Monday, February 4, 2008

The Fascinating Wood Called KOA

Koa is the largest endemic tree in Hawaii; the species exists naturally nowhere else in the world. It is the fastest growing of Hawaii's valuable hardwoods. It can grow as much as an inch in diameter per year, reaching 100 feet in height, attaining a trunk diameter of 5 feet or more.

It was historically the material of choice for carved ocean-going canoes and the paddles that propel them. Koa wood is the most prized cabinet and furniture wood in Hawai'i. Colors range from light brown to deep red/brown hues. Highly figured koa is sought after for use in fine furniture, musical instruments like ukulele, Hawaiian weaponry, spears, and knife handles. and carry the largest inventory of koa on the entire web!

Koa has weight and strength properties similar to black walnut. It is a moderately heavy wood. It is stable, works well, and takes an exceptionally rich, deeply reflective glow when finished with oils and modern varnish or lacquer.

Koa is the best known of the endemic Hawaiian woods. It is recognized world wide for it's remarkable variety of grain figure which ranges from plain, to curly, to deep fiddleback. The color can go from reds to chocolate browns, with the sap wood sometimes even a bleached white. The grain is fine and the texture medium coarse, but it is the figuring that sets Koa into a class of it's own.
Koa Swatch

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