You might be considering using Lacewood, but you are unsure whether it is the ideal wood for your woodworking projects. If you find it hard to decide because you don’t know much about its properties and characteristics, reading this post to learn more about this fantastic wood will be best. Besides, knowledge about this wood will help you decide whether this wood is perfect for your upcoming woodworking projects.
Lacewood, of course, is remarkable for its conspicuous flecking. It has a reddish-brown color with light brown or grey rays. Thus, when this wood gets quartersawn, it comes out with a lace pattern. When perfectly quartersawn, it produces the most conspicuous figure and showcases the most prominent flecks. These beautiful large flecks get attributed to this wood’s broad medullary rays, and these large flecks endear this wood to woodworkers.
Understanding the Lacewood Further
Lacewood, of course, is a name commonly ascribed to a group of trees characterized by the striking lace-like appearance of their wood. These trees produce exotic wood with hues similar to that of Beech. Lacewood trees can grow up to 50 feet with a maximum trunk diameter of three feet.
Lacewood features straight grains with a relatively rough and uneven texture. It also appears brighter compared to Leopardwood but appears with the same large-sized spots. Because of its unique appearance, Lacewood is a highly sought-after wood.
Characteristics and Properties of Lacewood
If you are contemplating using Lacewood for the first time, you might have a second thought about its use because you are unsure about its properties. In such a case, it will be best to familiarize yourself with the following succinct properties of Lacewood:
Appearance and Color
As mentioned above, it has very apparent flecking, after which it got named. The wood got a reddish-brown hue with streaks of light brown or grey. These properties produce a lace-like pattern when this wood gets quartersawn.
Lacewood, of course, exhibits the most prominent figure among quartersawn wood pieces. Its displays of flecks are remarkable due to its broad medullary rays, especially when viewed at its end grain.
Texture and Grain
If you touch this wood, you will feel its fairly coarse texture. Besides, you will feel variations in its density when moving your hand from its rays to ordinary wood tissues. It usually features straight grains. Its end grain, however, has diffuse-porous characteristics.
You will also see rows of medium and small pores tangentially, as well as solitary and multiple tangential pores. Moreover, you will notice deposits in its heartwood. Additionally, its growth rings are not distinct and obvious, and its broad rays are apparent sans using a lens.
Advantages of Using Lacewood
After learning about the basic properties and characteristics of Lacewood, it will also help if you know the following advantages concomitant with the use of this wood:
It is Relatively Easy To Work With
You will generally find working with this wood easy, though sometimes, you may encounter minor issues along the way, like simple tears and blunting of the cutting edges. But these issues are relatively easy to deal with.
In no time, you can cut and machine this wood quite well. A little care and using sharp tools will ease you out of any issue or snag along the way. Furthermore, you will not have any problems gluing or staining this wood.
It Comes with a Remarkable Appearance
This wood is a highly sought-after wood for its remarkable lace-like appearance. Because of this property, this wood is unique. For this reason, this wood will provide your woodworking projects with excellent results and looks.
You can use this wood to make various items, including luxurious wooden projects and artifacts. Its striking features create an incredible artistic impression. Besides, its lace-like property and impressive colors would render elegance and charm to your woodworking projects.
It Is Very Much Available
You might think that, since this wood is exotic, it is rare. Contrariwise, this wood is very much available. It is also not listed as “endangered,” so this wood is still pretty much available on the market. Nevertheless, you should not confuse Lacewood with Leopardwood, for these two wood types have the same lace-like properties.
Disadvantages of the Use of Lacewood
Your knowledge of Lacewood will never be complete if you only know the advantages of its use. Therefore, it will be best also to know the following disadvantages of its use:
The durability of wood refers to its ability to endure various expected conditions over time. Compared to other wood, Lacewood will readily succumb to rot if exposed to moisture and other harsh elements of nature. Besides, it can be vulnerable to insect attacks. Nevertheless, if you provide the correct treatment, it can last longer and stay beautiful over time.
It is Relatively Expensive
Lacewood is relatively expensive compared to other wood types. On some online platforms, you can buy Lacewood boards and lumber for $75.40 with dimensions of 1/2 x 12 x 24 inches. The cost of imported Lacewood may range from mid to high. The reason for this might be because of the exquisite looks of this wood.
Potential Allergic Reaction to Its Dust
Some woodworkers who dabbled with Lacewood reported allergic reactions to its dust. Nevertheless, these reports about allergic reactions to its dust seem to be isolated cases. When working with any wood, you should always ensure you wear your safety mask and goggles to protect yourself.
Applications and Uses of Lacewood
Once you know the pros and cons of using Lacewood, it will also help familiarize yourself with its different applications and uses. This way, you will see if it is the perfect wood for your future woodworking projects:
With the sterling appearance and colors of Lacewood, you can surely use it for making fine furniture. You can use it to create artistic and elegant pieces of furniture characterized by elaborate details and features. You can use it likewise to make delicate figurines and sculptures. As long as you ensure that you apply the coating and wax correctly to this wood, you can indeed produce unique furniture with this wood.
A veneer is a wood that you can use for making plywood. Not all types of wood can be used for this application. However, Lacewood belongs to those wood suitable for making veneer. You can also use it for applications requiring an even surface like the tabletop.
Manufacturers of mid-level musical instruments make use of Lacewood in their musical products. Thus, you will sometimes see musical instruments with labels that indicate Lacewood has been used in those instruments. Lacewood, of course, has excellent bending strength, which is a requirement for wood used in musical instruments.
You can also use Lacewood to make cabinets. Of course, the primary material used for cabinetry is MDF. However, Lacewood will also be a good option for making cabinets. You can use, for example, the Brazilian Lacewood for this application, which is one of the best options for cabinetry. Nevertheless, you should ensure that you finish it well and coat it with sealers to protect the cabinets from heat and mold.
Frequently Asked Questions
If it is your first time using Lacewood, you might have several questions in your mind for which you need answers. Hence, it will be best to be cognizant of the following FAQs about Lacewood, for they may also be the questions playing on in your mind:
What are the Alternatives to Lacewood?
In the past, cutting Lacewood trees resulted in overexploitation and rarity. The supply, for example, of Lacewood from southern Queensland dried up. Hence, users of Lacewood resorted to alternative species like Cardwellia sublimis, which has similar characteristics to Lacewood and is also native to Queensland, Australia. This alternative species got also referred to as Lacewood. This alternative to Lacewood is already farmed to ensure sustainability and continuous supply of this wood.
How do you Differentiate Lacewood from Leopardwood?
If you haven’t used Lacewood before, you might think that Lacewood is one and the same wood as Leopardwood. Yet, these two wood types are separate and distinct wood species. Both wood types, of course, manifest flecks that bisect their growth rings. Nevertheless, Leopardwood has splashy and round flecks similar to the leopards’ spots.
On the other hand, Lacewood has wispy flecks and different colors. Besides, Leopardwood weighs more than Lacewood and has a darker tone and denser features. Lacewood, however, has light brown to light pink tone with a distinctive sheen.
Lacewood is undoubtedly a premium wood for different woodworking applications. As a customer of furniture, for example, you would surely love to buy furniture made of Lacewood because of its exquisite beauty and patterns. It is relatively easy to work with. As such, working with Lacewood is a good option if you’re a beginner in woodworking.
There are various types of Lacewood, however, and many species come under the umbrella name Lacewood. So, if you intend to use Lacewood, it will be best to ensure that you get authentic Lacewood for your projects.
Liam is a 37-year-old woodworker and interior designer who loves to make every furniture project an art piece. He is very experienced in furniture design and woodworking project planning.