Odd American Woods

One thing many of us woodworkers are drawn to is beautiful, natural wood. The lovely hue of the wood interacting with the grain’s pattern and the project’s design are infinitely variable and, for that reason, fascinating.

Walnut, black cherry, maple of all sorts, red and white oak, pine and Douglas fir — these are some of our go-to species.

But what I am curious about is what some people call “domestic exotics.” Woods that might be more regional, are great to use, but out of the mainstream. For example, two hardwoods that I really like are butternut and persimmon. They are both great to look at. Butternut is easy to work. Persimmon is really dense, but beautiful.

So what about you — do you have a favorite wood species that is out of the mainstream but still a North American native? Let me know!

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

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