Firewood Treasures

Tropical Wood Identification Samples Kit

Tropical Wood Sample Kits

Several purchasers of our popular domestic hardwood sample kit have requested that we put together a similar kit of tropical woods. In response, we now offer a kit containing many of the more commonly encountered, and a few not so common, tropical woods.

The Firewood Treasures Tropical Wood Sample Kit contains a 16x hand lens, a starter supply of single-edged razor blades, and our popular Wood Identification Primer, that shows you how to identify wood by end-grain analysis.

As with our other kits, the samples average 1/4" x 1" x 1." This is not a "showcase" sample kit. It is designed for the practical woodworker who needs authentic samples for comparison. Our samples are intended to be cut, not just looked at. Only by producing a clean, razor-cut end-grain surface can you reveal the unique characteristics of different woods and thus gain the assistance you need for identification and comparison purposes. Tropical woods are particularly difficult to identify and authentic samples are essential to the process.

To obtain a "showcase" kit with the same number of samples, you would have to pay well over $200! And you wouldn't get a 16x loupe or our popular Wood Identification Primer that teaches you the correct way to identify wood samples.

Tropical Wood Identification Kits

    Tropical Wood Sample Kit #5 (with 16x loupe)   $68.00

If you already have a high quality loupe, then order the kit without a magnifier. Note: a standard hand magnifying glass is not a good substitute for an eye loupe.

    Tropical Wood Sample Kit #3 (without magnifier)   $54.00

Extra loupe:
    MG-16x     16x loupe   $20.00

Extra Razor Blades:
    SRB-20    Single-Edged Razor Blades (20)   $6.00

List of tropical wood samples in kit*:

  Name Genus species
1 African Blackwood (Mpingo) Dalbergia melanoxylon
2 Anigre Aningeria altissima
3 Balsa wood Ochroma pyramidale
4 Bloodwood (Brazilian) Brosimum rubescens
5 Bokote Cordia sp.
6 Bubinga Guibourtia demeusei
7 Canarywood Centrolobium microchaete
8 Cocobola Dalbergia retusa
9 Dark red Meranti (red lauan) Shorea sp.
10 Ebony Diospyrus crassiflora
11 Ipe Tabebuia guayacan
12 Iroko Chlorophora excelsa
13 Jatoba (Brazilian cherry) Hymenaea courbaril
14 Kempas Koompassia malaccensis
15 Keruing Dipterocarpus spp.
16 Kingwood Dalbergia Cearensis
17 Leadwood Combretum imberbe
18 Leopardwood Roupala brasiliensis
19 Light red Meranti (white lauan) Shorea sp.
20 Lignum Vitae Guaiacum officinale
21 Mahogany (African) Khaya ivorensis
22 Mahogany (Honduran) Swietenia macrophylla
23 Olive Olea hochstetteri
24 Padauk Pterocarpus soyauxii
25 Paulownia Paulownia tomentosa
26 Pernambuco Caesalpinia echinata
27 Pink Ivory Rhamnus zeyheri
28 Purpleheart (Amaranth) Peltogyne sp.
29 Redheart (Chakte Kok) Sickingia salvadorensis
30 Rimu Dacrydium cupressinum
31 Rosewood (Bolivian) Machaerium schleroxylon
32 Spanish cedar Cedrela odorata
33 Tambotie Spyrostachus africana
34 Teak Tectona grandis
35 Tigerwood (Brazilian Koa, Goncalo Alves) Astronium fraxinifolium
36 Tulipwood Dalbergia frutenscens
37 Wenge Millettia laurentii
38 Yellowheart Euxylophora paraensis
39 Zebrawood Microberlinia brazzavillensis
40 Ziricote Cordia dodecandra

*Specific species (Genus species) may vary somewhat depending upon the source of the particular wood; sp. means one of several possible species of the given genus..

NOTE: When you receive your kit, each sample will be numbered, but in case you want to try your hand at identifying the samples first, the sample numbers will not correspond to those listed above. Included with your kit will be a second list, the key, in a sealed envelop.

For those who want detailed information on how to identify tropical wood samples, we strongly recommend that you consider purchasing R. Bruce Hoadley's Identifying Wood, available on line from
And we encourage you to explore It has an incredible number of detailed end-grain analysis pictures. Unfortunately they're sanded, not razor cut, but these plus authentic samples will greatly aid you in identification.


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Rick Smith is a member of the International Wood Collecting Society

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