Ebony Unique Piece EB2

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This is an extremely rare piece because of it’s size! This is 4” thick x 5.5” wide x 28.5” long

Gabon Ebony Diospyrus Crassiflora

*Please Note: Not all Ebony is all black. Pieces may have slight discoloration or streaking.

We have just received our Ebony shipment and have several 4” thick pieces that are solid black! We will list each piece individually, so be sure to check our Unique & Rare Items section to see what is available!

Snakewood ~ Exotic Turning Wood

Did you know that Snakewood is one of the world’s most rare species, only growing in a small region in the north part of South America. It is named snakewood due to the remarkable resemblance to a real snake’s skin. Snakewood is extremely heavy, hard and strong. Heartwood is reddish brown with speckles of black appearing as hieroglyphics or snakeskin markings. Snakewood has a straight grain and fine, even texture. Snakewood is brittle and splits easily. Very smooth when finished; has a natural polish.

As a rare and small tree, prices for surfaced and milled Snakewood that display the characteristic snakeskin pattern are perhaps the most expensive of any exotic lumber worldwide in terms of per-boardfoot cost. Less figured sections of the wood are usually sold for much lower prices. Snakewood is also commonly sold in full and half log forms.

One look at a highly figured piece of Brosimum guianense and it’s easy to see why it’s called Snakewood: the dramatic specks and splotches bear a close resemblance to the skin of a snake. Such figuring can be so pronounced that it has been compared to the writing of hieroglyphics, and is sometimes called Letterwood. In addition to its colorful figure, Snakewood is also among the densest and hardest of all wood species worldwide. Among woodworkers, it vies with Lignum Vitae as the heaviest wood in the world.

We have just received more Snakewood into our facility, and we have plenty to go around!  We have 1.5 x 1.5 x 12 and 1.5 x 1.5 x 18’s available, but these sizes will go fast, so order while you can!  In addition, we have marked our other sizes down by 25%!!  Take a look at our Snakewood page today to place your order!

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How to Turn a Bottle Stopper

How to Turn a Bottle Stopper

Bottle Stoppers are fun projects that are a great way to use smaller blocks and scraps of wood that are accumulating in your shop.   Making a bottle stopper is quick and easy and a great starter piece.

Start Making your Bottle Stoppers now by following the guidelines below:

Prior to the turning session cut your wood blanks into 1.5’’ squares by 2-3’’ long.  Depending on the kit manufacturer, a 2’’ long blank may limit designs a bit.  Make sure the blanks are square for drilling the hole and a good fit to the stopper bottoms.

Depending on the kit manufacturer or style of bottle stopper made, each mounting system for stopper blanks will vary a bit.  The drill bit has masking tape on it to mark the one-inch drilling depth required.

Use a jig to drill the stopper blanks holes 1’’ or per kit recommendations.  It’s recommended that the stopper blanks be drilled prior to the turning session.

Screw the bottle stopper onto the mandrel.  Bring the tail stock with a live center up to the blank for support.  Round the blank with your roughing gouge.

Turn the base of the blank down to the mandrel busing, establishing the base.   Once you have turned your stopper design, sand the stopper through 600 grit.

Back off the tail stock and turn away the nub that’s left and sand.  When done apply the finish of your choice.  Friction finish or sanding sealer followed with Tripoli and White diamond buffing wheels are good choices.  They are relatively easy and quick allowing completion during the turning session.

When screwing the turned bottle stopper tops onto the bottoms, use a few drops of CA glue or 5 minute epoxy in the hole to help set the threads.

Enjoy your completed project!

For a limited time only we will be offering these Bottle Stopper Packages for 20% off retail prices.  It’s a great mix of species that will help you get started making yours today!  For more information or to order this package simply click here or call us anytime. 

Happy Easter!

Honduran Mahogany Log

Honduran Mahogany log that is 17′ long, ranges in 27-32” in width, and is 8/4 and some 18/4 slabs. This is perfect for boat building material! And for a limited time only this will be sold for $15.00 per board foot if you buy the WHOLE LOG!! Call us for details!


Ebony Exotic Turning Wood

Ebony has arrived and is now available to purchase.  Please keep in mind that our supplies are limited, so if you are interested in a specific size or quantity please call us as soon as possible.  We are happy to answer all your questions regarding Ebony.

Gabon Ebony (or Black Ebony) is a very dense, very hard wood with straight to slightly interlocked grain and a fine texture. Gabon Ebony is believed to be the blackest wood that grows. It is necessary to pre-bore black ebony for nailing and screwing and this hardwood does takes glue well.  Ebony can be polished to an excellent finish.

*Please Note: Not all Ebony is all black. Pieces may have slight discoloration or streaking.

Typical Uses: Tool, cutlery and knife handles, door knobs, butt ends of billiard cues, piano and organ keys, violin and guitar finger boards, other musical instrument pieces, turning, fancy articles and inlay.

Source Region: Africa ~ Gabon or Cameroon


Exotic Turning Wood & Burls

This week we are featuring Paduak as our Item of the Week.  We have select sizes of bowl blanks on sale for 15% off – this week only!  Paduak is also known as Mutui, Ngula and Bosulu and comes from Central Africa.  Paduak is vivid reddish-orange, but it changes to bright red or coral pink with dark streaks. There are about 17 known species that have been used for everything from carvings and domestic flooring to umbrella handles and chisel blocks. With a specific density of .72, Padauk is similar to Walnut for the ease of working. For a good solid project with no worry about getting defects, Paduak is one of the best woods for color and quality.  It is a beautiful wood that has such a vibrant quality!

Paela Burls are also on special this week – 30% off!!  This is a very special deal that is for a limited time only!!!   Burls yield a very peculiar and highly figured wood, its rarity also adds expense, it is very sought after.  Burl wood is very hard to work with hand tools or on a lathe because its grain is twisted and interlocked, causing it to chip and chatter unpredictably.  This “wild grain” makes burl wood extremely dense and resistant to splitting.   This burl comes from the Chakte Viga tree.  The color varies between deep orange and reddish color.  It was once also used to make ink, so when turning it you will see the very dark purple residue all over!  It can stain your clothing and hands, so where protective gear when turning this burl.  It is very unique and very beautiful, and on sale!

Visit our website for more information or call us anytime!

Luthier Supplies on Sale!

Be sure to keep an eye on our new website for specials and deals that you won’t find anywhere else!  We have a new “Featured Item of the Week” section that we will change weekly with sale items.  This week we are running a special on Guitar Sets ~ 30% OFF (some exclusions apply).  Be sure to watch for these specials because they change every week!!!  Happy Shopping!

New Shipment of African Species has arrived

We just received a shipment of African Species that are now available for sale.  We received African Blackwood, Mopani and Pink Ivory in various sizes of turnings and pen blanks. Our supplies are limited and these species often sell very quickly.  We have them listed on our website, but if you need any additional information please don’t hesitate to call us!

African Blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon) heartwood is dark purple-brown with dark black streaks and the sapwood is creamy white The wood is very nice to work, but very hard.  This Material is top turney grade material.

Mopani (Colophospermum) heartwood is brown to reddish, the thin sapwood is yellow to light brown. The wood is very hard and heavy. It doesn’t split or slit easily, the oily content of the wood might explain this worthwhile characteristic. The tone is as rich and powerful as Blackwood, but is a little bit warmer.  Its high density, light sound and workability make it an attractive alternative to Blackwood, especially in very dry and humid countries where Blackwood has tendency to split.
Pink Ivory (Berchemia zeyheri) the grain is straight to irregular, while the texture is very fine. Pink Ivory sapwood is almost white, and the pink heartwood, after long exposure, tends to become orange-colored. Pink Ivory seasons very slowly and needs care to prevent checking.
These are all very beautiful top turning grade species.  We have a limited supply so please call us today if your interested or visit our website at www.westpennhardwoods.com