and exotic wood information center
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What Should You Take Into Consideration?
We provide information about the wood’s naming and categorizations, origins and growth, characteristics, looks, workability, common uses and more.
What is "Grading"?
To grade our woods, we take into consideration the species particulars such as growing speed, natural tendency for aesthetic and tonal clarity, and the natural figure (or pattern) present within the wood. Then, we analyze the above characteristics using the knowledge we’ve accumulated over 70+ years of combined industry experience. Suffice it to say, we believe we have developed a pretty thorough process (comparable to “grading on the curve”) for analyzing our tonewoods, that balances education and “eye”.
We separate hardwood species into three grades. “A” grade will represent the top 10% of a species. “B” grade, from 80%-90%, and Beginner parts, from 70% to 80%. Any part below 70% is rejected. Top wood is graded on what, more or less, is the industry standard of 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A. 4A is the top grade which is based on color, straightness of the grain, consistency of the annual growth rings and closeness of the annual rings.
No problem! Lets look at Honduras Mahogany… This is a large tree that grows with minimal defect, making this a tree prime for producing “A” sets that are virtually flawless. You will also find T’zalam, Machiche, Maple, Cherry, Primavera and Black Walnut similarly fall into this category.
On the other extreme is African Blackwood. African blackwood grows very slowly and under such difficult conditions, that making a nearly flawless set is VERY rare. Usually, these sets will have various small, aesthetic flaws such as pin worm holes, pin knots, flares, discolored spots, etc., that we clearly chalk-mark (however, this only applies to backs and sides), and can still qualify as an “A” grade.
Lastly, we categorize the wood’s figure or pattern. For example, Honduras Mahogany may have a fiddleback, beeswing or block-mottle figure. Other species however, will often show a similar figure from shipment to shipment, like beeswing in Cocobolo or waterfall figure in Honduras Rosewood, and require less subjectivity.
Our Ethical & Legal Obligation
A Notice to Our Customers
After our present, fully documented, inventory of Cocobolo, Honduras Rosewood and African Blackwood are sold out, WE WILL NO LONGER CARRY DALBERGIA SPECIES, with the exception of plantation grown Dalbergia.
It is our opinion that, due to the way the wood is grown and harvested, these species CANNOT comply in full with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) regulations. Hibdon Hardwood, Inc. is required by the Lacey Act to certify that every step involved in harvesting, transporting and manufacturing of CITES items is in compliance with, not only the US law, but the laws of the country of harvest.