Lacewood is a hard porous exotic wood native to eastern Australia that delivers a milder tone.
Lacewood is characterized by conspicuous iridescent flecking that resemble "lace" patterns. The beautiful pink, red, and golden patterns appear even more prominently when the wood is expertly quartersawn.
The name "Lacewood" is a broad label. Virtually any wood that displays figuring which looks like lace is called Lacewood. Lacewood is prized for products that benefit from its marvelous appearance and tone qualities. The wood is below grade for industrial strength so it is not used for structural supports.
Bone Rattling Facts
Lacewood is an exotic tonewood used in the manufacture of musical instruments including drum sticks, organ pipes, piano keys, pianos, sounding boards, violin bows and xylophones.
An article in Mel Bay's Webzine, "Guitar Sessions" by J. Chris Herrod of Luthiers Mercantile International reports that "outside of the mahogany species, lacewood is the most exciting [tonewood] alternative." He goes on to say that "according to John Greven, a luthier who has built hundreds of guitars in his career and who has a great respect for vintage Martins, lacewood has the rare ability to impart the tone of a well-aged Martin mahogany guitar."
Figures below are approximate (but pretty darn close)
Lacewood is native to Australia but is now grown extensively around the globe.
Lacewood provides shade for coffee and tea plantations.
Lacewood is a popular ornamental tree.
The name "Lacewood" is a descriptive title that has been appropriated by several species of woods.
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Cardwellia sublimis (Northern Australia, Queensland)
Grevillea robusta (Southern Australia, Africa, India, Sri Lanka)
Panopsis rubescens (Para, Brazil)
Platanus acerifolia (UK)
Platanus hybrida (UK)
Roupala braziliensis (Brazil)
Australian Silky Oak (Cardwellia sublimia)
Brazilian Lacewood (Roupala braziliensis)
English plane (Platanus hybrida) UK
European plane (Platanus hybrida) UK
French plane (Platanus hybrida)
Golden spangle wood
Leopardwood (Panopsis rubellens) Brazil
London plane (Platanus hybrida) UK
Northern Silky Oak (Cardwellia sublimia)
Queensland Silky Oak (Cardwellia sublimia)
Selena (Cardwellia sublimia)
Seleno (Cardwellia sublimia)
Silky oak (Cardwellia sublimia) Queensland
South American Lacewood (Roupala braziliensis)
Although the grain runs straight, the wood appears lace-like because of figuring produced from rays that bisect growth rings. To some folks the web-like grain patterns resemble snakeskin.
Lacewood is a moderately hard porous wood with a coarse even texture.
The wood is described as a naturally lustrous.
(Cinnamon Pistachio Treat)
Iridescent pinks, reds, and golden tones. Darkens slightly with age.
The sapwood varies from almost white to a cream color.
No characteristic odor associated with this wood.
Lacewood sawdust might cause skin irritation or respiratory problems in some people.
Described as a fairly easy wood to work with both hand tools and machinery. Lacewood takes glues, stains, and finishes well. The porous texture might absorb glue, filler or finish. Tear-out might occur when planing.
Lacewood is reported as not endangered.
Although native to Australia, Lacewood is now also grown around the globe in South America, Hawaii, Europe, Africa and India.
The tree grows to 120 feet (36 m) tall with a diameter averaging 48 inches (122 cm).