Below are the most common hardwoods utilized to craft the smoking pipes featured at Next Bardo Online Head Shop:
White Oak comes from Central and Eastern America. It presents as a light tan to medium Brown color. Known to be very tough and durable; White Oak is used for everything from hard wood flooring to boat building and of course, smoking pipes. A lot of White Oak was used to make Monkey Pipes, particularly in the later years. It's a very easy wood to work with and is a beautiful wood best known for it's fleck figure.
Red Oak comes from Central and Eastern America. It presents as a light Brown color with a Reddish tint. Like White Oak it is known to be very tough and durable. Red Oak is often used for cabinetry and furniture building. It's a very easy wood to work with and is a beautiful wood best known for it's "fleck" patterns.
Black Walnut is a premium domestic hardwood that comes from the Eastern part of North America. It presents as a deep chocolate color sometimes with a Reddish or purple tint. Black Walnut has a reputation as one of the most durable hardwoods. Used for centuries by craftsmen to build fine furniture. Black Walnut is used sporadically in all of the wood pipes sold at nextbardo.com and It's a favorite of our customers. Black Walnut possesses excellent working properties and is highly sought after. It is a beautiful hard wood that seems to always look gorgeous no matter what it's being used for.
Brazilian Mahogany is widely considered to be the “Genuine Mahogany" by woodworkers & craftsmen. Historically, it has been a very economically important wood throughout the Latin America region where is comes from. Its color presents in a range from pale pink to light or medium reddish-brown. Mahogany has a reputation for being easy to work with.
Although not a true mahogany, Santos Mahogany exhibits a lot of the same aesthetic characteristics. It's color presents in a range from a light yellow or orange to a deep red. But the visual similarities are about all it has in common with real Mahogany. Santos is much heavier and twice as dense and hard as a true mahogany species. This is another wood I've seen used a lot with Monkey Pipes. Not always particularly easy to work with, but beautiful when finished. Santos Mahogany comes from Argentina, north to Central America and southern Mexico.
Cherry (Black Cherry) is a domestic hardwood that is much loved by most master craftsmen and has been used since 400 BC to build fine furniture. Yes, 400 BC!!! It's color presents as a dark reddish-brown. Cherry has a moderate density and is an easily workable wood. Though I have at times seen Cherry used to craft the wood pipes we sell, I don't see it often which is too bad, because it's really beautiful and makes a great accent wood.
Honduran Rosewood is well known for being the preferred wood used for Marimba bars, with its ringing, well-rounded tonal properties. No surprise, it is often used by luthiers to make acoustic guitars as well. I'm not sure if it makes smoking pipes musical, but it sure makes them pretty! It's color presents from to medium brown and sometimes has a purplish tint or even a dark burgundy. I've seen Hondo used in all the pipes here, it's another favorite of our customers. The mill has a few Dugouts that feature Honduran Rosewood and they are gorgeous!
Maple is the only American wood species harvested primarily for its sapwood, rather than heartwood. Since the beginning of mass commercial production of the electric guitar, in the early 1950’s, Hard Maple has remained a pivotal lumber in the industry. It comes in a variety of figures — including Birdseye and Tiger Maple figuring — and its soft pale white to pale yellow complexion is sometimes augmented by light blue, red or pinkish tints and highlights, with a marvelous luster and often a luxurious sheen.
Teak is one of the world’s most well-known hardwoods. Its color presents as a light-medium to medium brown, with a tint ranging from gold to pale red. It's color darkens overtime making it literally more beautiful everyday. Teak is native to south and southeast Asia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Burma. Teakwood has been used in shipbuilding for centuries and has a reputation for its long-term durability, higher strength and stiffness and absence of development of cracks and splits. One of my favorite Mill Dugouts is the large Teak with inlay. It's one of the most popular too!
Bacote is such a beautiful hardwood. It comes here from Mexico where it grows up to 60' high. Bacote's colors present as an often golden brown base with dark brown and black striped accents. The surface of Bocote is perhaps best known for the many tiny “eyes” adorning the grain patterns in the higher end boards. The striking aesthetics that the higher-grade pieces possess make this wood extremely popular among furniture and cabinet craftsmen, as well as both acoustic and electric guitar luthiers. Bacote is used often in the manufacturing of wooden smoking pipes. It's a great choice because it's durable and truly one of the more beautiful hardwoods on earth.
Cocobolo is a truly exotic hardwood that is known for being a very dense, stable &, durable wood. It is a true rosewood. There are almost no other woods as dense as Cocobolo. Cocobolo is found in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama and is a very popular wood amongst luthiers, furniture builders and really; pretty much anyone who creates anything out of wood. It's an incredibly beautiful wood that is strong, durable and fairly easy to work in my experience.
I've seen Cocobolo used for wooden smoking pipes for decades and all i have ever heard about them is positive feedback. That said, I've heard people claim that the dust from Cocobolo is "toxic". There are luthiers and craftsmen who wont work with it for that reason. I've had concerned customers contact me and ask about this. I tell them that I've personally worked with and around Cocobolo and I've found it no more irritating than any other wood I have worked with and while I know I am not alone in that opinion, It is in fact an opinion and not a scientific fact, so I recommend that you do your own research if you have heard this rumor and have reservations about getting a Cocobolo pipe, but personally I think Cocobolo pipes are beautiful and structurally perfect.
Ash is one of the most commonly used utility woods in the US. It’s toughness and excellent shock resistance makes it a popular choice for tool handles. Known for its easy workability it's colors present as very light tan. It's extremely popular for a wide variety of applications. Way back, there were a lot of Classic Monkey Pipes made with Ash wood.
Morado (Bolivian Rosewood) has colors that present as a medium brown base that is accented by black streaks or grain lines that are sometimes even purple, tan and gold. Depending on the grain in the board, Morado can be very easy to work with; it turns smoothly and finishes well. It is considered quite durable though it is sometimes vulnerable to insects. I used to see a lot of Morado used for pipe building and I think is wonderful to look at. I'm not sure if things have changed, but my understanding is that it had become very expensive and difficult to source. Possibly due to poor forest management in Brazil where is comes from..
Canary wood comes from South America. Its colors present in a range from yellow to pink to orange (prime boards will possess all three colors). Other pieces, more consistent in color can sometimes resemble Cherry wood. Canarywood is both durable and hard, but it's generally easy to work with. Though it is usually a secondary wood on pipes I have seen it used a lot and I think it's a very pretty wood. It's used generally for fine furniture and cabinetry.
Paduak comes from Africa. It is a very strong, stable hardwood that is resistant to insect/termite attack, which is why it has been used in outdoor applications for centuries. Its color presents as a rich, reddish-brown (which darkens with age). I've seen Paduak used with pipe building for ages. It looks great as a secondary, accent wood, but it's an acquired taste for some customers. People tend to either love it or hate it when it's used as the primary wood for a pipe. Never-the-less, it's a very unique looking hardwood that can be a great conversation starter when used to create a pipe. I've worked with Paduak quite a bit and man, that dust is the worst. I had entire outfits turn pink (:
Zebrawood is tough, durable and gorgeous! It's a West African hardwood which can range from tan to light yellow to off-white and even grey (depending on specific region it grew in). It features dark brown striping of varying degrees (sometimes almost black). While it is a pretty strong wood, it is its appearance that has made it such a popular wood. I've seen it used for guitars, furniture and with lots of smoking pipes and Dugouts. It's used on Mill, Wood Works & Monkey Pipes and it's a very popular wood with customers.
Purpleheart comes from Guerrero, Mexico and through Central America. It presents with deep, rich purple hues. It is also one of the toughest & hardest woods in the world. It is also extremely water resistant which is why it is frequently used in outdoor decking. Purpleheart is easy to work with and is used with smoking pipes often. It's another great accent wood, but looks good solo to. It has been very popular with customers for that reason.
Yellowheart darkens as it ages making it truly better looking everyday. Needless too say, Yellowheart is in fact Yellow. It comes from Brazil and is used for a wide variety of applications including flooring, furniture, boatbuilding, guitars, and turned object. I've seen it used to make wood pipes quite a bit over the years. It usually used as an accent and it always looks wonderful.
Goncalo Alves also commonly known as “Tigerwood” presents with orangish and light Tan hues and is sometimes accented with dark-Brown and Black stripes. It's a fairly easy wood to work with but has a high natural oil content that makes it difficult to glue. I worked with Tigerwood in the past and wow, this stuff is slippery! It feels like the entire board is covered in candle wax. I've seen it used for Monkey Pipes. I'm not sure if it has been used much with any of the other pipes I sell. It's a pretty wood, but it's biggest selling point is the natural oily finish. You almost don't need a finish on it because it naturally looks so good.
Bubinga is a very popular exotic hardwood out of Africa. It's aesthetics can vary dramatically; it often features a varying, but quite stunning figure. its color ranges from a pinkish red to a light or medium brown. There is a reason this wood is so popular; it's absolutely gorgeous. It's one of the prettier woods on earth in my opinion. I've seen it used a lot with pipe making and I've never seen anything but positive reactions from customers. It's a popular wood!
Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry) it's colors present as a medium to dark reddish-brown. Its resistance to rot and bug damage and excellent strength-to-weight ratio make it suitable for a variety of indoor and outdoor applications. It's very popular for wood flooring. This was another very commonly used wood with Monkey Pipes, but I have seen it used with all the pipe lines I sell. It's a very nice looking and durable wood that is also very popular with customers.
Leopardwood; named for the tightly-grouped flecks has a very exotic and wonderful appearance. It is medium to dark, reddish brown in color. Prior to being sanded, the flecked portion of the wood is actually elevated on the surface which gives it a unique 3D look. It is not easy to work with. Common applications include: veneer, cabinetry, fine furniture, musical instruments (guitars), and turned objects. It looks and works great when used for smoking pipes. You won't see a lot of Leopardwood used and if you get a pipe with Leopardwood you should feel grateful because it's beautiful.
Bloodwood is an exotic South American hardwood. It is very popular here in the states. It has dark, savory red tones and unlike other hardwoods, it doesn't darken or fade with age. It's extremely dense; ideal for a guitar fretboard or acoustic guitar back and sides. I've seen it used for pipes, but usually as an accent. The lids on the Oregon Trail Monkey Pipe are almost exclusively Bloodwood.
Sapele is an exotic hardwood that comes to us from Africa. It is commonly used as a substitute for Genuine Mahogany and is moderately durable and stable hardwood. Its color can range from a light golden brown to a darker reddish or pinkish Brown. Sapale is renowned for its sometimes dramatic figuring, which comes in an array of different styles: ribbon, pomelle, quilted, mottled, waterfall, wavy, beeswing, tiger-striped and fiddleback. The Fisherman's Friend Monkey Pipe was made from Sapele occasionally. It was one of my favorites. It has a very smooth and beautiful finish.
Wenge is unique among the world’s exotic woods. This tough, tropical wood’s distinctive chocolate color sets it apart and while it's considered a strong, durable wood, Wenge’s course, rugged texture makes it very splintery, making some craftsmen hesitant to use it. Used often for flooring, furniture & cabinets, I've seen it used on some of our smoking pipes, but mostly as an accent wood. It was the other wood sometimes used as a lid on the Oregon Trail pipe.