Interwood Forest Products

How to Select Exotic Lumber

Two 2 by 4 pieces of Sapeli Lumber, Flatcut. One natural, rough, and dusty and the other treated with a planer, cleaned, and sprayed to reveal its true beauty.

Exotic lumber can be a hard thing to evaluate. At our inventory showings we get out a planer and sand down the rough surface of the lumber to reveal its true beauty. Once we wet the surface we can really appreciate its color, grain, and figure. (above: Mahogany Swietenia; below: Bubinga)

Warehouse manager Nelson uses a planer to even out the rough surface of the lumber. Two 2 by 4 pieces of Bubinga Lumber, Quartered. Both have been treated with a planer, but only one has been sprayed to reveal its true beauty.

At a lumber showing ask for this kind of treatment of the wood so you can see the grain patterns and make the best choice.

Always keep in mind that not all exotic species are available in lumber. For instance, Tiger Maple (fiddle figure) is easier to find veneered then it is to find in lumber. Other examples of exotic lumber are: Mozambique, Avidore, & Beech (pictured below).

Three lumber samples about 7 inches by 11 inches in size. From left are Mozambique, Avidore, and Beech.

Live Edge Bouls

At the moment there’s an increase demand for live edge slabs both domestic and exotic. Live edge slabs are a cross section of the tree which are sturdy and show off all the natural beauty of the tree. Selecting a boul slab means having a one of a kind piece of nature at your fingertips. The individual characteristics of the species selected will yield different shapes, thicknesses, and patterns becoming a point of inspiration for designers and customers alike. (below: Mappa Burl slab; bottom: Avidore, Eucalyptus)

Two trees sliced into slabs and placed back into log form. Slabs are live edge meaning the bark in still visible and the edges maintain the shape of the trunk.

Three trees sliced into slabs and placed back into log form. Slabs are live edge meaning the bark in still visible and the edges maintain the shape of the trunk.