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Wood Types

We use a variety of different wood species at SoKno Woodworking. Some of them are domestic woods that grow here in the United States. A few of our products are made from trees that grew in Tennessee. Other types are exotic woods that grow in different countries around the world.


Most trees have three layers: bark, sapwood, and heartwood. Bark is the outermost layer and protect the trees from the elements. This layer is typically cut away in the milling process and occasionally left on for a "live edge" look. The sapwood is the adjacent layer and is used by the tree to carry water and nutrients throughout the tree. It is typically lighter in color. The heartwood is the centermost layer and is usually the desired wood for use. This layer ranges in color depending on species. 

Domestic Woods


Black Walnut- This is my personal favorite wood to work. I love the deep dark color of the heartwood. Walnut trees provide edible nuts in the fall. Their wood is highly desired due to its color, strength, and grain patterns. The tight grains are close together and prevent bacteria from seeping down into the pores. This makes it an excellent choice for cutting boards. 


Pecan- This wood also produces an edible nut in the fall. Its wood is creamy colored and extremely hard. Pecan wood is similar to Hickory, which is considered one of the most hard and resilient woods available domestically. This wood also has tight grains and is excellent for cutting board use. 


Cherry- This type of tree is the wild cherry and not the domesticated type. Its heartwood is reddish in color and has beautiful grain patterns. It is a hardwood with tight grains, which make it great for cutting boards. 


Hard Sugar Maple- This tree is the same tree that produces maple syrup. It has a very light colored heartwood that is almost white. It has very consistent grain patterns. It is the gold standard for cutting board woods. 

Eastern Red Cedar- This wood is an aromatic softwood. It is naturally weather and insect resistant. The color consists of a reddish heartwood and whitish colored sapwood. 


Douglas Fir- This tree grows all over the US but is primarily grown for commercial use in the NorthWest. It is naturally weather and insect resistant. The color is a creamy reddish light brown. It is a soft wood used for construction. It is a favorite to wood boring bees because they can easily bore through its softwood. This is why we use it to create our bee traps. 


Exotic Woods


Bocote- This wood is considered to be the most expensive wood per board foot of commonly available exotic wood. It has a beautiful wood grain pattern of black and golden brown. These trees grow in Central America and the West Indies. 


Spalted Tamarind- This wood is a beautiful white color. The spalting describes the dark streaks that run throughout the grains. The streaks are formed by microbes that enter the wood, leaving behind their marks. These trees are native to Africa. 


Leopardwood- This wood is very unique. It naturally has patterns in it that resemble leopard print. It is a pinkish color. These trees grow in Central America. 

Purpleheart- This wood has one of the brightest and most beautiful colors in nature. It grows a lightish brown color. However, once cut and exposed to UV light, it turns into a deep dark purple color. There are over 20 different varieties of purpleheart trees that each provide their own unique color. These trees grow in South America. 


Yellowheart- This wood is a pleasant yellowish gold color. These trees are cousins to the purpleheart variety and also grow in South America. 


Padauk- This wood is a very unique species due to its deep dark red color. It tends to fade in sunlight and requires a UV protective finish. These trees grow in Africa. 


Zebrawood- This wood is very unique due to its wood grain pattern. The pattern is a sequence of black and creamy brown, which resembles zebra print. These trees grow in Africa.


Marblewood- This wood produces a grain pattern similar to marble. It has a pleasant light yellow and orangish pattern. These trees grow in South America.

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