Hardwoods are the deciduous trees that lose their leaves in the fall. Although there is an abundant variety, only 200 are plentiful and pliable enough for woodworking. Hardwood trees are generally slower-growing, making the wood denser than softwoods. These woods have a more interesting grain pattern which makes them popular with woodworkers. Hardwoods have microscopic pores on the surface. The size of these pores determines the grain pattern and texture. Because of this, hardwoods are classified by pore openings as either: Closed Grained (smaller pores), like cherry and maple or Ring Porous (larger pores), like oak, ash or poplar.
Softwoods come from coniferous trees, commonly referred to as evergreen trees. Only 25% of all softwoods are used in woodworking. Softwoods have a closed grain (small pores) that is not very noticeable in the finished product. The most popular softwoods are cedar, fir, pine and spruce. Softwoods are faster-growing, with straighter grain.
Each wood has its own grain pattern, color, texture and density. Defects in wood are natural and appreciated for the unique character they contribute.
NOW LET'S HAVE A LOOK AT THE MOST POPULAR TYPES OF WOOD IN WOODTURNING AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS
solid wood with special grains and exquisite finishing
wild or irregular grains and dark color
aromatic, with a long-lasting, sweet scent
great red shading
heavy, strong and light colored
wavy grains and dark color, excellent woodworking qualities
straight and regular grain and light color
close grained with a dark reddish brown color
with a diffuse porous anatomy and a pale pink color
hard and heavy wood with richly contrasting, coarse light/dark structure and irregular grain
hard, strong, heavy wood with tiny pores and large rays
a magnificent colored wood, with a spectrum ranging from bright pink to fiery red
light colored wood with a fine and even texture
excellent carving wood with a reddish - brown color
one of the hardest, densest woods with dark color and excellent finish
closed grain, light to red-brown wood with excellent finishing
light color with dark blackish brown streaks vaguely resembling a zebra’s stripes
hard wood, with color that ranges from a pinkish brown to a dark orange brown
very durable, color from pale golden brown to dark chocolate brown
heavy, strong and durable
TYPES OF WOOD FOUND IN CHIOS ISLAND
MASTIC TREE WOOD
Pistacia lentiscus (also mastic tree or sxinos) is a dioecious evergreen shrub or small tree of the pistacio genus growing up to 5 m (13 ft) tall which is cultivated for its aromatic resin, on the Greek island of Chios. The Romans and the Turks used to make toothpicks out of sxinos wood to clean and whiten their teeth but also to flavor their breathing.
Sxinos wood is of great quality, with its heartwood being particularly hard compared to its sapwood and ideal for small turning projects, like worry beads. Another characteristic that makes sxinos wood special and unique is the frequency of imperfections appeared on its bark, such as knots.
Pistacia terebinthus, known commonly as terebinth and turpentine tree, is a species of Pistacia, closely related to Pistacia lentiscus (mastic tree) and Pistacia vera, native to the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean region from the western regions of Morocco and Portugal to Greece.
It is famous for its tasty and spicy fruit, as well as for its resin, which after a special procedure (boiling), provides the well known turpentine.
Terebinth wood has a fine grain and a nice dark color.
The olive, known by the botanical name Olea europaea, is a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae, found in the Mediterranean Basin. The olive’s fruit is of major importance as the source of olive oil.
Its wood has a cream or yellowish brown color, with darker brown streaks and wavy grains.
It turns superbly and finishes well.