WOOD ID POSTER:
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240 woods on a poster (24"x36")


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REDHEART

Cosmocalyx spectabilis

Cosmocalyx spectabilis of the family Rubiaceae

Although I find this wood to be widely available at exotic wood dealers, details of its provenance seem less available than just about any other exotic wood I am familiar with.

Alternate common names include chakte kok even though that name actually belongs more properly to a related wood of similar appearance. The wood is dull pink to moderately bright red and fades severly with long exposure to UV; UV blocking agents will slow, but not totally inhibit, the fading and will generally cause the shift to somewhat more towards brown than just very faded red. There is often a very attractive purple area at the juncture between the heartwood and the sapwood, changing from lighter to darker as it moves towards the heartwood. This wood has a fine to medium texture and works very easily.

Sheila at Pens of Color reports that she has pens of redheart that she turned 5 years ago and they are still vibrant red. She did not say what finishing agent she used. On my own segmented bowls with UV-blocking polyurethane, the woods has always changed to a reddish-brown.



my samples:



redheart exposure series --- both sides are raw, freshly sanded, and half has been covered and the rest exposed to light. The first pic is the raw baseline and the 2nd pic shows the exposure after one month. To see the complete series, click here: redheart exposure series As you can see just from these two shots, redheart does not darken with age but rather fades in an unattractive way.


another example of redheart fading due to exposure to sunlight. This piece was in a place in my garage for a season or two in a position where the part on the left was sticking out a little beyond the end an irregular piece of plywood that also let in a little light under it. SO ... the part that stuck out was exposed to direct sunlight briefly every sunny day and the lower portion was exposed to mild indirect sunlight at the same time and only faded a little. As you can see, direct sunlight is a killer for the color on this wood.


both sides of a sample plank of redheart (listed as chakte kok) / Cosmocalyx spectabilis --- 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 --- note that the end has faded almost totally but when cleaned up in the updated below it's back to being red (and had I gone deeper with the sanding, it would likely have gotten brighter)


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of redheart (listed as chakte kok) / Cosmocalyx spectabilis --- 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 --- note that the end totally faded but when cleaned up in the updated below it's back to being red


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


plank --- in my experience, redheart is usually not this dull (although it is NOT as bright as some of the bogus-colored pics you'll see in the web pics down below)



both sides and end grain of a wonderfully bright red piece


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from the piece directly above --- the color of the original end grain shot is too dark but the update has the naturally darker color (explained in the link) and is shown accurately.



both sides and two closeups of a plank I bought from the BogusColorVendor --- at the bottom of this page, I demonstrate once again the incredible dishonesty of that vendor.


small planks


misc solid pieces just to show some variation in grain and color


redheart sticks. The ones in the background show sapwood and the ones on top were chosen for excellence of color.


plank and end grain


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


another set of small planks and a closeup


stick and end grain --- this one is a little darker red color than the average redheart (to the extent that there IS any such thing as an "average")


a "top and side" pic and a side grain closeup. The apparent lighter color of the side grain closeup is because of the bright light I used.


end grain closeup of the piece directly above --- in doing the color correction, I lightened this one up just a little too much.


3 sides of a stick that has an unusually dark red color --- the darker red of the face in the middle pic is accurate


end grain and end grain closeup of the stick directly above --- I did a REALLY poor job of sanding this end


the transition from red heartwood to tan sapwood is frequently accompanied by a transition area of purple, but rarely as strong as in this piece (it shows up a little more clearly in the enlargements)


nice little chunk showing pretty typical heartwood/sapwood demarcation and color


both sides of a small plank


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


plank


planks


two planks and end grain closeups --- the plank on the left shows a transition from red heartwood to purple sapwood to light red sapwood and the plank on the right shows a transition directly to light colored sapwood.


planks


planks


planks


plank


a pair of pen blanks and an end grain closeup of the pair



web pics:


planks


plank and closeup


plank and closeup


plank and a closeup from each side


curly plank and closeup --- I believe the distance pic has the more correct color


curly bookmatched pair


scales


turning stock


turning stock listed as redheart / Cosmocalyx spectabilis


waxed slab


waxed bowl blank and raw bowl blank


listed as quilted redheart with no botanical designation but based on the color and the fact that I have never otherwise seen quilted redheart, I wonder if perhaps these are from one of the other species that have redheart as one of their common names but which are not normally sold as redheart in the USA.


curly redheart stool


bowl turned by Al Amstutz


bowl


three views of a particularly nice bowl




these are from the BogusColorVendor, so the bright red is probably fradulent


turning sticks


planks


planks with REALLY saturated red color, showing their dishonest photography


planks and a closeup


both sides of a plank and a closeup


both sides of a plank and a closeup


fiddleback --- obviously nice figure and this is probably a very nice board, but as is usual with the BogusColorVendor, the saturation level of the red color is just ridiculous




here's a plank I bought from the BogusColorVendor with a direct comparison of my accurate-colored pics and their standard GROSS exaggeration of the color (their pics are exactly as posted on the Internet and mine are accurate)


their pic on the good side


actual color from my camera on the good side


their pic on the other side


actual color from my camera on the other side


closeup with their pic on the left and my accurate one on the right