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Wood Selector

Below are a collection of photographs of common woods and veneers. This is a flavour of the wood choice that is readily available and is not exclusive. If you don't see what you want please check out the suppliers on my Links page where you can see a wider choice. Please feel free to contact me.

A note about the pictures

All the pictures on this page are at the same scale to enable comparisons to be made of texture. Different computer screens display colours in different ways so the colour you see may not be truly representative of the colour of a particular wood (which themselves can vary greatly in colour) - the pictures are only meant to be informative. The wood samples were sealed with a coat of blonde shellac which will darken the wood from the natural state but is more indicative of the 'finished' article.

Native British Timbers

There are over 70 native and introduced trees in the British Isles, many of which yield wood in sufficient quantities for commercial use.

In general, trees which grow in temperate climates, where they have a regular growing/dormancy season, can produce wood that is either ring-porous or diffuse-porous . Put simply, it means the wood has a (typically) coarse or (typically) smooth texture.Ring-porous woods (oak, ash, elm, sweet chestnut) are so-called because the growth ring shows two distinct forms of growth within a single season (year) so the wood comprises alternate layers of wood of differing textures. Wood that is diffuse-porous (beech, sycamore, cherry etc) have a more uniform pattern of growth throughout their growing season so the wood texture is more uniform and generally less coarse.

Native British woods shown here

Non-native and exotic woods

Many of the trees native to Britain are found elsewhere (albeit different species) and their timber can be broadly very similar in colour, figure and texture. Sometimes they offer (subtle) differences in appearance that make them more aesthtically appealing; American Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) is much darker and sometimes more figured than English Walnut (Juglans regia). Conversely, English Oak (Quercus robur) tends to be more figured than American Oak (Quercus alba).

Afrormosia (Pericopsis elata) Back to list


American Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) Back to list

American Black Walnut

American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) Back to list

American Chestnut

American Red Oak (Quercus rubra) Back to list

American White Oak (Quercus alba) Back to list

American White Oak

Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) Back to list


Beech (Fagus sylvatica) Back to list


Birch (Betula pendula) Back to list


Cherry (Prunus avium) Back to list


Elm (Ulmus procera) Back to list

elm elm2

English Oak (Quercus robur) Back to list

eng oak qs eng oak

Hard Maple (Acer spp) Back to list

Hard Maple

Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) Back to list

Horse Chestnut (Aescalus hippocastanum) Back to list

horse chestnut

Iroko (Chlorophora excelsor) Back to list

Jarah (Eucalyptus spp) Back to list

Jelutong (Dyera costulata) Back to list


Lime (Tilia spp) Back to list


Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) Back to list


Padauk (Pterocarpus soyauxii) Back to list


Plane (Platanus x hybrida) Back to list


Purpleheart (Peltogyne paniculata) Back to list


Rosewood (Dalbergia spp) Back to list

Sapele (Entandophragma sapele) Back to list


Silky Oak (Grevillea robusta) Back to list

Silky Oak

Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) Back to list

sweet chestnut

Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) Back to list

sycamore sycamore2

Teak (Tectona grandis) Back to list


Utile (Entandophragma utile) Back to list


Walnut (Juglans regia) Back to list


Yew (Taxus baccata) Back to list

Yew Yew

Zebrano (Brachystegia spp) Back to list


Tiger Chestnut (Castanea sativa) Back to list

tiger chestnut