Talk about being spoiled. In recent years (18 of 'em) I've gotten 90% of my
wood from local sawmills.
Now, I've got a couple of books to work on and require a few exotics and
some things like sugar maple, in modest lengths (to 6' or so) and mostly in
turning square sizes, 1-1/2" or so square.
I knew going in that ebony was out, even for the 8-10" lengths needed for
some parts. Fahgeddabout $80 for a 1-1/4" diameter, 7" long handle,
especially since with my turning skills I usually need a starter piece as a
warm up. That and cocobolo I knew would be non-starters, but, jeez, hard
maple prices have gone totally bonkers as well.
I do believe that maple just got replaced with cherry. I've got enough 12/4
and 16/4 cherry here to do the projects for that one over and over and over
again, with much remaining for other things. Also plenty of oak around, and
ready to use, but I need to dig out some hickory or pecan, and maybe birch
So now, I'm looking for a source for osage orange. I'd love to do an entire
project out of osage orange, but will be happy to get a couple (don't forget
my need for practice) turning blanks about 1-3/4" square and a foot long.
Michael Burton has the needed mesquite at his Thunderbird Hardwoods.
tbird-hardwoods.com for those in need of mesquite.