Many varieties of figured wood on floor and table display at a wood show

Craftwood types, cuts & uses

A wood crafter's guide to selecting the right pieces for your next project

Wood crafters! This page is a treasure trove of information. Take your time reading about the different cuts, types and uses for the wood sold in the Wood Dragon's Hoard. I hope this will educate the novice and inspire the professional to try new cuts and types of wood treasures in the hoard.

The wood in the Dragon’s Hoard is special. You won’t find any plain maple here. All of it is figured (also known as curly), which is a rare and wonderful growth pattern that produces bright, shimmering patterns within the wood grain. This Hoard is also your source for koa, which is an extraordinary wood whether it’s figured or not.

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, our Hawaiian woods will wow you. We offer Mango, Monkeypod, Silk Oak, Macadamia, Avocado, Kiawe, and more. The Hawaiian woods vary, depending on availability and all range from plain to very curly.

The Dragon doesn’t collect lumber. This wood is art and each piece has been selected individually based entirely on its unique character. Live edges, voids, cracks and stains are a particular delight to this dragon.

Nature is the greatest artist. Sometimes the art is perfect for its flawlessness, sometimes its perfect for its flaws. You will find both types here. The one thing you can be certain of is a one of a kind piece every time.  

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Quartersawn Koa

Quartersawn Koa

Plain koa

Plain Koa

Quilted maple

Quilted Maple

Spalted flame maple

Spalted Flame Maple

Let’s talk specifics: Types of wood and cuts

detail of flame maple wood

Flame Maple Detail

Flame Maple: We’ll start here because this one is tricky to classify. Flame is also known as: curly and fiddleback. I like the word, flame because…well, I’m a dragon. It's more fun anyway, don't you agree? Flame is quarter sawn wood typically, which means that when processing the log, it’s cut like a pie and then resawn on the quarter, so that the figure shows up as straight to straight-ish lines across the piece. As the cuts shorten, the figure begins to roll off quarter (which makes the coolest figure look in the world). This is sometimes called ‘Quiddle’, as it can often look very quilty, but still show hard curl lines. If the question is “is this flame or quilt?” it’s quiddle, which is so much more fun to say than “flat sawn flame”. 

Quilted Maple: Quilt is very rare. It is a growth pattern where the curl starts early in the life of the tree and continues to widen as it grows. Quilt usually doesn’t move deep into the tree fibers and because of this shallowness, it is flat sawn, meaning that rather than cutting a pie shape, we cut parallel to the log. This brings out the interesting figure patterns. In a truly exceptional piece, this looks like large finger rolls, with bright lines around them.

Detail of quilted maple wood

Quilted Maple Detail

Exotic Hawaiian Woods

Silk Oak wood slabs

Silk Oak

Detail of macadamia wood

Macadamia Detail

Monkey Pod wood cookies

Monkey Pod Cookies

Kiawe wood slab

Kiawe Slab

Mango and Koa: These are the Queens of the wood species we offer (sorry quilted maple – you can be a lead Lady in Waiting). For the purposes of this explanation, I am grouping them together because they both have similar growth qualities. Both range from plain to highly figured and both are extraordinary either way.

These woods are both available in ‘plain’ and ‘curly’ grades. Plain refers to little to no figure in the piece. However, both mango and koa are very colorful woods with beautiful grain variations, so the lack of figure does nothing to diminish the beauty of the piece. In the “curly” grade, the figure must be strong from edge to edge and throughout the piece. In the “plain” grade, the piece must show unique color or grain.

Both mango and koa are cut on quarter and flat and range from typical straight line curl to a shimmery “velvet” look.

Silk Oak wood slabs

Curly Mango Detail

Detail of macadamia wood

Curly Mango Detail

Flat sawn koa

Flat Sawn Koa

Plain koa

Plain Koa

Billets

In the world of wood, there seems to be a number of different definitions for the word ‘billet’, so here’s ours:

A billet refers to a piece of wood, which has been resawn and dried. It’s in essence, a small board. Because our first sort for wood is material, which will make guitars, we aim for guitar specifications. In general, a billet must be at least 6” in width and a minimum of 19” in length.

We cut billets in mainly two thicknesses: 1.5” or 2”. We refer to these as ‘full billets’ (2”) or ‘half billets’ (1.5”). Yes, I know that 1.5 is not actually half of two, but it’s what we call them.

The 1.5” thickness billet dries faster, and because of that, the wood tends to warp or cup less. It is also a versatile thickness for guitar products. By surfacing one side, we can cut two drop top sets from each half. Without getting too technical, we can also use two half billet book matches to cut carvetops at 1” and still have a droptop book left over.

Both full and half billets offer a range of options for other applications as well. Frequently, they are purchased as billets and resawn into pen blanks, knife scales, box material, or whatever else one’s imagination can dream up. 

Book Matched Sets

What is a book match? Simply put, a book match is a piece of wood, which has been resawn into a mirror image set. It’s used frequently in furniture making and in…you guessed it, guitars.

The book matches offered here are a combination of music quality sets and guitar seconds. Each of the sets posted here have the Wood Dragon Stamp of Something Special. The “character” loving artisan will appreciate the array of stain, spalting and voids. These features, combined with dazzling figure are certain to spark the imagination. Sets with intense figure and defect free, light wood will appear here too.

There are also “craft sets” included here. These are matched pieces that may not have been selected as contenders for guitars. They are most often sets, which have come from our craft trees (meaning that there were issues too numerous to even try for instruments). These sets are cut at varying thicknesses, with the intention of getting the most out of the tree as possible. They may be river table sized sets or much smaller sets that would be suitable for charcuterie boards or river boxes.

We sell volume guitar tops and ukulele sets at wholesale pricing. Message me if you’re looking for more of the typical grade for musical instruments.

Flame Maple Book-matched set

Flame Maple Book-matched set

Craft Boards

Woot! These pieces are certain to kick your imagination into overdrive. A craft board is any non-matched piece that has something special about it. Live edges, voids, color or stain, burls, pecks, cool shapes and more. This is the coolest material that just begs to be made into art.

Monkey pod craft board

Monkeypod

Spalted flame maple detail

Spalted Flame Maple

Quilted maple detail

Quilted Maple

Table Slabs

Our use of the term “Table Slab” can refer to large cuts of wood that you would make a conference table out of, or it may refer to small pieces that would make cool end tables. It may also refer to sizes in between. We have pieces here that can make countertops or family dining tables.

A lot of this material has live edges and voids, two-toned wood or colorful staining.

We have a lot of this material. Slabs by their big, wide, heavy nature are difficult to photograph and stage. Since most of the slabs are air dried for several years, they are hiding their figure and color under oxidation. It’s plain to see in person, but photos are challenging. If you are looking for something special, please message me. There’s a good chance I have your piece in the shop and I love treasure hunts!

Mango table slabs in yard

Mango Slabs

Curly mango slab

Curly Mango Slab

Maple burl and resin table with vase and flowers

Maple Burl Slab

Explore the Wood Dragon Hoard

Two & Three Piece Craft Sets
25% off
Sold out
Beautiful 4A grade quilting on this 2-piece set.  Stain and cell collapse is present.
Beautiful 4A grade quilting on this 2-piece set.  Stain and cell collapse is present.
Quilted Maple Book-matched Set (QBM240401)
Sale price
$90
List price
$120
Wood Dragon Hoard Gift Card
Wood Dragon Hoard Gift Card
Price
$10$500
25% off
Selection of quilted maple sets with varying color and figure grade.
Selection of quilted maple sets with varying color and figure grade
Quilted Maple Box Set (QBMBX)
Sale price
$45
List price
$60
2-piece curly koa set with wonderful color, sap line, interesting shape and live edges.
Curly Koa Bookmatched Set (KBM240435)
Curly Koa Bookmatched Set (KBM240435)
Price
$400
25% off
Unique 2-piece maple burl with wonderful color, light curl, voids, interesting shape and wild live edge.
Unique 2-piece maple burl with wonderful color, light curl, voids, interesting shape and wild live edge.
Maple Burl Book-Matched Set (BBM240420)
Sale price
$105
List price
$140