Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hawaii is one of those places where almost any kind of tree will grow.  Unfortunately apple, pear, walnut and boxwood are not among the trees that thrive here.  Below is a picture of some of the common wood found in this area.  There are many more species but this is what I had on hand to photograph so I will start there and possibly in the future add others.

5a011bae20059_wood2.thumb.jpg.502c98a96b2d1f6fedc220c92ea0ef37.jpg

From left to right they are causarina, tropical almond, mango, albiza, lemon, ohia, milo and avocado.

 

Causarina, also known as Australian pine, she oak, iron wood and river oak is a tree native to Australia.  Introduced in Hawaii as a wind break tree.  The wood is hard with a moderate grain and red coloring varied from a very light red brown sap wood to a dark red heart wood.  To coarse for exterior use on a model that is going to be finished bright but and excellent wood for framing that will remain hidden.  Tends to crack during drying and bleed dark read sap when first cut.  Doesn't seem to be a good wood for bending.

 

Tropical Almond is a tree native to the south Pacific and may be native to Hawaii but there is some that think it was introduced after European contact.  Popular shade tree in seaside parks.  Similar to a tree native to Hawaii called Kamani or Hawaiian oak.  Hard wood with a light brown sap  wood and darker brown heart wood.  Nice grain and works easily.  Fairly hard with a moderate grain.  To coarse for exterior use unless painted but other wise a good wood to work with.  Very good for display base and/or cabinet.

 

Mango.  Common in tropical areas.  Beautiful grain but way to coarse for model building.  The dust and sap can cause irritation and rash.

 

Albiza.  Native to India and is the fastest growing tree in the world.  Considered a trash tree in Hawaii but has nice wood with some interesting properties.  Very light, heavier than balsa but lighter than basswood.  Very strong for it weight but has a coarse, stringy texture.  Works easily and holds fastenings fairly well.  Does not bend well.  Makes a great wood for fillers and backing pieces and can be used for a solid hull that will be planked over.

 

Lemon.  This piece is from a Meyer lemon tree my neighbor cut down.  Unfortunately is laid on the ground in the rain for several days before I found out about it.  Hard, tight grained wood that saws, carves and turns well.  Very susceptible to insect attack and staining if not seasoned and stored correctly.  Very good all around modeling wood.

 

Ohia is the most common native tree in Hawaii and is found no where else.  Scientific names is polymorphus because it can grown in a large variety of forms from a low spreading bush to a giant a hundred feet tall and 3 feet thick at the base depending on the conditions.  Hard, dense and close grained wood.  Will crack if not sealed as soon as it is cut and seasoned correctly.  Has been used for outrigger canoes, flooring, furniture, musical instruments, turning and carving.  Color varies from medium brown to a very dark, reddish brown.  In general an excellent wood for modeling especially for dark parts finished bright.

 

Milo is another tree native to Hawaii and found on other south Pacific islands.  Beautiful wood for carving.  Moderately hard with a close grain.  Light brown sap wood and dark brown heart wood.  Some really old trees have heart wood that is very nearly black.  Common in coastal areas where there is a source of fresh water.  Tends to have a very convoluted, multi-trunk structure so finding long, straight pieces is unusual.  An excellent wood for model building.

 

Avocado.  Common tree in warm climates including southern California and Florida.  Wood is a light brown with a grain that varies from tight and straight to wavy with flecks.  Good wood for general purpose use in model building but the grain can be a problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

    My wife and I have made ten trips to Hawaii prior to my life in a wheelchair and we really would like to return, but air travel would really be tough now.:(  One of the things that I always admired was some of the woodworking projects that I saw when we were there made of Hawaiian Koa and some of the other native woods.  I would love to incorporate some of them into my modeling projects but, unfortunately have not seen any offered thru any of our wood suppliers.  Is there any source that you are aware of that can supply them?  I  like that you have been able to come up with the some of the woodworking properties of the various woods also.:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...