Top Ten “not-so-famous” woods you never heard of - 2/2

The second part of this article will cover top five down to our finest pick. Enjoy

Making it to the coveted 5th spot is the DESERT IRONWOOD with a scientific name of Olneya Tesota. If you are knife-maker, this may probably be familiar to you. The rest of the world has no clue, I guess. This wood is extremely dimensionally stable to the point that it is almost scary. It is ultimately sturdy. It also has appealing grains, colors and is excellent for turning.

The tree grows crooked and very small that is why pieces are so limited and not cost economical. This wood can be utilized for your small special projects.

On the fourth spot is PISTACHIO WOOD, with scientific name as Pistacia Vera. Appeal and aesthetic is very good. Features an interesting color with tons of variation, and stripes that would make the zebra put to shame. People wanted the fruit more than the desired wood. They do not have the plan to cut them because there are some available out there that has the same features as the pistachio wood.

On the precious third spot is the BLACK LOCUST WOOD, with a scientific name of Robinia Pasudoacacia. Actually this is a common wood, that is why I am confused as to why more people do not have any idea about it and use it. Mostly, it is prevalent in the European Continent. This is an efficient substitute for common hardwood. This is tough and built to last unlike the regular commercial wood you always see on the market.

One notch lower to our top spot is KATALOX, with scientific name of Swartzia Spp. Just like ebony but differ in prices, then you will surely adore katalox. Some pieces can be just as dark as legit ebony, with a shade of purple. Other pieces can showcase a shade of reddish brown with black lines. So many elements in the Swartzia family - however, it is not frequently imported, and a lot of boards have an outrageous amount of Sapwood in them. So you really have to look for the best pieces. This is an excellent substitute for ebony if you are eyeing for a darker tone in your pieces.

Last, but definitely not the least, making it on our top spot is the MACACAUBA, with scientific name of Platymiscium spp. This wood exudes a colorful palette, with a lot of pieces having rich oranges and red with a fusion of black veins and darker brown of sophistication and exquisiteness. Some woods are adored for their color, other are loved for the grains and stripes on the wood. Well, Macacauba features both, and mind you, it is not expensive!

This appealing wood has the best of both worlds in terms of strength and color. Some notable names for this wood also include Macawood, Coyote, and Hormigo. Commercially, it is quite known as “Orange agate”.

Truly indeed, there are a lot of wood species that can be utilized and not only those which are famous. You just have to come up with a research and make a few clicks.

Top Ten “not-so-famous” woods you never heard of - 1/2

Hardwoods are easy to find, but do you know each features? There are other hardwoods that you never heard yet. This two-part article will show you some woods that are never heard as well as some of their features. Let us take a look at ten of the unusual hardwoods all over the globe:

Garnering the 10th spot is MOPANE, with a scientific name of Colophospermum mopane. This hardwood has stellar acoustic features which has lots of potentials. It is highly dense and can produce appealing grain and color patterns. It is a bit hard to find because it is only available in minimal chunks and blanks. To add, it is a bit costly and a lot of people are not up to spending significant amount of money on a wood that they have never heard.

Covering the ninth 9th spot is PAULOWNIA with a scientific name of Paulownia tomentosa. Among the definitive lightest woods there is in the world but not as foamy as the balsa wood. It is regarded as one of the most stable woods in relation to humidity and has very low movement in service. Grows like a weed, the paulownia are plantation grown.

Picture source

Picture source

The Japanese tend to utilize it all before anyone can lay hands on it. Paulownia is prices in the Japanese region and utilized for all classes of things.

On the eighth 8th spot is the GREENHEART with a scientific name of Chlorocardium  Rodiei. Greenheart is recognized as a wood of extremes. Entirely, it probably the sturdiest wood all over the globe, with off the charts MOR and MOE and crushing strength. It also possesses a stellar weathering features and rot resistance, more applicable in marine environment.

On its downside, this wood is a bit of a complex to work with. It is complicated to fasten and glue. It is also hard to saw.

On the seventh 7th spot is the CHAKTE VIGA, with a scientific name of Caesalpinia platyloba. There is so much to love about this wood. It has an exceptional tonal and acoustic features; it has a subtle iridescence that accumulates sophistication to any item. But overall, pieces with reddish or orange-ish coloration can be found. The color actually lasts as compared to other woods.

It is also more commonly known as Paela Wood. It is not cost-efficient as it is a bit hard to find.

The sixth spot is the BURMESE BLACKWOOD, with scientific name of Dalbergia Cultrata. This wood is easy to love as it exudes undue appeal. The grain pattern is basically extraordinary and a bit complicated to replace or imitate with another type of wood. This is in closes competition with pheasant wood.


This is quite never heard of because it is seldom available in the market. And when there is a chance, it is usually expensive. People never regard it as an ebony knockoff for that matter, but it is basically entirely different species.

The next article will feature the next five spots that will complete the magic ten.

Pygmies, the Real Forest Inhabitants

The “pygmy” people of the Rainforests are traditionally regarded as hunter-gatherers and most of them settle in the vast rainforest area of South Africa. The term “pygmy” has obtain a not-so-good connotations, but has been reclaimed by several indigenous community as a term of identity.

Basically, these groups of people regarded themselves as “forest peoples” because of the basic essentiality of the forest to their livelihood, history, and culture. Each is a distinct individual, like the Aka, Twa, Mbuti and Baka living in countries which traverses Central Africa such as the Central African Republic (“CAR”), Rwanda, Cameroon, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”).

Several groups have distinct hunting traditions and languages. Although each group faces several challenges and threats, logging, conservation, and racism are the main dilemmas for a lot, all contributing to violent abuse and serious health problems. Present estimate of the pygmy’s population runs to about five hundred thousand.


LIVING THE FOREST LIFE: A nucleus to the pygmy’s identity it their intimate link to the forest lands  that they have worshipped, protected and lived for generations through generations. Jengi, the forest spirit, is considered to be one of the few words common to a lot of the broad languages spoken by the pygmy communities. The significance of rainforest as their physical and spiritual abode, and as the source of their belief, medicine, livelihood and cultural share cannot be overstated.

Basically, small communities move frequently on several forest zones, gathering a wide range of forest kits, obtaining wild honey and trading products with several settled communities. Hunting strategies vary among the pygmy communities, and comprise bows and arrows, spears and nets and the like. But a lot of communities have been displaced by conservation projects and their remaining lands have been demoralized by extreme logging, commercial activities like bush-meat trading, and farmers’ expansion. This way of living is threatened by the loss of access to soil because of the privatization of land and by the rising availability of plastic items.

Majority of the land traditionally settled in by pygmy communities is rich in minerals and timber. There is a race between the conversationalists and the loggers to lay claim to the remaining forests. The needs and rights of the pygmies have been taken for granted in the scramble for the Central African forests.

Another example is in Congo, where multinational logging companies hurried in at the initial signs of peace to extract valuable timber. Local communities are often tricked into parting with their rights to the forest, which leads to the loss of their cultural heritage, the source of their income, their food security in exchange for a pinch of salt or sugar.

That is why nowadays, some groups outside of their realm are trying to help preserve their cultural heritage by helping them fight for their rights. Verily, pygmies are considered to be the soul of the rainforest. They are part and parcel of the land, just like timber and other minerals. Rainforests will die naturally if these pygmy communities will be wiped out.

Photo by  Sacha Styles  on  Unsplash

The Rainforest Canopy

About fifty to ninety percent of existences in the rainforests are regarded in the trees, above the shaded forest surface. Main tropical rainforest is vertically divided into five classes: the overstory, the canopy, the understory, the shrub layer and the forest floor. Each class has its own extraordinary animal and plant species blending with the ecosystem surrounding them.

The overstory denotes to the crowns of emergent trees which grows up to a hundred feet above the rest of the canopy. On the other hand, the canopy is the thick ceiling of closely spaced branches and their trees, while the understory denotes a widely spaced, minimal tree species and individuals that compose a broken layer below the canopy. The shrub layer showcases shrubby species and minimal trees that grow with a maximum height of twenty (20) feet off the forest floor. In other words, this is the ground layer of the forest made up of the tree trunks, low growing vegetation and fungus. This layer varies from forest to forest, but is considered as an efficient component of the mechanical and vegetative forest structures.

The overstory showcases a scattered emergent trees that umbrella above the rest of the canopy. This exceeds more than two hundred ten (210) feet. On the other hand, below the overstory trees lies the canopy which broadens from wide distances. This has an effect of seamlessness when observe from above. But despite the overlapping tree branches, canopies rarely touch each other. They are somehow separated from one another seemingly respecting each area. Why the branches of these trees do not touch is still a mystery up to this point, but studies have shown that it is a protection from infestations and other insects and diseases such as blight on the leaves. In order to survive, dwellers in the canopy must have the capability to negotiate these gaps by leaping, climbing, flying, or gliding.

rain forest

The hundreds of thousands of leaves of the canopy, acting as small solar panels, supplies the source of power for the forest by translating sunlight to energy by the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the method by which plants translate atmospheric carbon dioxide and water into simple sugars and oxygen. And because there are high rates of photosynthesis of canopy trees, these plants have higher yield of seeds, leaves, fruits and flowers that support and attract an array of diversity of animal life. Aside from attracting a plethora of wildlife, the canopy plays a crucial role in managing global and regional climate because it is the main site of the heat interchange, atmospheric gases and water vapor.

To add to gathering solar energy and maintaining such climate, the canopy shields the understory from intense and harsh sunlight, heavy rainfall, drying winds, and maintains the moisture of the forest below. Thus, the forest interior is way volatile environment as compared to upper parts of the canopy.

Truly indeed, the beauty of the rainforest through its canopy is a god-given gift. We may not understand its magic, but it is proven to be contributing to the betterment not only of the surroundings inside the canopy, but also beyond it.

“le radeau des cimes” studying the canopy

“le radeau des cimes” studying the canopy

Material Mix: What can you combine with wood?

Wood in itself is considered as beauty. Whether you use it as an ornament or design in your finishes, it will exemplify class and sophistication. Wood has played an important role in giving life to what is probably one of the most sought after field in construction; finishing. However, while wood can stand in itself, sometimes it is exciting to reinvent and incorporate other media. I am talking about fusion between wood and iron, or wood and plastic, what do you think?

Sometimes it takes one soul to be brave enough to try this. Well, basically, this is considered to be the “in” thing at this point - the fusion of conventionality and rustic look.

Wood and Plastic – This is usually prevalent in places with cool climates. Wood and plastic does not really compensate but if you get through the normal motif, you will surely have what you want. White and the natural colors of wood would go along with each other. Cabin houses which have natural wood walls can go along with plastic panels of your windows and door jambs. The stereotype log cabin can be paired with strong plastic fixtures such as window frames, railings, plastic balusters, and the like. It is also considered as an insulator in preventing or minimizing heat.

Not only that, Wood and plastic compensate each other in terms of strength. Aesthetically wise, we do not have any questions if the two will go along. And so as structural matters, as there are hardwoods that can withstand the test of time. But plastics are a very special component that can add sturdiness to the whole structure.

Wood and plastics can also go along with furniture such as bathroom and kitchen fixtures and cabinets. It can complement each other when mixed with other items inside the house. No wonder, this is the conventional thing right now.

Cooperation with our friend at Duakala. Mixing reclaim teak and recycled plastic tile.

Cooperation with our friend at Duakala. Mixing reclaim teak and recycled plastic tile.

Wood and Steel - On the other hand, the “big time” and “go-to” design now especially in the rural areas are rustic design. It is a combination of wood that are reclaimed and give a different level of beauty and rustic steel that would add not only color but depth to the rustic barn design. This is a good combination for furniture such as beds, cabinets, dining table and barn swings. Whatever the color is, there is no way that these two strong elements can conspire to come up with a greater classic but sophisticated design. However, black steel to brown natural wood would be the winner. You cannot go wrong with that kind of combination. You can even design it while your eyes are shut.

Truly indeed, while wood itself is a beauty on its own, you can level it up by incorporating other elements like plastic and steel. What makes it more special is the personal touch that you will give to your design. Never miss the chance to invent and reinvent your house design with the help of wood and its friends; plastic and steel.

DIY wood working

Sustainable waste management: A Tool in Sustainable Development - 2/2

The first part of this article will deliver the strongest sense as to the urgency of leaning towards sustainable development. We cannot therefore sit and watch our world deteriorate in a natural way. We must do something. We must engage in sustainable development as immediate as possible. Now we go to the meat of the topic.


What is sustainable waste management? Basically, there is none sustainable waste management solution which can be the world’s bread and butter. There are still conflicting theories and foresights as to what are more environmentally, practical, advantageous and efficient means of attaining sustainable waste management.

The overall guidelines focuses in attaining sustainable waste management, that have been founded in several years across the entire European Union and a lot more countries are:

·         To lessen the amount of waste that the community produces;

·         To optimally utilize of resources that are naturally produced;

·         To select waste management best practices by which it tends to lessen the risk of drastic and future environmental harm and pollution to human health.

Over the last several decades, the actions required for the waste industry as well as individuals to abide, and those that are most sustainable have been straighten out by the policy makers in the government.

A process of waste disposal for coming up with the option between disposal method and waste treatment which put landfill disposals at the last in the list of probable waste disposal options, has been supplemented throughout the European Union, for utilization by all. It is more commonly known as the waste disposal hierarchy.

Landfill played an important role in this kind of technique in eradicating the residual waste after all pre-treatment of waste has already been taken away as much of the waste stream as possible, but it is a continuous lessening one, and caucus amongst waste experts still remains to be the go-to technique.

Sustainable landfill. Draining bioreactor landfill have been regarded as the sole way to attain sustainable landfills but very real technical issues and quandary prevailed in enhancing these methods, not least getting sufficient clear water for the flushing in the first place.

But, there is an over-all harmony on the objectives of sustainable landfill. Listed below are such:

·         The contents of the landfill must be restricted so that outputs are released outside in a restricted and acceptable way so as not to give drastic outputs.

·         The residues left in the landfill should not give a significant risk to the environment as well as the need for monitoring and aftercare should not be passed on to the generations of tomorrow.

·         Future utilization of groundwater as well as other resources shall not be compromised.

The focal point here is that regulated leakage to the environment can be a lot better as compared to total confinement is gradual enhancement and stabilization is attain without posing any kind of harm being caused.

Earth is the only home available to humankind. Humans are not permanent. So, we better do our part for the next set of humankind.


Sustainable waste management: A Tool in Sustainable Development - 1/2

The first part of this article will strongly pave its way in to using waste management as a strong tool in sustainable development. We encourage you to go over this two-part article to be able to have a full grasp on the effects of waste management and how it can help sustainable development all over the globe.

dirty the wall

Some studies have shown and provide that an optimum definition of sustainable development have been drafted recently, the government of United Kingdom has also defined it and it is found online. But, these definitions should not be left to those who lead the country. The proposition is after all not a complicated task to comprehend and we thought we might contribute to this through this article:

Sustainable development begins with the concept that the sustainable purpose for all is an excellent quality of life for everyone, not only at present but for the future generations. To attain this, sustainable development is focused on attaining economic growth, in the form of enhanced quality of living. It is practically not about saving and scrimping, hair shirts, or punishing ourselves for savoring the natural resources like there is no tomorrow.

But this mainly focus on us protecting and where possible modifying the environment not just for its own sake but for our own self-interest. A damaged environment would retard and slow the growth in terms of economy and decrease the quality of living.

It is regarded as classless and free, because for it to be wholly sustainable, things will just  play in the long term if we ensure that environmental and economic advantages are freely available to the society at large and not just a particular segment of the community. Sustainability has no problem with all the religions so everyone can support it. So it is a common norm that sustainable development must possess four wide parameters:

There are social progress which takes the needs of everyone, the efficient protection of the environment, intelligent utilization of natural resources, and operation of stable and high levels of economic employment and growth.

One of the most fundamental areas for society to sustainably act is in how it throws away its waste, detritus, and thrash. Those that have the potential to contribute major damage are overusing of fossil fuel energy that leads to climate change, and of course, war. Waste management that are not sustainable poisons underground and water courses, leaves litter on the surroundings to kill and maim our forest, welcomes vermin and rats, pollutes air with unhealthy aerosols and odors which may lead to extreme damage or immense unusable large tracts of land.

Now, to be able to aid in sustainable development, one major player is an efficient and enhanced waste management. The next installment of this article will discuss the ins and outs of sustainable waste management. It is simply better to dwell on these things before we are faced with the fact that it is too late. I hope you read the next one.

Waste management, a duty for all!

Waste management, a duty for all!

Wood Shingles and Shakes: Basic and Beyond

When talking about aesthetic appeal, there are several materials that can truly match the attractiveness and exquisiteness of wood shakes and shingles. Majority of wood shingles and shakes came from Western Red Cedar. Others get their shakes from pine of Eastern Cedar. If you look thoroughly, there is a great chance that you can find wood shingles that are made from oak, Cyprus and redwood. Throughout Indonesia Ulin ironwood is the most common shingle.

Ulin ironwood roof

Ulin ironwood roof

Shingles, with their plain finished but elegant style, are produced from big chunks of wood. They come in regular sizes.

Shakes have thick layers but some are cut from chucks of wood, majority are  manufactured manually or by machine into the sizes described above. Further, you have two distinct weight features when purchasing your roof shakes; medium weight or heavy weight. You also have several styles to select from like hand split, hand–split and cut with a smooth bottom, and taper-split. These classes of roofing shakes are the primary concepts in majority of United States Houses for roofing tiles.

Hand-split shakes basically are stronger and can last a significant amount of time as compared to machine-split shakes due to the wood fibers have not been cut which makes them prone to rot. Roof shingles and shakes of these classes normally have a life span ranging from fifteen (15) to twenty five (25) years.

The most sophisticated shakes available in the market are straight grained heartwood as this are made from the immortal and sap-free part of the tree. It is crucial if you live in a place where the climate is humid, it is a bit of a complex in dealing with your roofing shingles with the fungicide after a year. However, it is also an excellent idea to apply a clear wood fungicide and preservatives.

One of the main problems home owners have with roof tiles is the threat of heat and fire. A lot of the wood shingles available in the market at this point have been pressure-handled with the fire retardant chemical. These shingles possess a class “B” fire rating. The only way for you to acquire a class “A” fire rating is to apply retardant-treated shingles at the back of the gypsum board sheathing. Untreated shingles are easy to burn if there is a fire.

On the other hand, for decorative reasons, you can also obtain fancy-but shingles which may come in several sizes. These shingles varies in a lot of patterns and shapes. These classes of wood shingles are generally utilized on exterior walls of a home, but a many roofing companies are doing their might to mix them in to the roofing system.

wood roof

It is best recommended to apply these wood shingles above open sheath which gives freedom for air to circulate to stay away from rotting. However, you can also apply it to closed sheathing but you will make sure the wood shingles or shakes are elevated off the decking for about an inch or two to allow appropriate ventilation with the help of wood spacers.

Sustainable Development and Beyond: The Truth behind all Lies 2/2

In the initial installment of this article, we discussed the primer of sustainable development, its effects and what we can still do to save humankind. Please bear in mind that it’s is never too late. If we can all act on this, we can save the world in no time. Let us continue some of the guidelines that have a major impact on us. Listed below are the rest of it:

·         To avoid Global Warming. Nourishment of the natural resources in the setting avoids global warming. Global warming is a shoot up in the average temperature in the atmosphere mainly focused in the in the rampant boost of climate change in the surroundings. The resultant output is hot and warm climates that tend to extinguish animal and plant species making activities in life a bit of a complex. If the resources in the community are properly regulated, this quandary would be eliminated and resources will be sufficient for the generations of tomorrow.

ying and yang hardwood

·         Avoid bushfires and deforestation. Sustainable development means that those trees that are cut should be replaced and new ones should be planted for continuity. The opposite of deforestation that is the extinction of the plant resources in the surroundings results in bushfires; the burning of the forest results in the exhaustion of natural resources.

In countries near the equator, bushfires and wildfires are very rampant and it needs to be addressed with the help of nearby countries as well.

·         Support self-reliance. The preservation of resources in the environment aids a country to depend on itself without asking help from other communities. Say for example, in the event that a country had preserved its natural resources like rubber, gold, and timber, they would not ask help from other countries. Unluckily at this point, a lot of countries import raw materials from other countries for sustenance of their industries. If in any case a country preserves its natural resources, it would invite self-reliance and the world will surely be a better place to live in.

·         Aid the development of the youth and enhance their artistic talents as well as obtain employable skills to decrease poverty. The youth is possessed with god-given talents and they have the capability to enhance these talents by exploring the environmental resources to produce functional items that can be sold to generate income and decrease poverty in a country. Utilization of reclaimed woods for almost everything can help the environment by immortalizing the use of old woods and earning a significant amount. This is a win-win situation and showcases a simple process of sustainable development. This is also valid for plastic, which waste the world struggle to handle. What about mixing reclaimed materials? That's what we tried with this sample cutting board in collaboration with DuaKala

These discussed parameters channel the requirement to implement measures for sustainable development of the environmental natural resources. The primary guideline is total preservation of the natural resources coupled with discipline among the populace all over the globe. And mind you, the rest will follow. If writing articles such as this will pave a way to open a mind of even one person, we will still continue write as long as it can help the environment, however which way we can.

Reclaimed plastic and hardwood - Credit Duakala

Reclaimed plastic and hardwood - Credit Duakala

Sustainable Development and Beyond: The Truth behind all Lies 1/2

It is high time that we tackle the issues of sustainable development. This two-part article suggests a bird’s eye view of what sustainable development has to offer within the inter-generational populace and the responsibility that one has in order for it to accomplish. It is a common knowledge that the world has been experiencing depletion of its natural resources. But the truth of the matter is, it is not too late for us to save the world.

The initial offering of this write-up discusses the purpose of sustainable developments and how it will affect the lives of the people of tomorrow. And thus, what can we do to make the world a better place to live in today and tomorrow.

Sustainable Development is technical enhancement of structures that thrives to meet the requirements not only of present conditions but of future generations by means of effective maintenance and management of the environmental resources.

The main purpose of sustainable development is to make sure that the present environmental requirements of people do not encroach on those that the future human would also utilize and need. The sustenance is focused on preserving and maintaining the bio-resources that we have now in order for future generations to have sufficient resources. An unsustainable scenario is present when natural capital is utilized rapidly that in can be replaced or replenished.  Sustainability needs that human activity only utilizes natural resources in such a manner that it can be replaced naturally.


Sustainable Development is primordial and crucial to the sustenance and preservation of our optimum natural resources. Some of the considerations and reasons of sustainable development are discussed below:

·         Preserve and possess sufficient resources for the future. It is very essential to sustain the resources in the surroundings to make sure that no shortage will be experienced in the future - in the event that the natural resources are not sustained, future generations will suffer for having insufficient supply.

·         To maintain and uphold the industry’s survival. The Natural resources from the environment are raw supply connecting the numerous industries of the world. Their source of revenue and survival of these industries basically depends on these raw materials gathered from anywhere. It is these materials that are utilized in the production of products for the sustenance and advantage of humanity. If these resources were drawn to be in extinction, there would be a collapse in all of the industries around.


·         To avoid and foil exhaustion of the resources. The resources in the setting are hampered from permanently drying out if the methods of controlling them are enhanced. Sustainable development aids the natural resources to be in uniform supply.

In the next installment of this article, we will continue the other guidelines that have a major impact in the world as a whole. Please stay tuned because you haven’t eaten the best of this. Allow us to walk you through the tunnel of sustainable development. Remember, we only have one home, let’s make it a better place.