Identifying Mass-Market Furniture Woods
If you’ve bought furniture lately, you may have come across some not-so-familiar woods being used in mass-market pieces. Wondering about their origins and relative strengths?
Here’s a quick look at three species being used to meet consumer demand for affordable solid-wood furniture.
Rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) is a by-product of the latex industry. Mainly grown in Asia, this Brazil native is harder than eastern white pine and softer than red oak. Rubberwood (shown) is pale but can easily be stained, or finished with veneers.
Mango wood (Mangifera indica) is harvested from the spent fruit trees, notably in Southeast Asia. Sturdy but less hard than red oak, it’s used for flooring as well as furniture. It can feature unusual graining and sometimes kaleidoscopic colors.
Sheesham (Dalbergia sissoo), a.k.a. Indian rosewood, is actually harder than red oak. Plantation grown in its native India, Nepal, and Pakistan, its natural hue is a rich golden or reddish brown that is often streaked with pale sapwood for a unique look.
You can learn more about these and other exotic woods at The Wood Database.
Thanks to: Eric Meier at The Wood Database.