WL West & Son Ltd; Sawmillers Timber Merchants Fencing Contractors

W.L.WEST & SONS LTD Est.1865

inc. PRO Fencing

Sawmillers Timber Merchants Fencing Contractors
Hardwoods · Machining · Worktops · Cladding · Decking · Gates · Fencing and so much more . . .

Trade & Shop: Mon to Fri - 8am to 5pm     Email: sales@wlwest.co.uk

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Grown in Britain

Exotic and Australian Timbers

Our environmental and legal responsibility under the European Timber Regulations (EUTR) is paramount to us. We are members of the Timber Trade Federation which requires us to report under their Responsible Purchasing Policy each year. This helps us meet the EUTR law.

We are aware that other suppliers do not make as public a statement as we do about meeting the law and environmental requirements. Remember to ask about your suppliers policy and how they meet the law.

We carry a variety of different timbers from around the world. These do vary in availability, and this list should be taken as a guide. Please call for specific stocks.

To see some of the trade timbers press the 'Link button' to take you to our Timber Supplies page.


 EXOTIC Timbers 

 Bog Oak - from East Anglia                               

Botanical name: Quercus Robur

  • Sourced from the East Anglian fens
  • Carbon dated to 5300 years old
  • Limited supply
  • Inky black to very dark brown
  • Bog Oak was created when prehistoric forests were submerged under water and silt in anaerobic conditions thousands of years ago.
  • Totally unique to the UK

 African Blackwood                                             

Botanical name: Dalbergia melanoxylon

  • Other names: Mozambique ebony, mpingo, pau preto
  • Originates: Eastern Africa
  • The narrow sapwood is yellow-white in stark contrast to the heartwood which is dark purple-brown to black.
  • Strong and tough in every way, severe blunting effect on tools, TCT tipped tools are recommended, difficult to work, but turns well.
  • Typically used in woodwind instruments, and ornamental turnery.

 Brazilian Tulipwood                                          

Botanical name: Dalbergia frutescens

  • Other names: Pinkwood, bois du rose
  • Originates: Brazil
  • Hard, Heavy and straight grained
  • Used for inlay work and turnery
  • We have very limited supply - currently this timber is difficult to source


Botanical name: Guibourtia demeussi

  • Other names: African rosewood, kevasingo
  • Originates from West Africa
  • A quality cabinet and turnery timber. Firm, solid and stable. The grain is straight or interlocked. Fine pores may contain a reddish gum. The texture is fairly coarse but even, and surfaces can be highly lustrous.
  • Light pinkish brown in colour often lightly veined in red. Resembles some of the lighter coloured rosewoods. Sapwood is usually grey to ivory.
  • The name kevasingo is used by the veneer trade and applies only to rotary cut veneers.


Botanical name: Aspidosperma curranii

  • Orginates: Columbia and Panama


Botanical name: Metopium brownii

  • Other names: Black poison wood, Honduras walnut
  • Origininates from Belize
  • Yellowish brown maturing to walnut brown with fine texture and markings, suggesting figured walnut, but heavier.
  • Hard but workable.


Mexican Cocobolo

Nicuraguan Cocobolo

Botanical Name: Dalbergia retusa

We currently have two types of Cocobolo as pictured above. technically they have the same botanical name, but show slightly different appearances.

  • Other Names: Grandillo (Mexico)
  • Originates from the pacific regions of Central America and extending from Panama to south western Mexico.
  • Sapwood is light cream to dingy white in colour.
  • Heartwood, when freshly sawn, becomes a deep orange red with black striping or mottling on exposure.
  • The wood has a fine texture, with a very variable grain.
  • Very durable and easy to work with provided saws and cutting edges are kept sharp.
  • It takes stains and polish readily, but is unsuitable for gluing.
  • Used for cutlery handles, brush backs, small tool handles, turnery and small decorative items. Internal use.

 Columbian Rosewood                                       


Botanical name: Dalbergia tucurensis

  • Other names: distinguished by country of origin
  • Originates: Columbia
  • Dark brown
  • Dense, difficult to work, finishes to a beautiful lustre.

 Black Ebony                                                      

Our stock is a mix of African Ebony - Diospyros crassiflora and Indian Ebony - Diospyros tomentosa. This has resulted from our supplier having mixed stock. The two are very similar and the difficulty in identifying them has resulted in our supplier and us putting them together under one heading.

This stock is taken from new growth logs and is subject to stringent export regulation that, along with the small log sizes, somewhat limits the range of sizes that can be offered.


Botanical name: Calycophyllum multiflorum

  • Other names: Castelo Box, Genero Lemonwood
  • Originates: Central and South America
  • Pale yellow to beige in colour.
  • Fine grain, good to work. Alternative to European boxwood. Used for inlay work and for archery bows.

 Lignum Vitae - Palo Santo wood                       

Botanical name: Bulnesia sarmienti

  • Origininates from  Paraguay
  • Although this wood has been used for generations for the same purposes as the genuine lignum vitaes (timber from the genus guiaicum) it has become a more important choice recently because of the listing of the Guaiacum lignum vitaes on Cites appendix II.
  • Genuine lignum vitae is currently only possible for import with Cites export and import documentation. In practice this means there is not a lot coming through.
  • Greenish brown to brown with a tight and pronounced interlocked grain, very dense, waxy – with self lubricating qualities, hard wearing in almost all the contexts in which lignum vitae has traditionally been used.

 Madagascar Ebony                                             

Botanical name: Diospyros spp.

  • Other names: ebene
  • Originates from Madagascar
  • Black, rarely showing stripe, hard and heavy with the capability of being worked to a high level of finish. Finer textured and denser than African ebony but with a limited and erratic supply.
  • Very durable
  • Typically used for sculpture, carving, fine turnery, piano keys and other musical instruments.


Botanical name: Olea europaea

  • Other names: Olivier
  • Originates: Southern Europe
  • An attractive wood with tan heartwood, brown streaks, sometimes an almost green tint.
  • Close grain, shallowly interlocked. Strong and hard wearing. Not the easiest to work, but does plane and turn well. Blunts tools fairly quickly
  • Size is limited, so used for smaller items such as boxes, decorative turnery, handles etc.


Botanical Name: Pterocarpus soyauxii

  • Other Names: Barwood, camwood
  • Originates from West Africa.
  • The sapwood is of an oatmeal colour, the heartwood varies from blood red to dark brown, with red streaks.
  • The grain is straight top slightly interlocked and the texture is moderately coarse.
  • Very durable, it works excellently and takes a first class finish.
  • Used for furniture and cabinet making, also used for carving.

 Pao Amarello                                                      

Botanical name: Euxylophora paraensis

  • Other names: Brazilian Satinwood, Sateenwood
  • Originates from Brazil
  • Bright clear yellow with a lustrous and often deep ribbon figure. Useful as a Satinwood substitute.


Botanical name: Caesalpinia paraguanensis

  • Other names: Brown ebony
  • Originates from Paraguay
  • Dense and glassy deep coffee brown with a layered structure like wenge but much finer textured resulting in a classic 'partridge wing' figure on slab sawn faces.

 Pink Ivory Wood                                                 

Botanical Name: Rhamnus zeyheri  (berchemia zeyheri)

  • Other names: Red Ivory Wood, pau preto, umgoloti
  • Originates from Mozambique, and also South Eastern Africa
  • Heartwood yellowish brown with a rich golden red cast. The wood has a pinkish red striped figure.
  • The wood is tough, hard and heavy. Fairly difficult to work with hand tools. The wood glues, sands and stains well, and can be brought to a highly polished finish.
  • Non-durable
  • Traditionally used for furniture, interior joinery, carving, inlay, chess pieces. The best logs are used for veneer.


Botanical Name: Peltogyne spp.

  • Other Names: Amaranth (USA), Pau Roxo, Amarante (Brazil)
  • Originates from Mexico through Central America and into South America to southern Brazil.
  • Heartwood is greyish-purple, later becoming violet purple to deep purple through oxidation, sharply demarcated from the creamy white sapwood.
  • Texture varies from fine to medium, the grain is usually straight and seldom interlocked, but is sufficiently irregular, along with variation in lustre and colour.
  • Very durable
  • Used for furniture, cabinet making, tool handles and flooring.
  • Turns smoothly, easy to glue, and takes finishes well. Internal & External use.

 Roupala Lacewood                                            

Botanical Name:  Roupala brasiliensis

  • Other Common Names: Leopardwood, Leopard, Lacewood, Brazilian lacewood
  • Originates from: Brazil, South America
  • Possessing one of the most unique grain patterns of all the exotics, Lacewood is most easily recognized for its large rays. Usually it has a straight grain and is coarse textured, with a light reddish-brown colour.
  • Common Uses: Turnings, musical instruments, decorative accessories, veneers, marquetry

 Satine Rubane                                                 

Botanical name: Brosimum paraense

  • Other names: Bloodwood.
  • Originates: Brazil
  • Strawberry red to blood red in colour, retains colour in bright sunlight unlike other brightly coloured species.
  • Very hard, gives an odour not unlike coconut when worked.


Botanical name: Bulnesia arborea

  • Other names: Maracaibo lignum vitae, Argentine lignum vitae
  • Originates: Columbia and Venezuela
  • Dusty green to light brown when cut. Dense, with an almost waxy grain, makes gluing difficult. Works well.


Botanical Name: Millettia laurentii

  • Other Names: Palissandre du Congo (Zaire)
  • Originates from the Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire), Cameroon & Gabon, Africa.
  • Heartwood is dark brown with fine close black veining.
  • Very durable, good resistance to bending and to shock.
  • Easy to work with but difficult to polish.
  • Best suited for flooring or decorative veneer to furniture and interior decoration.
  • Very good for wood turning as a high finish can be obtained. Internal use.


Botanical Name: Microberlinia brazzavillensis

  • Other Names: Zebrawood (UK)
  • Originates from West Africa.
  • Zebrano is a decorative wood, light gold in colour, with narrow streaks of dark brown to almost black.
  • Used as a veneer, usually as decorative banding. The veneer is sliced and quarter cut in order to avoid buckling due to the alternating hard and soft grain.
  • Finishes well on a belt sander. Internal use.

  Australian Timbers 

We import these species directly from Eastern Australia. It took us some time to find a suitable supplier. We can now select the burrs, squares and rounds that we want. It does take some time, as you can imagine to select the timbers required and get them half way round the world. Normally this is some 6-8 months in total. This means that we do not always have everything in stock.

Pop in and have a look at what is available, the stock is always changing.

 Banksia Nuts                                                       

Botanical Name: Banksia grandis

  • Originates from Western Australia, in sand on the coastal plain, and woodland and heath. Flowering period, mainly October to January.
  • Fruits of either a tree or shrub. May take 10 years or more to flower from seed.
  • They were discovered by, and named after, Sir Joseph Banks who travelled with Captain James Cook on his discovery of Australia in 1770.
  • Used for handicraft and decorative items.

Many people have asked us what the Banksia Nut is, after some research courtesy of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, we found that Banksia Grandis - to give its full name, is a large shrub to small tree (growing up to 9 metres) with huge yellow inflorescences. In the wild, it occurs from Mount Lesueur to Cape Leeuwin in southwestern Western Australia in sand on the coastal plain, in woodland and heath. It is common in laterite in the Jarrah forest of the Darling Plateau near Perth.


Botanical Name: Eucalyptus Marginata

  • Grows in the south west corner of Western Australia. Under ideal conditions the tree grows 30-40 metres in height and 2 metres in diameter.

  • The bark is red-brown when fresh, weathering to grey. The timber is deep-red to red-brown, medium hardness and heavy.

  • Straight grained but sometimes contains fiddle back (also called curly grain).Used for furniture making, turning and carving.

 Myrtle burrs (waxed)                                        

 Mallee burrs (waxed)                                             

Coolibah burrs                                                  


Botanical Name: Eucalyptus microtheca

  • Grows in the arid open woodland zones of Australis. It grows around swamps and lagoons.
  • Colour is red to dark brown.
  • Very hard and strong and has an interlocked grain. Aboriginies used part of the trees to treat snakebite.

Myrtle burr slices                                             

Grass Tree root                                                

Botanical Name: Xanthorrhoea Preissii

  • The root of an Australian Lily.

  • Colour can range from dark brown to greenish yellow. Dark flecks throughout. Very Dusty.

  • Some turners soak the root in water before turning to keep the dust to a minimum


Many of these timbers may cause respiratory and irritant problems, it is advisable to use suitable breathing, eye protection and gloves when working them.

Shop Contact: 01798 861611 option 3

email: shop@wlwest.co.uk