J. W's Innovative Woodworker Piratinera Guianensis


The Wood Of The Week Is Snakewood

Botanical name is Piratinera Guianensis. Other names are Leopard Wood, Speckled Wood and Letterwood. It is in the classification of hardwood .It is extremely hard! In fact some Snakewood can be harder than Lignum Vitae making it the hardest wood in the world. Color is usually light reddish brown to dark reddish brown. It can have remarkable figure with dark brown or black speckles, stripes, spots like a leopards or with strange markings. It grows in South America, Guyana and Surinam. It has a tendency to dull tools very quickly it is best to use extremely sharp carbide tools when working with this wood. In my experience when sawing snakewood it is not uncommon for the sawblade to throw sparks. You should clean the wood with Acetone prior to gluing it and use a polyurethane glue.

The price varies depending upon the amount of figure the wood has. With shipping it can run from approximately $26.00 to $39.00 per pound ($130.00 to $260.00 per board foot). One board foot will normally weigh approximately 6 pounds.There are a few suppliers who carry Snakewood, one such supplier is

Tip Of The Week

When marking around templates or patterns, you should use a mechanical pencil that uses 0.5 or 0.7mm lead. This allows for a precise and consistent marking to follow when using a scroll saw or bandsaw for cutting. Also you can twist the lead out say an inch or so to mark in hard those hard to reach crevices.

Quote Or Proverb Of The Week

Many of life?s failures are people who did not realize
how close they were to success when they gave up.
Thomas Alva Edison

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