#62: Sweetwood

Bird number: 95
Date: August 28, 2012
Wood: Sweetwood (Ocotea)
Source: Fellow carver

I carve with a group of others some mornings. One of the guys there has been carving for something like 65 years. The things he’s carved are simply amazing. He of course knows about my fascination with different woods, and he indulges me from time to time by digging something out of his stash. A couple weeks ago he gave me a piece of wood and said, “the guy who gave it to me said that it’s called Sweetwood.” That’s all the information he had.

It turns out that woods of the genus Ocotea are commonly called Sweetwood. As there are over 300 different species in the genus, I can’t say for sure what type this is. However, I’m fairly confident that it is of that genus. The wood has that “sweet, resinous odor” that is described for these woods. Looking at pictures, I’m leaning towards this being Brazilian Walnut, Ocotea porosa. Whatever it is, it’s nice looking stuff.

The piece I got was less than two inches thick, so this is another of the mini birds, like the Douglas Fir.

The wood is hard. It wouldn’t be impossible to carve with a knife, but it would be some work. I did this bird with the Foredom.

Sweetwood species are used for timber, furniture, wood carving and turning, and also for their essential oils. The wood is resistant to fungal decay, so it’s often used in outdoor construction.