Chinese hardwood


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9mmepiphany
December 27, 2002, 06:10 PM
i saw some hardwood chinese funriture at a store the other day and thought i would look outstanding as a pair of handgun stocks...now i'm trying to figure out what kind of wood it is. any help or referral to another sight would be great.

i thought it was just a beautiful rosewood but the sales person was quick to correct me. she said it was something only found and used in mainland china (PRC) and was much superior to rosewood by at least 3 orders.

it was a x-mas'y red with a pronounced grain (like coco bolo) and was very heavy. it was supposed to be at least 200 year old growth. the sales lady said it was called "xian shui", or something similar (we were conversing in cantonese)

thanks in advance

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Preacherman
December 27, 2002, 07:39 PM
I suggest that you PM Twoblink, who's in Taiwan for a year. He can probably find out more about this wood, and knowing the Taiwanese, they probably have a source of supply for it.

9mmepiphany
December 27, 2002, 08:06 PM
sounds like a winner...thanks

Redlg155
December 27, 2002, 09:34 PM
Try this website. Gilmer Wood Company (http://www.gilmerwood.com/Gilmerwood%20Wood%20Sample%20Images.htm)

I linked you directly to the wood samples page. You will probably find what you are looking for there.

Perhaps it is Chakte-kok.
http://www.gilmerwood.com/IMAGES/chakte-kok_small.jpg

There are some beautiful woods on that page. I'd love to get some grips made out of snakewood.
http://www.gilmerwood.com/images/snakewood_small.jpg

Good Shooting
RED

i-SHOT
December 27, 2002, 10:27 PM
9mmepiphany, maybe I could be of some help here (finally :D)

In classical Chinese furniture, there are several types of hardwood and within the rosewood family, there's at least 4 to 5 of them that are used. From the sounds of it (from both yours & her description), it could be 'HuangHuali'. Huanghuali is one of the most sort after hardwoods. It is so dense that it sinks in water (no kidding). The problem here lies in how the product is finished. I have seen Huanghuali finished in the reddish tone you saw, to a pale-ish yellowish-brown. It's the grain of the wood that attracts your attention.

I've been collecting classical Chinese furniture for some years now and I have some Huanghuali pieces at home. About a year ago I met a furniture maker in Asia who work exclusively on the rosewood variety, including Huanghuali and Zitan (darker). I was thinking about commissioning him to do some 1911 grips in Huanghuali but that thought didn't last very long. My lost.

FYI, this wood is available outside of China, albeit in very close border areas. They just wanna make you believe that it's only available in Hunan.

Sven
December 29, 2002, 12:58 PM
You can see some other grains on Hakan's website:

http://www.imageseek.com/hakan/

Check out the "Wood Samples" and "Woods" links in the navigation bar.

9mmepiphany
January 2, 2003, 10:31 PM
redlg155 - those are some beautiful woods, thanks for the links

i-shot - i think you've put me on the right track...i always thought rosewood was rosewood, i was always around the house as i was growing up...and it is the grain that holds your attention (the color catches your eye). the pieces i looked at were a bit gaudy with mother of pearl inlays (10 piece set, sofa,4 chairs,4 end tables,cocktail table for $7k)

i'm gonna have to go back an look into it further...i'm sure they must have some extra scraps laying about :p

sven - there is enough there to bogle the mind, i could go brole just buying grips for guns i already own...thx

i-SHOT
January 2, 2003, 11:07 PM
i-shot - i think you've put me on the right track...i always thought rosewood was rosewood, i was always around the house as i was growing up...and it is the grain that holds your attention (the color catches your eye). the pieces i looked at were a bit gaudy with mother of pearl inlays (10 piece set, sofa,4 chairs,4 end tables,cocktail table for $7k)

9mmepiphany, I'll try and find some old pixs of the Huanghuali pieces I have. I know it's somewhere but I just don't remember where :confused: And as for the pieces you saw, yeah, that period I can't stand. It's the Qing period when the Manchurians felt that the classical Chinese design was just to plain and as a symbol of wealth, they felt it would be better to cover the furniture with mother-of-pearl. $7K, sheesh. What highway robbery, although an authentic pair of horseshoe chairs from the Ming period, in Huanghuali, can set you back say...$75K :D

i-SHOT
January 2, 2003, 11:14 PM
9mmepiphany, here's what Huanghuali looks like on a pair of Yokeback chairs (reproduction).

http://www.arcamgroup.com/sheila/chairs.jpg

9mmepiphany
January 2, 2003, 11:34 PM
i-shot - that looks alot like what i saw (the wood, not the style)...maybe a little more red and more shinny. i lean toward the cleaner lines without the embellishments too.

just out of curiousity, what would repos like those in your picture cost now days?

i need a couple of extra chairs for a dinning room set...the only extras on them are a carved "double happiness"

i-SHOT
January 3, 2003, 07:52 AM
i-shot - that looks alot like what i saw (the wood, not the style)...maybe a little more red and more shinny. i lean toward the cleaner lines without the embellishments too.

9mmepiphany, like I said, Huanghuali colors can be anything from yellowish to reddish. Yeah, I like the cleaner lines too. No frilly stuff for me. Classical Chinese and modern classics (Bauhaus) are my cup of tea.

My dining set has the reddish tone. I'll try and get a pix of it for you later today (if this old brain can remember ;) )

just out of curiousity, what would repos like those in your picture cost now days?

i need a couple of extra chairs for a dinning room set...the only extras on them are a carved "double happiness"

I called a Maryland store last year and they had each of those chairs on sale for about $500 to $600, I think. I'm very sure you can find a dealer that will sell you a pair of repros (new) for about $800. I had a 19th century repro set that a client once offered me $2500 and I let it go. Funny, isn't it? Classical Chinese furniture is so goddamn old that anything built after the 18th century is considered a repro ;)

Hey man, with the New Year (Chinese) coming up real soon, you always need a pair of those Double Happiness for ambiance :D

Those are a classic in their own rights.

i-SHOT
January 5, 2003, 03:10 PM
9mmepiphany, here are 2 varieties of Huanghuali.

http://www.arcamgroup.com/misc/wood1.jpg

http://www.arcamgroup.com/misc/wood2.jpg

9mmepiphany
January 6, 2003, 11:57 AM
now i'm really wanting a digital camera so i can take and post some pictures too

sounds like i'll need to do more research before i let the wife go crazy buying more stuff...

we got on our dinning room set - 8' table, 8 chairs and matching buffet for $2500 from a gal downsizing...same price she paid in '78 in hongkong, no shipping as her hubby was in the diplomatic corp

Kentucky Rifle
January 7, 2003, 10:22 AM
Sometimes you can find great wood in the oddest places. Some friends of mine in Florida found that some of the fiberglass boat hulls that were made in another country came framed (so they wouldn't get cracked or scratched) in some great hardwood. I would have thought wood like that would have been worth more money that the fiberglass hulls.:confused:

KR

9mmepiphany
January 7, 2003, 12:09 PM
it is pretty amazing isn't it?

i have found that folks usually use whatever they have on hand. they have it laying around, it is common in their environment...the fact that it might have some additional value to someone else doesn't even enter their mind.

it is like the beauty of wood...

if we only needed something in a hard wood, we'd all have handgun stocks made of laminate

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