Wood Species Descriptions
and Weights for Woodworkers


This is a quick reference of the most popular woods you might use for a project. Although most of these should be readily available in most areas, a few may be hard to find.

You may use this chart to help determine what wood combinations to use for your projects although final choice of species, and colors should be done using the actual material.

African Mahogany: African Mahogany's color runs from a light brown to a dark reddish brown The grain usually is more interlocking and therefore gives more definition than Genuine Mahogany. (Av. Wt. 2.8 lbs/bf)

Alder: Alder has a light cherry color with a grain that is fine and similar to cherry and birch .(Av. Wt. 2.8 lbs/bf)

Aromatic Cedar: Cedar is red in color and the thin sapwood is nearly white. The grain is very fine and even except for knots. It has a delicate fragrance. (Av. Wt. 2.5 lbs/bf)

Ash: Ash is a beautiful white to gray colored wood. Its grain resembles Red Oak. (Av. Wt. 3.3 lbs/bf)

Aspen: Aspen is white to whitish brown in color and lighter in weight. It is a stable wood that paints well but stains poorly. (Av. Wt. 2.3 lbs/bf)

Basswood: Basswood's sapwood is creamy white and its heartwood is tan to brown and sometimes reddish. (Av. Wt. 2.0 lbs/bf)

Birch,Yellow: Yellow Birch is a strong, hard wood that is interchangeable with maple because of its similar fine grain and light color. Its sapwood is white and its heartwood is reddish brown. (Av. Wt. 3.6 lbs/bf )

Bloodwood: Bloodwood is a hard dense wood that is deep red in color with darker graining. (Av. Wt. 5.5 lbs/bf )

Bubinga: Bubinga is a hard dense heartwood that is a light red brown color veined with a darker red. (Av. Wt.4.2 lbs/bf)

Butternut: Butternut has a brown sugar color and a grain that resembles Walnut but is a slightly softer wood. (Av. Wt. 2.3 lbs/bf)

Cherry: Cherry has a light reddish brown color that darkens with age. (Av. Wt. 2.8 lbs/bf)

Cypress: Cypress is a very durable wood and resistant to decay. The heartwood varies in color from light yellowish brown to darker shades. The sapwood is a whitish pale yellow. (Av. Wt. 2.8 lbs/bf)

Genuine Mahogany: Genuine Mahogany is a strong yet light wood. Its distinct and beautiful grain makes it very popular. (Av. Wt. 2.8 lbs/bf)

Hard Maple: Hard Maple is a strong, hard, wear-resistant wood that stains and finishes well. It has a fine, even texture and grain. Its sapwood is white and its heartwood is light tan with some dark streaks. (Av. Wt. 3.6 lbs/bf)

Hickory: Hickory is a dense, strong wood with tan to brown coloring. Its fine grain gives it good finishing qualities. (Av. Wt. 3.6 lbs/bf)

Lacewood: Lacewood is a light pink to light reddish brown with a silvery sheen. It has a speckled figure like lace. (Av. Wt. 2.75 lbs/bf)

Northern White Pine: Northern White Pine is a creamy white with a fine grain. The heartwood is a light creamy brown. This wood works easily and finishes well. (Av. Wt. 2.6 lbs/bf)

Padauk: Padauk is bright orange red in color and has good grain definition. It is a little oily and heavy. (Av. Wt. 4.4 lbs/bf)

Poplar: Poplar has a close, straight grain. The heartwood is yellowish to greenish brown, the sapwood off-white. This wood stains well and holds paint best of any hardwood. (Av. Wt. 2.6 lbs/bf)

Purple Heart: Purple Heart is a usually straight grained hard and heavy wood with a violet purple color. (Av.Wt. 4.75 lbs/bf)

Red Elm: Red Elm resembles Ash in texture and grain, and has a red brown color with a yellow cast to it. (Av. Wt. 3.0 lbs/bf)

Red Oak: Red Oak is a strong, reddish brown wood which exhibits beautiful grain texture. (Av. Wt. 3.6 lbs/bf)

Red Oak Quartersawn: Quartersawn Oak is very stable and has a flake figure across the board and exhibits a beautiful grain texture. (Av. Wt. 3.6 lbs/bf)

Soft Maple: Soft Maple is similar to Hard Maple except that it is softer and easier to machine. It occasionally has a red cast. (Av. Wt .2.8lbs/bf)

Spanish Cedar: Spanish Cedar has a fine grain with reddish brown color. It has a pungent smell and is widely used in humidors. (Av. Wt. 2.8 lbs/bf)

Walnut: Walnut's color ranges from an almost white sapwood to a dark brown heartwood. (Av. Wt. 2.8 lbs/bf)

White Oak: White Oak is a light tannish brown color. It has a finer grain than Red Oak and is stronger. (Av. Wt. 3.8 lbs/bf)

White Oak Quartersawn: Quartersawn White Oak is very stable and has a flake figure across the board and exhibits a beautiful grain texture. (Av. Wt. 3.6 lbs/bf)

Yellowheart: Yellowheart is a medium density wood whose color ranges from light yellow to mustard. (Av. Wt. 4 lbs/bf)

Our Intarsia Art, Inlays, and Medallion Patterns

My favorite material for cutting out most of the Intarsia Art, Inlay, and Medallion patterns is western red cedar. This material can vary in color from light to medium or from medium to dark which helps when you are trying to create depth or shading.

I have also used engineered wood (hardwood flooring) or vinyl floor tile using different colors to create some beautiful floor medallions from the intarsia art and medallion patterns. You are only limited by your imagination when creating your items to hang on the wall, or incorporate into a new floor.