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Snakewood is an incredibly beautiful wood which originates mostly in Suriname, South America. The specific gravity is around 1.2, making it one of the worlds hardest woods. The part sold as snakewood is really the heartwood of the larger tree. This wood is usually felled with axes and carried on the backs of hard working natives over streams and through snake infested jungle areas. Each tree felled is monitored, and the government has developed a strict permit process to control harvesting. Much of the wood has inferior or no figure, but the small amount that has attractive figure is exported. We sell only figured pieces that have high density of figure unless specifically marked otherwise. All snakewood has at least minute hairline cracks. We take the extra step of soaking some pieces in cyanoacrylate to minimize or eliminate any cracking. Fortunately, if cracks do occur, they can be hidden completely if caught early. We do not recommend attempting to dry snakewood, as this almost always leads to cracking. Being dense, the water content is already very low. To be successful, always have superglue and hardener on hand, cover the piece with plastic completely when not working on it, and seal it completely with a finish that does not allow moisture transmission. Needless to say, the wood should never be allowed to get overly heated or left in direct sunlight.

The first time you buy snakewood from us, please read the note above. Thanks!

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Micro Boards

Snakewood H to Q

These are "micro boards" ---basically useful little boards for many purposes. Each one has been carefully looked at, and quality is very good. There is less problems with checking when using thin pieces like this, they are more stable and tend to not split as easy as thicker pieces. Thoroughly dried over a decade. Note that all snakewood, or nearly all has some small checks in it or will develop them. We do not guarantee you will not find checks inside, in fact we almost guarantee you will! It is the nature of this wood type and you should always be ready with a thin superglue applicator when working it. (if you catch them right away they are usually invisible after finishing) Avoid heat of sanding/boring as that is the cause of most cracks. All the snakewood we sell was dried many , many years ago. It is as ready to use as it can be. Not for those without experience in working difficult woods. The prices shown are the same prices we charged over 14 years ago. This is just an effort to recoup some of the losses, rather than to make money. We do not buy snakewood logs currently as there is no way to actually do that and process them into flawless pieces with figure and get anything but much less than we paid for them.

Piece K

Snakewood Micro Board, dried, size: 1/4 x 1 1/16 x 8 5/8 inches

Piece Q

Snakewood Micro Board, dried, size: 1/4 x 1.25 x 5 1/8 inches

Grading system: We want to be more specific about what we consider high figure, as we have noted that what we sell as “medium high” figure is at least as good as what most vendors call “high figure”. Some vendors even sell what we call “medium” or “low” figure as “high figure”.
Here is how we determine the rating of figure:
High figure (Gallery grade Plus):This figure is continuous over the whole piece. The lines aren’t far enough apart that we consider the figure to have lapsed in any area.
Medium high figure (Gallery grade): This figure is continuous most everywhere, but there is a lapse somewhere or the figure is a little farther apart than high figure.
Medium figure (Gallery grade minus): There are some lapses in the figure or the lines are spread further apart than usual.
Low figure (turning grade): The figure is sparse and there are gaps in it.

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