Geographical Distribution

Avodire wood is harvested from a tree scientifically known as Turraeanthus africana. As the name implies, the tree is native to Africa, specifically to a wide range of territory spanning the following nations: Angola, Benin, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. The tree is particularly fond of the banks of rivers and lakes, and is most commonly associated with the eastern rainforests of Côte d’Ivoire. The tree can reach impressive heights of over 100 feet with trunk diameters ranging from 2 to 3 feet. As is common for tropical woods, Avodire has multiple common names, derived from local languages as well as European common names that are descriptive of the woods color and character. These names can include, but are not necessarily limited to: Avodire, apeya, engan, agbe, lusamba, wansenwa, African Satinwood, and African White Mahogany.

Avodire Stylus Pens
Avodire Stylus Pens

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Geographical Distribution

I had purchased a selection of pen blanks packaged together and two of those pieces were labeled as “Jacaranda.” I didn’t think much of it, turned the blanks and made notes to come back to later. In researching “Jacaranda” I have uncovered one of the more confusing uses of wood-related terms I have yet discovered.

Jacaranda Stylus Pens
Jacaranda Stylus Pens

Jacaranda is believed to derive from the Guarani-Tupi languages of western Brazil, western Bolivia, and Paraguay, perhaps as far south even as Uruguay. The word meant something like “a wood that is dark.” The word was more or less adopted by the Portuguese in Brazil and applied to several woods.

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Geographical Distribution

Panga Panga is properly known as Millettia stuhlmannii. For those of you familiar with exotic wood species, you might recognize that the Millettia genus is also the one to which another exotic hardwood, Wenge, belongs. Wenge is Millettia laurentii and it occurs in a similar geographic range as Panga Panga. Panga Panga grows in a wide band across equatorial Africa, occurring and being harvested in the following countries: Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

Panga Panga Stylus Pens
Panga Panga Stylus Pens

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Geographical Distribution

Saligna wood, properly known as Eucalyptus saligna, is, perhaps not surprisingly given its scientific name, an Australian wood. The trees from which the wood is harvested can be found growing naturally in a band along the seaboard from New South Wales into Queensland. E. saligna is commonly known as the Sydney Blue Gum. The tree can reach impressive heights of over 200 feet. E. saligna is now a common plantation wood in Australia and South Africa, grown and harvested for the lower end furniture, utility item, and flooring trade.

Saligna Stylus Pens
Saligna Stylus Pens

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Geographical Distribution

The scientific name for the tree that produces the timber commonly known as Transvaal Beech is Faurea saligna. In various local languages, the Transvaal Beech can also be known as, although not limited to: willow beechwood, African beech (Eng.); Bosveldboekenhout (Afrikans.); iSefu, umCalathole (Zulu); isiDwadwa, umOnyeli (Ndebele); mohlako, mongena (Northern Sotho); muTango (Venda).

Transvaal Beech Stylus Pens
Transvaal Beech Stylus Pens

As the common name implies, the wood is native to southern Africa, spreading from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, down to the North-West Province, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, and KwaZulu-Natal (all provinces of South Africa) as well as appearing in Swaziland, which neighbors the areas of South Africa where the tree is commonly found. Some sources report that the tree is also widespread as far north as Tanzania and Kenya and as far west as Nigeria, although it is primarily reported in the southern part of the African continent. Regardless, the tree is reported to be widespread and prefers to grow in sandy or red loamy soils. It will tolerate somewhat dry conditions including rocky ridges and is moderately resistant to fire of low intensity. Continue reading

Geographical Distribution

The wood that was sold to me as Silky Oak was sourced from Australia, but as to where exactly in Australia, I cannot say. This uncertainty is due to confusion as to which actual genus and species of tree the wood I used was harvested from as there are at least two timber trees in Australia whose wood may be sold under the name Silky Oak. In addition, at least one retailer is selling Greville sp from Indonesia under the common name Silky Oak. To make matters more confusing, wood from either of the Australian trees may also be sold as “lacewood,” a descriptive term that can include numerous other woods including woods from South America, as well as, apparently, any wood which displays characteristic figure resembling, at least to some viewers, lace. To put it mildly, identifying any one piece of wood identified no more specifically than “silky oak” or “lacewood” may not be possible without submission to a specialist, or potentially through the use of genetic testing, which is beyond the means and needs of most wood turners.

Silky Oak Stylus Pens
Silky Oak Stylus Pens

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Lyptus® Bowl

Lyptus® is perhaps an unusual choice for turning material if for no other reason than the fact that Lyptus® itself is unique in the world. Lyptus®, as the registered trademark symbol indicates, is a trademarked product name that itself is patent protected. Lyptus® represents a man-made hybrid tree that never occurred in nature, a combination of Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus urophylla.2014-10-26 18.32.16 Continue reading