I just got a shipment of Tigerwood 3/4x4. First box I opened had the
characteristic light background, dark striping. Beautiful. Next box
was (essentially) a solid dark brown with some striping showing.
At all the sites I've looked for Tigerwood I've never seen a sample
picture exhibiting pieces that are so solidly dark.
Is this a caveat emptor/dirty little secret of Tigerwood dealers?
I've been contacting sites -- trying to find replacement wood-- that
they'll guarantee doesn't have solid "looking" pieces. No responses
yet. Is there anything I can do to ensure I get a consistent look? A
technical term Ishould use? It seems the solid brown piece is
probably heartwood, yes?
I've put a pic up at:
The smaller 5" pieces are samples I got from a 2nd vendor
Any insights, constructive suggestions welcomed and thanks in advance,
Only way to insure it is what you want is to hand inspect each batch. I
doubt many dealers will take the time (and risk of return) to sort for you.
Yes, it mostly likely is heartwood and as long as it came from the same
tree, it is still the same wood whether it matches the rest of it or not.
It's a caveat emptor of just about _any_ exotic or exotic-figured
wood. If you had similarly asked for, say, curly or birdseye
maple, or burl or crotch walnut... consistency is going to be a
Wood is a natural product with sometimes very high variation.
The only way to get consistency is to hand-pick boards, or, buy
batches from people who guarantee consistency. The latter ain't
going to happen from low-bid "buy raw lumber by the pallet"
manufacturers, and the former ain't practical over the phone or
There's a reason why cabinet makers building furniture to show
grain, even with relatively mundane domestic woods, often have
to hand-pick boards preferably from the same tree.
If you need consistency, you're either going to have to buy a lot
extra and discard the stuff that's "too far away" from what you
want, or find a exotic lumber place willing to (or will let you)
select. That's what "select" means, and why it costs more.
There's a local mill that sells eastern white cedar. If you
pull them off the stack in order, you pay X/board foot. If
you discard any significant number of boards, it's "select",
and you pay X+<some percentage around 30%>.
[Their lumber is quite good actually, so if you're building
the typical deck where a reasonable number of tight knots make
no difference, you won't need to "select". But if you're trying
for "clear" you'll have to dig for it and you pay extra.]
There may well be a specific grade designation for consistently
grained Tigerwood. It'll cost more.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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