By now, we’re guessing most of you have heard about a certain remarkable tree and the unique, exceptionally figured Bubinga lumber it’s yielded to the benefit of a few lucky woodworkers. We’re making that guess, in part, because the interest in this rare lumber-buying opportunity has been so widespread that we ran through our supply of 4/4 stock available by the board foot at lightening speed, and as of this posting, are only offering Curly Waterfall Bubinga lumber in the form of sensational, if slightly more cost-intensive, large-dimension slabs. For the general woodworking population, that may not be the most happy news. To you, we can say this: stay tuned. We’re not promising anything – but you never know.
If your tool of choice happens to be a lathe, on the other hand, luck is on your side. While the stock lasts, Rockler is offering truly unique Bubinga Bowl Turning Blanks in a variety of sizes – all cut from the very same tree that’s been causing all the stir.
Of course we couldn’t leave turners out of the loop – it’s such an obvious application for the material. Despite its hardness (heavier and harder than maple) Bubinga is a prized turning species. It has a fine texture, machines well, and polishes unaided to an almost glossy surface. In terms of color, even an “everyday” hunk of Bubinga has plenty to offer: namely, a subtle range of rich reddish brown tones punctuated with darker grain striping. On top of that, this particular Bubinga offers a striking grain pattern – uncommon for the species – and comes from a tree of uncommon proportions and notoriety.
Right now, blanks are available for everything from small decorative pieces on up to show-stopping bowls and platters. You’ll also find a few larger dimension chunks, any of which would make a great set, or could represent one-of-a-kind opportunity for oval turners. Whichever way you might decide to go, we’ll offer the same advice that we did when the board-foot lumber hit the market: if you’re interested, don’t procrastinate. We don’t expect these unique blanks to last long, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.