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PEARWOOD

Pyrus spp.

Pyrus spp. of the family Rosaceae

Reportedly there are about 20 species of pear that grow in North America, Europe, and parts of western and southeast Asia. Most are fruit trees, all are small by lumber standards, and at least one, the Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana) is a fruitless ornamental tree.

The exceptionally fine, smooth, texture make this an ideal wood for carving, and since the tree is small this wood is pretty much limited to carving, turning, and small ornamental objects. Lumber and veneer production is mostly from the common pear (Pyrus communis) and the Swiss pear (Pyrus nivalis). When steamed, it takes on a brighter pink color than unsteamed.

Reportedly subject to severe twisting during drying.



my samples:


both sides of a sample plank listed as pear / Pyrus spp.


end grain and end grain closeup of the sample plank directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of pear / Pyrus communis


end grain and end grain closeup for the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of domestic pear / Pyrus communis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Chinese pear / Pyrus ussuriensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The labeled side is raw but the 2nd side has been sanded to 240 grit and so shows details better and is a slightly lighter color.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


small piece and end grain. This sample, at least, is a delightfully smooth even-grained wood; I'll bet carvers love it. This was presented to me as French pear.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Bradford pear / Pyrus calleryana --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


Bradford pear, donated to the site by Harold Stroud, whom I thank very much. Color is quite accurate although I had to turn the white sheet background slightly orange to get the wood to look correct. Like the French pearwood above this, this wood is very smooth and fairly even-grained (although less so than the French) and feels as though it would carve well. Although you can't particularly tell it from the pics, I fine-sanded this and it feels wonderfully smooth to the touch, and the end grain closeups directly below show the smooth grain and small pores.


end grain closeups of both ends of the piece directly above --- the color has a slight red tint where it should have a slight orange tint


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


the rest of the plank donated by Harold Stroud --- again, the color is correct although on this shot there is maybe just a hint too much gold/orange


end grain closeup of the piece directly abvove


a small plank and a sliver of Bradford pear donated to the site by Roy Gobets, whom I thank. One side of the sliver has a deep patina and the other side is the relatively freshly cut side.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above but taken after the plank had been cut in half which is why it does not show the same cross-section


pearwood plank, specific type not known --- it's unseasoned, so I'll stick it in the garage for a couple of years and then clean the ends and get end grain shots


some Bartlett pear pics that Roy (see the sample directly above) sent. The first shows some nicely colored heartwood and the second shows how the planks looked after being bandsawn but not yet planed. Roy tells me the yellowish tint goes away after planing


curly swiss pear veneer --- very smooth to the touch and with a pleasant curly figure


quartersawn Swiss pear veneer


quartersawn Swiss pear with minor ray flakes that you can see better in the enlargement


quartersawn Swiss pear showing some nice ray flakes


flat cut veneer sheet and closeup --- no designation other than "pear" was given but this looks exactly like the curly Swiss pearwood at the top of the page except that the curl is less pronounced.


veneer, flat cut and with a very slight curl and just slightly more color shading in the color than the very uniform pinkish color of the quartersawn veneer sheets above. Down below in the web pics section, there is a large batch of veneer sheets listed as all from the same vendor. These sheets are from that vendor and are noticibly darker in color than the pics he presents but that may be because it's a different flitch for all the others.



The Wood Book pics


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
pear (Pyrus communis) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for each of the 3 views



web pics:


log section


plank with wet and dry sections


slabs


planks


planks --- I REALLY doubt the bright orange/gold color but I cannot say with absolute certainty that it is false


flat cut planks


plank


plank from a vendor whom I know distorts the color in his pics to make the wood appear more colorful than it is.


curly turning stock


two shots of the same plank


veneer


flat cut veneer listed as pear / Pyrus communis


curly veneer


burl veneer


crotch veneer


Asian pear


Australian pear --- both sides of a plank and the same plank moistened with alcohol


European pear


European pear, end grain


European pear /Pirus [sic] communis


slabs listed as European pear


planks listed as figured European pear / Pyrus communis


planks listed as European pear / Pyrus communis --- these were not listed as curly but they clearly are


planks listed as pear / Pyrus communis


planks listed as Swiss pear / Pirus [sic] communis


waxed turning stock listed as figured European pear / Pyrus communis with a color that is likely much more rich than the raw wood (or even the waxed wood, if photographed by an honest photographer)


curly Swiss pear turning stock with probably too much orange in the color


European pear figured veneer


North African pear


Swiss pear planks


Swiss pear plank moisten (and with a dry corner)


Swiss pear turning stock


figured pear pen blanks


Bradford pear pen blanks


flat cut "figured" Swiss, but not much of a figure


mottled Swiss pear veneer

bookmatched pear veneer, left to right: flat cut figured, flat cut plain, quartersawn, quartersawn figured


quartersawn Swiss pear veneer


flat cut Swiss pear veneer


two large pieces of flat cut Swiss pear veneer


Swiss pear veneer, all from the same vendor


Swiss pear veneer sheet closeups with both levels of enlargement available --- these are from the same set as those directly above


Swiss pear veneer


Swiss pear veneer; color is very unlikely


Swiss pear, flat cut figured veneer


figured swiss pear with wet and dry sections


Swiss pear, quilted veneer


two large pieces of quartersawn Swiss Pear veneer --- not listed as curly, but it obviously is.


curly Swiss pear veneer, all from the same vendor --- as you can see, the amount of curl ranges only from moderate to light, unlike the heavy average curl in some species.


curly Swiss pear veneer sheet closeups with both levels of enlargement --- these are from the same vendor as the set directly above.


curly Swiss pear veneer


Swiss pear burl veneer, all bookmatched


pear crotch veneer


more web-pics of planks --- I'm dubious about the richness of the red/orange in these 3 pieces, but that could be just my inexperience.


pen blanks


spalted pen blanks


african pear; looks like a crotch area and/or with some spalting


bowl blanks listed as African pear





Bradford pear turning by Harold Stroud (who contributed the Bradford pear sample at the top of this page). This has been dried in alcohol and finished with tung oil and wax


Bradford pear box


Bradford pear pitcher with laminated handle


bowls


Korean pear bowls turned and photographed by Tom Pleatman, whom I thank for these pics and other contributions to the site. Big enlargements are present.


Bradford pear bowls