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Black Squirrel Woodworking


Quality handcrafted wood products for home, office, gifts, and fun.




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Wood Glossary

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At Black Squirrel Woodworking, we take pride in our craftsmanship.  All of our products are handcrafted from the highest quality solid hardwoods, unless otherwise noted.  Fixtures are solid brass, pewter, or stainless steel as described on our individual product pages. Our wood creations have been finished with 3 coats of Minwax water-based polycrylic clear protective finish to enhance and maintain the natural beauty of the wood. Then they are hand rubbed and polished with a quality wood paste wax that adds a smooth finish and provides additional protection to your investment.  Staining the wood alters the natural color of the wood and subdues the beauty of its grain.  Primary wood is not stained and we do not fill voids or alter the natural wonders that trees reveal to us.  Occasionally our products contain wood pieces that are made from a different type of wood than the primary product.  Each wood species has inherent characteristics that limit its usage depending on the circumstances.  Staining these pieces to match the primary product may need to be done.  Staining secondary wood allows us to use the best material for applications that require additional durability or strength while maintaining consistency of design and overall presentation.  Variances from the primary wood will be noted in the description for the specific product.  We are confident that you will take pride in your purchase.

Products that contain marbles are
Not for children under 3 years.

The American toy marble industry began in Akron Ohio in the 1800's.  Martin F. Christensen applied for a US Patent on the first glass marble-machine in December 19, 1902.  There were numerous advances in marble making between 1902 and 1930, too many to tell you about here.  Since 1930, most glass marbles are made by automatic gob-feeders. If we have peaked your interest in marbles, check out The American Toy Marble Museum on the web at It is extensive.

The wonderful iridescent marbles included with our game sets are contemporary marbles made by The Marble King Company of Paden, West Virginia who have been making marbles since 1949. Currently, Marble King produces over one million marbles a day. On the web at

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As we began our search for a wood supplier, we checked local lumber yards, suppliers who could order and ship in wood, and yes, the internet.  After extensive browsing, we came across a site that gave names of wood suppliers within our area.  What a find!  Well, low and behold there was someone in the next town north of us, Mantua.  Stadtlander's Hardwood Lumber is set behind Stadtlander's Woodcarving Gallery.  Driving up, we noticed cut trees stacked in all stages of timber milling and found out that Jim Stadtlander cuts all of his lumber from trees that grow on his own property.  We were thrilled because we had wanted to keep our workshop materials "Made in the USA" and as local as possible.  Jim then showed us around his gallery and we were lost in a world of creative artistic talent. (You can check out a sampling of Jim's work on his website at  We knew we had found our primary wood supplier.  At the present time, much of the wood that we use for our products is homegrown and milled from our own Black Squirrel country in Ohio (Jim recognized the significance of our workshop name immediately and chuckled).

Black Cherry (Prunus serotina):  The Black Cherry is found primarily along the Eastern United States and is often referred to as "New England Mahogany".  It is also known as "cherry", "wild cherry", and "wild black cherry".  The wonderful grain pattern may sometimes be enhanced by spots or streaks caused by the tree gum which adds interest to the finished piece.  The heartwood ranges from light to dark-reddish brown.  Cherry was used in Early American furniture and cabinetry as well as for tonics, liquors, and a treatment for bronchitis. 

Maple (Acer saccharum):  Best known of the approximate 115 species of maple trees indigenous to North America is the sugar maple that is native to south-east Canada and north-east United States.  It is also referred to as "hard maple", "rock maple", and "white maple".  The sugar maple is your source for maple syrup and those wonderful "helicopters" seen falling every year.  (The "helicopters" are also good for making play rhinoceros horns or Pinocchio noses!)  A light colored wood, the grain is subdued, yet distinct.  Its hardness makes it durable and it is often used for dance floors.

Red Oak (Quercus rubra):  Red oaks range across much of the Eastern United States.  There are a variety of species with similar characteristics.  Due to slower growth, the Northern Oak is a harder, finer wood than those grown farther south which tend to be redder and courser.  Northern Red Oak is the largest of the species attaining heights of 150' and 4' in diameter.  The heartwood is brown with either a red or pink caste to it.  Of note, the Oak naturally contains tannic acid (used for centuries to tan animal hides)  and when mixed with iron in our drinking water creates a blue dye.  Antiques often have dark spots around nails or screws due to this chemical reaction.  We use stainless steel or brass hardware which eliminates this phenomenon.

Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera):  The Yellow Poplar ranges the Eastern United States from Connecticut to Florida and as far west as Missouri.  It can grow to heights of 160' with an 8' diameter.  The Yellow Poplar is also referred to as Tulip Poplar, due to the shape of its yellow flower, or just Poplar.  The Poplar's sapwood is white with intermittent streaks of blue or green, while the heartwood is usually beige or tan.  Poplar is one of the easier woods to work with and paints or stains well.  We occasionally use Poplar for secondary wood pieces due to its straight grain and split resistance.  We will stain the Poplar to match our primary wood if required.

Black American Walnut (Juglans nigra):  This tree grows in natural woodlands across the central eastern and mid-western United States.  It can grow up to 150' high by 20' round and stand for over 250 years.  The wonderful grain pattern and physical properties of American Walnut were quickly recognized by early colonists who utilized it for furniture and gun-stocks because of its strength and stability.  The rich color of this wood has ensured its continued use throughout the years in fine cabinet work.  Walnut has earned the well-deserved nickname "the aristocrat of American woods".


The Black Squirrel Woodworking Company handcrafts quality solid wood products in our workshop that are great gift ideas for all occasions or just a special treat.  We only use the finest quality hardwood and hardware in handcrafting our products and are confident that you will take pride in your purchase.

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Last Updated 8/1/2009