Fiddleback

Akacio veneer is a little-known treasure from Central and South America. It has a lovely honey color, tan to brown lines, straight grain, and a medium texture. Against a fairly uniform background, this specie can produce a range of beautiful figures, including curly and fiddleback figures reminiscent of anegre or maple, and is an excellent, adaptable choice for a wide range of interior styles.

Anegre has a lustrous sheen, an even texture, and grain that is typically straight, but may be interlocked, wavy, or marked with a wide range of beautiful shimmering figures. Sought after for its light creamy color, large logs, uniformity across flitches, and unobtrusive grain markings, anegre takes stain readily and is often dyed to resemble cherry, walnut, or other woods.

ASH

Ancient Norwegians considered a mythological ash tree to be the center of the world. Among the palest colored veneers, ash has a lustrous surface, beautiful straight grain, a light stripe effect, and subtle contrast between its light tan heartwood and creamy sapwood. It produces a wide range of beautiful, shimmering figures and delicate burls. Extremely strong, ash is the lumber of choice for parallel bars, baseball bats and tool handles. In veneer, it’s prized for high quality furniture and for use in light, open interiors.

Olive ash is not a specie in itself, rather it’s the name given to veneer cut from the dark heartwood of one of several European ashes. The dark on light stripes are reminiscent of true olive wood. Colors range from white to yellow to brown in varied combinations of color and markings. Grain may be straight, curly, or wavy. Olive ash burl veneer is highly prized for its turbulent markings and striking color contrasts.

Avodire is a pale yellow African wood with a natural luster, moderate to fine texture, and very little contrast between heartwood and sapwood. A wide range of grain patterns and figures, combined with a shimmery chotoyance (cat’s eye effect), make it popular in cabinetry, furniture, and architectural interiors. Highly figured logs fetch high prices.

A favorite in modern interiors, beech is a straight grained wood with a very fine, even texture. While beech is naturally a creamy, almost white color, most beech is steamed, producing a consistent slightly pink hue in veneer. Flat cut veneers present a nice cathedral; quartered veneers carry a silvery fleck pattern. This specie produces a number of beautiful figures prized for interior architecture. 

In both color and aroma, bosse resembles cedar and for that reason this large West African tree is sometimes called African cedar. The color varies from pale pink to deep mahogany and veneer is often highly figured with fiddleback, mottle, or a highly prized pommele figure—all of which ensure one-of-a-kind architectural installations. Availability and cost can vary widely based on grain patterning and intensity.

Bubinga is a striking veneer with a very broad color spectrum ranging from pink to brownish-red to nearly violet. It has a beautiful texture and fine contrasting growth lines that may be wavy in some logs due to the grain’s interlocked fibers. Bee’s wing and block mottle figures are fairly common. Behemoth lengths and widths make it well suited for large architectural installations. When rotary cut, bubinga is called kevazinga. This African veneer is a sophisticated and elegant choice for interior environments.

American cherry is a timeless and elegant veneer that has a satiny finish and fine, lustrous grain marked with natural pitch flecks and small gum pockets. Typically darker than European cherry, the veneer can vary widely in color from pale pink to reddish brown. Flat cut, it produces a beautiful cathedral pattern. Figured, it exhibits a fine fiddleback or rope figure. 

While most etimoe trees are tapped for rubber, untapped trees are often sliced to produce this rare and striking veneer. The light red-brown to grey-brown wood has a straight grain, often with striking black-red veins or stripes, and a fine, even, lustrous texture. Etimoe is available in large sizes and in a variety of figures, most commonly curly and fiddleback. 

Eucalyptus is a lively veneer prized for the exotic, shimmering ripple effect in its grain. It’s available in a wide range of colors in its natural state—as well as a rich chocolate-brown when fumed, replicating the look of rich African or tropical woods. Eucalyptus produces a range of outstanding figures—most notably a strong fiddleback or bee’s wing figure—and stunning burls that are typically larger than most burls, producing well-sized sheets of rotary cut veneer.

Gaboon is an elegant African wood with a lustrous, natural sheen. It ranges in color from pale pink to reddish brown and when quarter cut it often produces a beautiful broken stripe or rope figure. This moderately priced veneer comes in logs well sized for larger architectural projects; figured logs fetch higher prices. 

While most hickory is cut for lumber due to its strength and density, this traditional domestic beauty is increasingly available in veneer. Hickory has a notable contrast between its reddish heartwood and lighter sapwood. The grain is usually straight, but can be wavy or irregular in some flitches. Texture is course and porous with a matte finish. This is a quintessential domestic wood—lively in appearance and rich in American woodworking tradition.

Although veneer is often labeled white or black limba, there is really just one limba tree. Black limba refers veneer selected from the darker heartwood of the tree—typically reddish brown with varying degrees of irregular black streaking—and is somewhat more rare than white limba, which is cut from the lighter sapwood of the same tree. Figured wood is highly prized for architectural use. 

Equally apt in contemporary, global, and traditional settings, mahogany has been traded from African ports for hundreds of years. Typically red to red-brown, and darker than South American mahoganies, this specie often develops a plain to ropey stripe, and may be marked with highly decorative cross figuring. Crotch veneers with vivid, flame-like patterns are one of nature’s most beautiful works of art.

Also called African cherry, makore shares the light pink to deep red coloring, dark growth lines, and small pores common to cherry. In architectural installations it has the added benefit of availability in large sizes not found in American cherry. Cut on the quarter, makore shows a contrasting stripe that may be plain or crossed with a variety of decorative figures. Flat cut, it bears the distinctive cathedral grain pattern. 

From the same tree that produces maple syrup, comes this beautiful veneer that ranges in color from snow white to warm yellow; has a close, fine luminous texture; and a lovely straight grain that may be interspersed with natural character marks. A wide range of gorgeous figures and wild grain distortions—from curly to bird’s eye to maple burl—are sought after for distinctive paneling and furniture. Flat cut maple displays the distinctive heart or cathedral pattern.

One of the largest trees in equatorial Africa, this tropical hardwood’s immense size ensures large leaves and volumes of veneer well suited for architectural use. Regarded for its shimmering luster that refracts light, this species ranges from pinkish brown to rich red in color with a fine, even texture, and a typically straight grain that may be decorated with a wide range of widely variable figures, including a highly prized pommele. As with most veneers, almost every log is unique.

Movingui is an exotic wood with a lustrous surface, fine texture, and bright lemony-gold to orange-brown color. It has a fine, even texture and produces a variety of figures including fiddleback, mottle, and bee’s wing. Deviations in the fiber appear as horizontal stripes that emphasize its satiny finish. Because it resembles satinwood, particularly in its intense luster, it’s sometimes called Nigerian satinwood. 

This contrasty African relative of rosewood has a deep brown background with notable dark brown to ebony streaking and a nice natural luster. Outside Africa it’s increasingly used as a more affordable substitute for walnut. Produced in both quarter and flat cut veneers, this intense and well veined veneer is in demand for high-end architectural settings--the stronger the veining, the more valuable the wood. Due to its excellent tonal qualities, the wood is prized for the production of musical instruments. 

One of the most common trees in European forests, this oak has long been associated with the mythological gods due to its immense size, strength, and longevity.  Like most oaks, the grain is straight with broad rays that produce a lively flake effect in flat or quarter cut wood and straight combed grain in rift cut. The golden-brown wood is slightly darker than American white oak, and slightly lighter than English brown oak. Fumed veneer produces a rich chocolate-brown color similar to tropical and African woods. CoCo (color-imbued) options are available in several shades of gray and brown. Vintage oak is sliced from the hand-hewn beams of reclaimed wood from old barns and farmhouses across Europe; this rustic looking veneer is intended for use in random matched sequences.

North American oak is well suited for rustic or modern interiors. While different growing conditions can produce a range of colors, in general, it’s slightly redder, more uniform in color, and has a less prominent flake figure than white oak. The grain is firm and straight, somewhat coarse with large pores.  Rift cut veneer produce a very straight, combed grain effect.

At first glance, paldao resembles American black walnut. This enormous tree is most often found along streams and marshy soils in Indonesia and the Philippines. Paldao grows with a remarkable buttress encircling the lower trunk creating 40’ diameter growths which remote tribes believed held sprits. This is a beautiful veneer: a grey-brown background streaked with highly decorative dark stripes. Flat cut wood produces a cathedral pattern; quarter cut wood has a stripy contrast and is often finely figured.

This European fruit tree produces a very fine-grained wood with a uniform texture and a partial flame that is both beautiful and decorative. The wood is often pith-marked and occurs in colors from rosy cream to light reddish brown in both plain and figured logs. When fumed, pearwood turns a rich, dark brown; when stained black, it provides an excellent substitute for ebony.

Among the largest and tallest trees on earth, the redwood produces a rich, warm, inviting veneer that’s as impressive as the tree. Uniformly deep reddish-brown, the grain in quarter cut veneer is beautifully striped or figured by fine markings. Burled veneer (also known as vavona burl) is sliced from huge, prolific burl growths found on occasional redwoods, producing some of the largest and most uniform burled veneer in the world. 

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