Properties: Nogal is commonly used as a shade tree for coffee plantations in Nicaragua. As the canopy becomes taller and the tree reaches maturity, after about 75 years, the tree is cut and replaced with lower trees which shade the coffee better. Its wood is dark brown with rich purple and black tones. Its workability is very good and because it is softer than domestic walnut it is ideal for hand carving. The wood glues and finishes well. The wood has a higher value then domestic Walnut as it is not widely available and is imported from the south.
Properties: Black Walnut is a favorite among wood workers and designers. Its Workability is good and it glues and finishes well. Its dark brown color makes it a top selection when decorating. The wood grain can have beautiful figure that is often sought after. Although the trees are not considered threatened the size of available trees has been increasingly smaller and smaller.
Tree Size: 30-60 ft (9-18 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter
Properties: Claro Walnut is a favorite among wood workers and designers. Its Workability is good and it glues and finishes well. It has a similar color tone as Black Walnut but also has rich purple, gray and reddish streaks. The wood grain can have beautiful figure that is often sought after. Claro Walnut is difficult to come by and fetches top dollar, often up to four times what Black Walnut costs.
Tree Size: 50-100 ft (15-30 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter
Properties: Cherry is among one of the oldest trees used for furniture making. It has a reddish orange color and can often have beautiful grain figure. The wood glues and finishes well and if often used for hand carving and cutting boards. Cherry is widely available although large Cherry trees are difficult to find.
Properties: Teak has been used in furniture making for years. Its workability is superior to most other hard woods. The grain of Teak is smooth and cutting it is easy and pleasurable. Teak has oils in the wood so wood workers often clean the joints with mineral spirits before gluing. The wood finishes very well and has a distinct smell that most find very appealing. Old growth Teak is rare and comes at a premium (often being among the most expensive woods in the lumber yard). Teak trees are now widely grown in Central and South America and can be used for lumber and furniture making after as little as 20 years. Because of this Teak is an amazing sustainable resource. It is important to note that plantation Teak has a different appearance then old growth teak as there is light colored sap wood and figure throughout the smaller trunks.
Tree Size:80-115 ft (25-35 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter
Properties: Maple is a classic choice for woodworkers. Its workability is good and the wood finishes and glues well. Maple often has “spalting” which occurs when fungi attacks the wood. The result can be beautiful and sought after but the wood must be harvested before too much salting occurs as it can eventually rot the entire tree. Maple is widely available however large maple trees are difficult to find. Maple is often stained using an oxidized finish which gives the wood a grayish silver finish.
Properties: Ash is a common wood among woodworkers and builders. Its grain is even and straight. Its workability is good but the wood can slinter when cut against the grain so it is not ideal for carving. Its finishes well and has a very light sometimes even white appearance. Ash is widely available and of often used as hardwood floors and millwork.
Properties: White Oak has been a favorite among wood workers for centuries. Its workability is good and the wood glues and finishes well. Because of its light even color it is a safe and reliable selection when decorating and remains classic over the years. When sawn flat the grain reveals large growth rings and figure. When quarter and rift sawn the grain reveals ray and fleck patterns that are more consistent in appearance. White Oak has a distinguishable sent that most find appealing. Large trees are still widely available and the tree is not considered threatened.
Also known as: Hyeronima alchorneoides Allem
Found: This species grows from México and Belize through Central America down to Panama, and in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.
Size: 70-100 ft tall 3-4’ trunk diameter About: Rosita is a tropical hardwood. It comes from the North East portion of Nicaragua, where in 2007 Hurricane Felix destroyed thousands of acres of forest. Many of the Rosita trees were close to 350 years old and have massive trunks not seen in domestic wood species. The wood is fairly easy to saw and work with hand tools, good to moderately good to plane, excellent for turning, mortising, boring, moulding and sanding. It’s popular for high quality furniture, veneers, and general carpentry.
The wood is heavy and dense making it difficult to work with. The wood color is similar to Walnut but has a deep rich reddish tone that darkens over time.
Pit Fired Ceramics
Pit firing the oldest known method for the firing of pottery. Examples have been dated as early as 29,000–25,000 BCE. Unfired pots are nestled together in a pit in the ground and are then covered with combustible materials such as wood shavings, leaves, metal oxides, salts, sawdust and dried manure. The top of the pit may be protected with moist clay, shards, larger pieces of wood or metal baffles. The filled pit is then set on fire and carefully tended until most of the inner fuel has been consumed. At around 1,100°C (2,000°F) the maximum temperatures are moderate compared to other techniques used for pottery.After cooling, pots are removed and cleaned to reveal patterns and colours left by ash and salt deposits.