A Treasure of Exotic Hardwoods

exotic hardwood table

As the old saw goes, “some days ya just get lucky!” Well, that is exactly what happened to me recently. A little background, first.

As woodworkers, craftspeople, woodturners, etc., we have been intrigued with using some exotic hardwoods in our projects. Yes, many of these woods are very expensive and often hard to obtain, but we just get the urge, now and then, to really light up a project with a flash of Purpleheart, Rosewood, or any of the other exotic species. One will usually turn to the internet to see what’s out there. There are a number of companies listed, who deal in such woods, so we check them out- only to find small pieces on sale, at outrageous prices. Rarely do you find wide, long, and thick boards available for a larger project, like a coffee table, or a dinner table, and if you do, good luck with the prices.

Still, if you are making small items like cutting boards, picture frames, or turning lamp bases on the lathe, you won’t be breaking the bank by buying a few pieces of Yellowheart, or whatever. The larger projects are a different story. Another issue is that of perfection. If you are paying $15 – $30 or more per board foot for a fancy hardwood, you damn well want it to be perfect, and with the mail order companies, it isn’t always that way. They also often retain the right to substitute other sizes. Yes, you can return it, but we all know what a nuisance that is. I want to SEE it before I buy it!

So, I’m always looking around for exotic hardwoods, decent quality at reasonable prices, but seldom find it. I recently started seeking out foreign companies as possible suppliers. They had to have high quality, a good selection of lengths, widths and thickness, be an established, financially sound business, and be willing to ship quantities under 10,000 board feet. (Most of them want to ship you a container, or have very large minimum orders. I can’t justify spending $250K or more on one order!)

I’m presently housebound, recuperating from major surgery that kept me in Mass General Hospital for 53 days, plus two months in a rehab facility, so I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. (Translation: going crazy!) Anyway, I searched around for overseas suppliers, with no success. Then, completely out of nowhere, I got an email from the company I was looking for. They had a great selection, massive quantities, and whatever quality you sought. Prices were reasonable, and shipping cost less than I thought. I placed an order of about 4,000 BF of mixed species, and hoped that they would accept it. They did, and we received in THREE WEEKS!

You, our esteemed customers, can now feast your eyes on 4/4 Yellowheart, 4/4 Black Limba, 4/4 and 8/4 Purpleheart, 4/4 and 8/4 Padauk, and 4/4 Rosewood. It is all Select & BTR, and at excellent pricing. In my opinion, the Black Limba is the most exotic, and the Padauk’s beauty and richness is beyond belief! Of course, we can mill and/or fabricate to suit your needs. Below is a photo of a Yellowheart pedestal table we built for a customer, and some photos of the various woods. Please come in and look—you’ll love it!

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