three numbers. The first number is how many unique pictures there are on the site for that wood. The second number is how many of the unique pictures have enlargements present. The third number is how many of the enlargements have further enlargements.
Most of the pictures are concentrated in about 350 of the more readily available woods, both domestic and exotic, and for some of the more obscure exotic woods (another 70 or so) there are relatively few pictures. I add more as I find the time to seek them out and time to post them.
I have attempted to make all my own pictures color correct. Sometimes I am able to get an excellent reproduction of a wood's color but on occasion I just can't get it to work out quite right and I always describe the actual color relative to what's shown in the pics. The major goal of this site is to have accurate representations of the woods depicted here. If you notice anything amiss, I'd appreciate hearing from you (contact info below). For "web pics", I take no responsibility for the colors shown but I often comment on the extent of, or lack of, color correctness that I think such pics have.
I go on and on about color correction on this site because I find that the web masters at many wood web sites clearly either don't know or don't care how to make wood pictures on the web look anything like the real wood. That gets compounded in some cases by vendors who "correct" the colors to make wood look more appealing than they believe it to be in its natural state and they end up making it look very unreal. This is PARTICULARLY true of a few sellers on eBay. Examples and a more detailed discussion of this are available here:
color correction, digital cameras, eBay pictures, etc.. From discussions I have had with many of these vendors, I know, either directly from their comments or from the evasiveness of their comments, that the misrepresentation is often deliberate. I also know that many times it is NOT deliberate but rather a lack of knowledge about, or a lack of interest in, the way to do color correction on a computer. In some cases a vendor just has so many listings that he/she is not willing to make the extra time that it would take to get the pics to be accurate. To the extent that I am aware of it, I comment along with the pics on a particular vendor's predilections regarding color.
I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has an interest in helping me expand the collection of exotic woods represented here. If you have wood samples or pictures of wood samples or wood projects that you think would enhance this site, I'd be happy to hear from you. I will give credit for anything I post that comes from you (or not, if you so choose). I'd also appreciate it if you would (assuming you find this site interesting and/or helpful) pass on word of this site to other woodworkers. I'm putting a huge amount of time into it, because I enjoy doing it, but I'd be even happier if I could feel that all of my effort is of some use to others.
You can email me at the following address. I apologize for not having a clickable link as I used to, but search robots suck out the email address from the page and then I get huge amounts of spam, so I'll have to ask that you type this into your email.