How to identify Huanghuali wood
This is a very beautiful rare hardwood. Because of this it is very endangered. Huanghuali means yellow flowering pear. This indicates what the tree is. The yellow flowers of this tree are beautiful and the wood itself is too. The interesting thing, is it actually isn’t of the pear family, this wood is a type of rose wood.
It is popular because of its almost shining surface with its patterns that are very aesthetically pleasing. Asw the rosewood name would suggest, the colour is reddish brown ranging from a yellow.
The wood also is prevalent around china, vietnam and indochina. I don’t recommend getting any new furniture or product that is made from this material as it is not ethical in this day and age to be buying critically endangered tropical hardwood.
As the name may suggest, you may find this wood type in Burma (now myanmar). Again this is a hardwood which is rare and you should not be using it for new furniture. Again a pale golden yellow colour to a reddish brown is beautiful and the grains are fantastic, so if you find any antique items it is brilliant.
Padauk is pretty great at decay and rot resistant because of its oil capacity. Studies have shown how much the want for rosewood has grown in the last few years. As well as this because of the growth of the chinese middle class, there is more demand. If people keep buying rosewood at this rate, there is predicted to be none left in the next 10 years.
It is one of the most exploited trees in the whole world. Used from a range of musical instruments, to high end furniture. It does lend itself to this high level of product because it can be expertly crafted and worked. It also produces rosewood oil, because it is a hardwood it will be naturally quite oily.
Zitan wood is that dense it actually sinks in water. Which is amazing because it is that dense! Another member of the rosewood family, this wood is a rich colour of black to purple and red. It has deep fibres and a rich grain. It has even been used as a dye in ancient times because it is that colour rich and creates a red dye. Which i think is great.
Zitan Wood Wiki
Again the forests of indo china are the only place that has this wood. BEcause it is a hardwood it grows very slowly and only grows around 1 foot in width. So you can see how scarce it is to get a lot of this resource.
This is another rare wood. Found only in the Andaman islands. You will find the colour ranging from an orange colour to a red. It may change colour over time to become more red and dark purple. This being said it is a very dense wood and course, making it very decay resistant given its density and strength. Again this is a rare wood and should not really be used in any new furniture at this time. It is very resistant to shrinkage also which means it was very well rated in the world of boat building.
How to clean a Rosewood Fretboard
Rose wood looks best when it is clean. This being said it is good to clean off the dirt and the grime off it just so it looks better but also it plays better. You could use an alcohol wipe if there is a small amount of dirt on the fretboard. If there is a lot, you may want to take more drastic measures, and use some steel wool to gently get the dirt and grime off. I stress that you have to do this gently because you could end up scratching the frets which you do not want to do.
As well as this you may want to use some lemon oil on a soft cloth or microfiber rag in order to keep the natural moisture and oil in, because the alcohol can actually dehydrate and dry out the fret board which is not what you want.
The word hongu wood actually just means red wood in chinese. This obviously is an indication of the colour and the rich tones of this wood. It is a tropical hardwood and therefore is quite endangered, and slow growing. There is no real way for a tropical hardwood to be sustainable because of the amount of time it takes for another to grow.
As with a lot of things, governments will try their best to continue trade of materials even if they are not sustainable, and make it look like to the rest of the world – that they are regulated – even if they are niot.
Rose wood is going to become extinct sooner than we think (13 years) if this still continues the rapid destruction of the forests. Really you do not need to buy new every time . There are many people selling barely used products if you look online, and normally for a faction of the price. You have to really make a conscious effort when you are trying to be sustainable, and think … Do I really need this rosewood table? The answer is no.
Interestingly, rosewood has been used in China a lot in the past for Ming dynasty furniture, and even further back than this. Find out more about old style furniture here. See more about other types such as the Korsi.
You find this a lot, that it is a material that master crafters can get to a very high level with by working on the wood that is extremely durable. This being said, in the past it was in abundance, but now it is not. There even used to be travel bans on rosewood, and you could not bring rosewood guitars into certain countries without paying a fee or a permit, but nowadays these have been lifted in places.