ABOUT WOOD

HARDWOODS

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

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

olive wood

solid wood with special grains and exquisite finishing

pistachio

wild or irregular grains and dark color

cedar

aromatic, with a long-lasting, sweet scent

eucalyptus

great red shading

oak

heavy, strong and light colored

walnut

wavy grains and dark color, excellent woodworking qualities

ash

straight and regular grain and light color

indian rosewood

close grained with a dark reddish brown color

pear

with a diffuse porous anatomy and a pale pink color

wenge

hard and heavy wood with richly contrasting, coarse light/dark structure and irregular grain

beech

hard, strong, heavy wood with tiny pores and large rays

pink ivory

a magnificent colored wood, with a spectrum ranging from bright pink to fiery red

maple

light colored wood with a fine and even texture

mahogany

excellent carving wood with a reddish - brown color

ebony

one of the hardest, densest woods with dark color and excellent finish

cherry

closed grain, light to red-brown wood with excellent finishing

zebrawood

light color with dark blackish brown streaks vaguely resembling a zebra’s stripes

carob

hard wood, with color that ranges from a pinkish brown to a dark orange brown

iroko

very durable, color from pale golden brown to dark chocolate brown

teak

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.

(source: wikipedia)

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.

TEREBINTH

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.

OLIVE

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.