The variety of beautiful riser woods is overwhelming. There is almost
every color represented from black Gabon ebony, to a variety of purple-hued
Rosewoods, to yellow Osage Orange. For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects
of building bows is the opportunity to work with these beautiful woods.
There does need to be a word of interjected here. Caution:
quite a few hardwoods are listed as toxic (to varying degrees) so a respirator
should always be worn whenever wood dust is in the air.
The written word can not accurately or adequately describe the beauty
of these woods, but I will try to list and briefly describe some of the
It is also called Codia and Baria. Yellow green to tobacco brown with black
stripes, often highly figured with many "eyes". Hard and heavy
with a weight of 50-60 lbs/cu.ft.
Cocobola: Often called
Funera or Nambar. It is variegated, orange, yellow and dark red with irregular
black stripes. 60-77 lbs./cu.ft.
Paduak: It is a light reddish brown to rose red or orange red,
with darker red or purplish stripes. 40-50 lbs./cu.ft
Tai Rosewood: Ranges
in color from deep red to purple. The color doesn't fade or darken with
time. 55-60 lbs/cu.ft
Brazilian Rosewood: Sometimes called Palisander, Pianowood.
Is a variegated brown and violet with irregular black stripes. 47-56 lbs/cu.ft
Generally jet black but sometimes with lighter colored streaks.
Hard and heavy @ 50-75 lbs./cu.ft.
Macassar Ebony: Black with yellowish or reddish brown streaks.
Sometimes called Pau Rosa and Brazilian Pinkwood. It has alternating
stripes of straw or yellow and red or violet. 55-69 lbs./cu.ft
brown to reddish brown with irregular dark brown or blackish streaks. 50-60
Canarywood: Rich yellow
tan sometimes with orange or red stripes. 45-50 lbs.cu.ft
Bright pink to pale red. Hard and heavy at 70 lbs./cu.ft.
Often called African Rosewood. Light red or violet with fairly evenly
spaced purple stripes. 58 lbs./cu.ft
Shedua: Also called
benge. Yellowish brown to dark brown with gray to black stripes. 50 lbs./cu.ft
brown in color and is often used as a Rosewood substitute. 60 lbs./cu.ft
called Amaranth. It is brown when freshly cut but soon changes to a rich
purple. 60 - 65 lbs./cu.ft
Dark purple stripes on a yellowish purple background. 75-80 lbs./cu.ft
brown with pronounced dark brown streaks. 45-55 lbs./cu.ft.
Sometimes called Satine. It is rich strawberry red, sometimes with
golden yellow stripes. 60 lbs./cu.ft
Goncalo Alves: Light golden brown to reddish brown with blackish
brown streaks. 53-80 lbs./cu.ft