Hardness of the various species of wood I have used

  1. Wood hardness is evaluated by the Janka hardness test. Hardness test results may vary slightly from one website to another for the same wood because there are different species of most woods depending on the region it originated from. For the woods I have used, bloodwood (2900) is the hardest on this chart and balsa (100) is the softest.
  2. Some of these exotic woods are expensive; I use them sparingly. Yellowheart (pau amarella), I might use for a yellow flower (I-258 Smell the flowers), bloodwood or even purpleheart I might use for the tongue of an animal (I-145 Labrador) or the burning tobacco in a pipe (I-150 Mariner).
  3. Caution: One must protect their eyes and ears as well as their nose and month when handling these products. Dust can be harmful to your respiratory system (cedar dust is acidic) and wenge saw dust can also affect your central nervous system!
  4. As for any species of hardwood, a sharp saw blade is critical in ensuring a square cut. You’ll notice that purpleheart saw dust tends to be a bit gummy especially with a worn saw blade.