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Species Library

and exotic wood information center

Premium Tonewoods

Sustainable Harvesting

Three-X Quality Check

Over 40 Years In Service

Click on any Hardwood Species to Learn More
or Search Wood Types by Name

What Should You Take Into Consideration?

If you take some time to browse our Species Library above, you will notice that we try to provide as much general information about each wood species as possible, as well as details relevant specifically to luthiers and other woodcraftsmen.

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.

Need Examples?

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.

The laws concerning timber harvesting are well meaning but are poorly enforced, and in some countries, completely ignored.  Hibdon Hardwood, Inc. has complied with letter and spirit of the various regulations for the entire forty-plus years we have been in business, and we will continue to source only sustainable wood.  We welcome your comments or inquiries.

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Hibdon Hardwood?

5/5
A great selection of Spindle blanks and prices that can’t be beat!
Michael H.
5/5
Great product at very fair prices. Extremely helpful and friendly staff. I have been dealing with these guys for over 5 years and have only had positive experiences. They are my first choice and I buy from them every chance i get.
Ryan M.
5/5
Super prices, super stock, and lightning fast shipping with txt updates every step of the way!! You have earned a repeat customer!! Can’t get much better! Thank you!!!
Logan T.
5/5
Great selection, GREAT prices. That’s a win win in my book !
Lou M.
5/5
Just got flamed maple rockwood and it’s absolutely awesome!!! I definitely will be doing.kore business with these guys!
William G.
5/5
Great place great service great wood
Isaac L.

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