Small logo Timbers and Finishes

Examples of most of the timbers I use, plus some others, can be found on these pages:
Common Names A-L M-Z

Please note that availability of exotic timbers from my stock is fairly limited, though I can usually obtain the more common varieties to fill specific orders. This is why the 'available' exotics mentioned on the Stock Items pages varies depending on the item in question - I can't afford to carry all sizes of all the exotics I use. If you're thinking of ordering anything in exotic wood, be warned that some of them are becoming very expensive, and price usually increases dramatically with thickness.

I use a lot of English Ash (only the best-figured samples, mainly Olive Ash), and many other timbers such as Yew, Cherry, Walnut, Apple, Cocobolo, Macassar Ebony and various Rosewoods. I particularly like working with "natural-looking" wood, that has bark inclusions, knots, holes and seriously twisted grain, to produce articles that actually look as if they were once part of a tree, rather than being smooth and featureless. For this reason I'm very fond of Yew, despite its tendency to split, and Australian burrs, despite their high price. For some reason, English burrs seem to be very hard to get lately.

To the best of my knowledge (I have to rely on suppliers' information) all imported timber comes from sustainable supplies. English timber tends to be felled for non-commercial reasons such as damage or land clearance.

I don't colour entire items (except by special request), but I do occasionally use stains, dyes and inlay materials (typically brass powder in epoxy, or Inlace® decorative resin) to highlight certain features or add ornamentation to otherwise plain items. On the whole, though, my items are left with their natural colours, though virtually all 'colourless' finishes will slightly darken the wood.

Small items are generally finished with friction polish, which is bonded to the surface by the friction heat generated by polishing with the lathe running at fairly high speed. Larger items are usually waxed. Some bowls, especially those made from burr woods, are oiled instead. Finally, household items such as salad bowls, cheese boards and knife handles are coated with Melamine laquer or a food-safe oil finish, and items which need to be fully washable may be treated with a clear plastic coating - this is only used if requested, as it is expensive and very few items actually need to be immersed in water for cleaning.