(Those who compulsively check the backgrounds of photos will notice that the humidity was 43% in the shop today--just right.)
From the left: curly and colorful Oregon black walnut; a tall plank of extra curly bigleaf maple with a few burl patches and unusually fine texture; a narrow plank of curly eastern black walnut, and finally a chunk of Cuban mahogany on the bench top.
Cuban gets the nod for rarity and historical lineage--it was the glory wood of the Chippendale furniture era, and has been commercially "extinct" for over 200 years. This piece is from Florida, where folks with special permits can harvest trees that have blown down in storms. It carves like a dream, and the orange-brown tones and deep luster are yummy.
Walnuts are rich--for many, walnut is the color wood ought to be. The Oregon walnut is so...Eugene;-) - colorful, expressive, free-spirited next to the eastern walnut, which seems by comparison reserved, even thoughtful. Here's some western walnut:
Finally, the bigleaf maple. Another highly lustrous wood, the curl on this tree looks positively 3-D once it has finish on it. The back side has some burled texture, which could be interesting, though I'm not sure how to work it in. "Reserved" is not a term that leaps to mind for figured maple like this, here combined with koa in jewelry box:
Decisions, decisions. If you have opinions feel free to drop me a note.