Melina – Gmelina Arborea. A cousin to the teak family, and like teak is farm grown in Costa Rica. It’s a white hardwood with a grain similar to mahogany. The wood is an ideal substitute for Poplar. It’s a lightweight, stain grade wood that’s very resistant to termites and mold and can be shipped green with no black staining. Melina also accepts nails easily and has a high tolerance for rupture (bending). It planes and sands down tight with distinction.
This wood is ideal for stain grade moldings, kitchen cabinet face frames (replaces rubberwood, ash, poplar) and is sufficiently stable to use as the solid face of high-end cabinets and furniture pieces. It’s also ideal for drawer sides and wall paneling.
Cypress – Cupressus Lusitanica. This is a high mountain softwood that is a far superior substitute to Western Red Cedar. It’s nearly twice as dense as cedar and ideal for any outdoor installation that needs to be insect, rot and fungus resistant. Because of the natural oils in the Costa Rican Cypress tree, it’s naturally resistant to weather and most insects. It has a favorable odor to people, but insects don’t like it.
Costa Rican Cypress is not the same as the cypress tree found in the Everglades and other marshy areas of the Southeastern U. S. Costa Rican Cypress is native to Central America. It is an evergreen tree grown in tropical areas at elevations above 3,000 feet. Genetically, one of its closest relatives is the Californian Redwood.
Wall paneling, closets, gazebos, pergolas and high-end fencing. Like western red cedar, it does have a lot of knots, so it doesn’t work for decking. It’s slightly harder and more dense than southern yellow pine.
Our basic Cypress product line is Fencing. 5/8” thick x 6” wide and 8’ tall. The tops are dog-eared and both ends are waxed. Our fencing is band sawed to thickness for a distinctive rustic look. Our natural recovery products from fencing are natural lattice garden panels. Ideal for vine fencing, yard partitions and gazebos.
Heart Pine ▼
Caribbean Heart Pine – Pinus Caribea. This is a high elevation pine that is nearly as heavy as American Red Oak. It does have the same problem as all pines, ie it must be “treated” for stain. However, it’s much denser than all of the US pines and stable. The red part of the tree, the heart pine, is much more resistant to insects than the whiter part of the tree. This wood excels in anything structural, and can be used for fencing, door jambs, and decking.
Pochote – Bombacopsis Quinata. This wood looks like mahogany but it’s much lighter. It works for any kind of stain grade molding, casing, and it’s ideal use is a substitute for basswood on plantation shutters. Extremely light weight, strong, and even more stable than black walnut. This wood is a reddish, sorrel color.
Pilon – Hyeronima alchorneoides. This wood is slightly harder than American Red Oak & more stable. It is a sorrel, reddish color. It is ideal for solid wood floors, residential decking, and structural components that need to be stain grade and have stability.
Both the color and density of this wood can vary considerably. The heartwood is generally reddish-brown, although it is not uncommon to find pilon that is dark chocolate-brown, comparable in color to black walnut. The sapwood is normally light pinkish-tan and is much softer than the heartwood. Pilon’s somewhat coarse texture and often interlocked grain give it a mahogany-like appearance, but it is much heavier and less lustrous. The wood is very strong and elastic. It is only slightly less rugged than Brazilian rosewood in most respects.
On first examination, one would think pilon should be more popular than it is. It has adequate strength for most furniture applications, its color and figure rival both mahogany and walnut, and it machines quite well, except for its slight tendency to chip when pieces with extremely interlocked grain are planed. Like most dense woods, screws and heavy -gauge nails require pilot holes, but it is easy to finish. With reasonable care in selecting uniformly colored material for a given project, it is dark enough so as not to need staining and it takes varnish beautifully. While it does not have an inordinate tendency to check, it is so prone to warping and volumetric change it is difficult to find boards that are flat enough for use in anything but small projects. Router bits and belt sanders cause the wood’s resin to burn or darken quickly.
Within its native range, pilon is used for heavy construction such as beams and bridge timbers where its strength and elasticity are especially advantageous. Also, its durability makes it a good wood for both shipbuilding and railroad ties. Some is used for solid wood flooring, plywood, veneer, turnery and furniture, any surface top, residential decking, stair treads, door jambs for entry doors, and bannister rails.