Your Cart

USA Orders over $85 get FREE shipping*

About James

James first became interested in woodworking as a child watching his father turn some wood on a benchtop lathe. James’ father was an electrial engineer who worked at a US Navy base in Maryland as part of a group testing new aircraft. When his father was not working, he enjoyed making furniture and building additions to the house or outbuildings. James could see the versatile uses of wood and became more interested in the hardwoods and the way you could make create details in them on the lathe. That appealed to James’ artistic interests, and he always had woodworking as a creative outlet.

James earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Philosophy in 1988 and worked as a counselor in hospital psychiatric units for a number of years until 2003, when it became clear that nearly all hospital psychiatric units were being shut down. James saw the idea of making his wood hobby into a new business and Griffin Exotic Wood was born. Through trial and error and a multitude of barriers, James gradually got the business started, beginning in a closet in the rental house where he was living in Palisade, Colorado. Over the years James moved the business twice, first into a two car garage and then into today’s current small warehouse with an excellent woodworking shop. James started the business when hardly any wood company was willing to carry turning wood or take woodturning seriously. The exotic wood types being sold also were very few and only one kind of rosewood, East Indian Rosewood, was usually available for turning. Working with many suppliers James pushed for a variety of types of rosewood and other species, and gradually through the efforts of multiple importers many types of wood became available to woodturners and knifemakers. The biggest problem was quality as the wood sent from overseas was often cracked, improperly sized and generally in bad condition. This is still a major problem today but James has made Griffin Exotic Wood llc a true leader in quality within the industry. While many companies still operate under the old premise that the customer should be satisfied with whatever surprises lay hidden under the wax of imported woods, Griffin Exotic Wood is still working overtime to make sure only the highest quality pieces are sent to our customers. This policy costs the company easily 50% of the profit we would make if we passed on to the customer all the defective pieces, still a common industry practice. That ethical commitment and expertise places us at the top of many woodworker’s “go to” list for all types of rare and exotic woods.

James still sources, cuts, finishes and photographs every piece of wood. Every order is also expertly packed by James and in this way knowlegeable service is offered through the entire sourcing, processing and selling experience, just as it was 20 years ago.

Shots from Warehouse

Sign up for the New Releases!

Be the first to get access to our new releases, they can go fast!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from Griffin Exotic Wood llc. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email.

Unsolicited Testimonials from our customers.

Don’t take our word for it, see what our customers say…

I would like to thank you for the extraordinary service relating to my latest order and to why I choose to select you as the first vendor I consider when I an looking for wood to use in my next project. I have always been satisfied with each and every piece that I have purchased from you. Wood purchased from other vendors have seldom satisfied 100% of my expectations as you have. They always throw in some poor quality pieces. Sometimes every pieces cracks and is destroyed when worked. Your discriminating honesty in not shipping the two checked pieces makes me confident in receiving what I order.
The wood I received from Griffin Exotic Wood (3 pieces of AA grade Lignum Vitae) was top-notch, high grade material. I spent a few emails in correspondence with James, who was more than helpful in answering any questions I had about the Lignum Vitae (of which there were quite a few). When received, it was just as described; actually, it was better than described – beautiful woodgrain, beautiful color, authentic Lignum Vitae! Authenticity is a big deal with Lignum Vitae, as there is another wood which is often listed in its place – you do NOT have to worry about this with Griffin Exotic Wood (their business ethic makes any transaction pleasant). I’d order more, but this was for a sitar bridge – the amount which I ordered is more than enough to last a lifetime! My sincere thanks to James and the Griffin Exotic Wood company.
"James puts customers first. He pulled all the Tulipwood off the top shelves just to find the perfect pieces for my project and I had never shopped with him prior. Class act! "
B. P.
New York
"I just wanted to say that I really like the wood that bought from you. . . .I had no problem with the shipping. Even the bois de rose came out wonderful too. I really appreciate the website as well. It is very informative. I know I will enjoy turning the wood . . . .Needless to day when I need wood I will come back to your business every time."
Just got your latest shipment. You really outdid yourself!
New Hampshire
"I just received the wood. Thanks very much for the fast shipping! Fantastic customer service!
"My order arrived today and the Ebony is super! Thank you for great products and terrific service.
100% Secure Checkout

PayPal / MasterCard / Visa /Discover