All Replies on Just curious, what is the RAREST wood you've ever worked with?

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View Ted's profile

Just curious, what is the RAREST wood you've ever worked with?

by Ted
posted 12-04-2012 05:13 AM

20 replies so far

View vonhagen's profile


549 posts in 3450 days

#1 posted 12-04-2012 07:16 AM


-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View madts's profile


1957 posts in 3425 days

#2 posted 12-04-2012 07:48 AM

The one I do not have!

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3941 days

#3 posted 12-04-2012 08:51 AM

Mopane is the rarest I’ve worked

The mopane or mopani tree grows in hot, dry, low-lying areas, 200 to 1,150 metres in elevation, in the far

northern parts of southern Africa, into South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Angola

and Malawi.

Very dense and heavy but polishes up nicely


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26208 posts in 4190 days

#4 posted 12-04-2012 11:11 AM

I’ve worked with Iron Bark from Australia. I smuggled home a few small pieces when we were there. The lady that gave it to me was burning big pieces of it in her fire place in the restaurant on top of this mountain.
It is a very dark and beautiful wood.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3333 days

#5 posted 12-04-2012 01:53 PM

I’ve worked with a lot of woods that are considered rare, but I beg to differ. I just walked into my local woodcraft and brought them to the register. Anyone could do the same, so how rare could they really be? I’d love to get my hands on a big chunk of Australian Buloke though.


View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 3649 days

#6 posted 12-04-2012 02:00 PM

i know its not all that rare, but the rarest one that I’ve probably worked with is cypress…hopefully someday soon i will have a better answer

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View 489tad's profile


4001 posts in 4096 days

#7 posted 12-04-2012 02:18 PM

The rarest woud be mammouth kauri wood. Its a light brown, tight grain and soft. Purchased at Woodcraft.
I’ve seen just about everything on my vacation in ME. at Rare Woods USA.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3862 posts in 4523 days

#8 posted 12-04-2012 02:21 PM

I have, in my attic, two sets of guitar backs and sides of Brazilian Rosewood purchased in 1976 from Gurian Guitars in NH. Traveled and picked them out myself, and never used. Since they are illegal to import now and endangered, I’m wondering if I use them or sell them to the highest bidder. I actually can’t make up my mind.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4822 days

#9 posted 12-04-2012 03:01 PM

Pink Ivory and Snakewood

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


787 posts in 4358 days

#10 posted 12-04-2012 03:59 PM

A straight, flat piece brought home from a big box store!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3570 days

#11 posted 12-04-2012 04:08 PM

Got a few scraps of Texas Ebony that are drying in my work area. Looking forward to seeing what I can do with it.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4244 days

#12 posted 12-04-2012 04:17 PM

@CotL – You could get at least $500 a set for those Brazilians. I think I’d pocket the money and just get another set of Indian Rosewood (which is arguably just as good acoustically) or something exotic that you’ve never used before in a guitar.

As for the most exotic wood I’ve ever used, it’s probably Austrailian (Tasmanian) Blackwood, but who knows how truly rare it is? I’ve also used Gabon ebony, which is probably rare mostly because of its price.

Koa gets more rare each day, and that’s probably the one wood I’d LIKE to work that I haven’t…though being from the same family as the above blackwood, it’s probably similar.

-- jay,

View Ripthorn's profile


1459 posts in 4070 days

#13 posted 12-04-2012 04:30 PM

I’ve worked several woods considered rare, but mostly in smaller pieces. I’ve used kingwood, koa, gaboon ebony, african blackwood, among others. Mostly I enjoy getting turning blanks and making tool handles or using larger pieces as fretboards on my guitars. I have a goal to at least use each of every kind of wood I can get my hands on. I just love trying different kinds to see how they work, look, etc.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3139 days

#14 posted 12-04-2012 05:02 PM

finger wood (happens when you cut your finger)

-- Joel

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3862 posts in 4523 days

#15 posted 12-04-2012 08:09 PM

Yes Comic. I will eventually sell them. I made a lot of instruments but that was 30 years ago. I think if I made more I’d just use some of the exotics that are being used now by guitar companies.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5350 posts in 5045 days

#16 posted 12-04-2012 08:27 PM

Well, I picked up a small piece of Macassar Ebony once. Put it back after I got the price. Went with Wenge.
Man, ya better watch for the splinters, but the project ( a rack for a single bottle of wine) was well received.

-- [email protected]

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4798 days

#17 posted 01-03-2013 04:24 PM

Maple… I need to work on more projects:-)

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2172 posts in 3935 days

#18 posted 01-03-2013 04:43 PM

Reading these posts has been educational—there are names there I don’t recognize.

My entry is unusual, but perhaps outside the OP’s original notion. These were 3” x 5” by 9.5’ pieces of old growth douglas fir which had been staves in 10’ diameter vats in which cherries are bleached prior to being redyed as maraschino. Some of that cherry juice wicked up into a few of the staves.

I made four basses from the stuff, which was all I could find. A piece of the rough—and I mean rough—stock is shown in one of these images:

Thanks for an interesting and entertaining thread.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View AandCstyle's profile


3296 posts in 3342 days

#19 posted 01-04-2013 01:38 AM

Free!! :D

-- Art

View runswithscissors's profile


3130 posts in 3110 days

#20 posted 01-04-2013 01:48 AM

For those searching, who happen to be in the Pac N. W., check out Targa Hardwoods in Bellingham, a.k.a “Hardwoods to Find.”

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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