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boxwood from Turkey


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I've just received a shipment of boxwood from Octopus Woodworks, which is at


They're a small, family owned business specializing in musical instrument tonewood.

(Boxwood is for recorders.) They normally sell squares, but I requested logs, and they

sent me a few pictures with prices on them, and that's what I bought. Their english is

not good, but it's good enough for placing an order. You tell them what you want, and

they send you an invoice (email), which you can reference on their order page. Their

order page is encrypted, and it takes various credit cards. Their bank account information

is also available, so you can make an electronic transfer of money, if you prefer. The

shipping was done by air to NY by NEX Worldwide Express and then transferred to DHL.

All this was suggested by the guy at Octopus and handled by NEX. The wood arrived one

week after it was ordered, exactly as predicted. You can track the progress in both companies.

NEX has an office in NY (google for them) who told me the DHL number. Note that DHL requires

a signature, which they only tell you if you tell them it's an international shipment. The person

on the phone only knows it was picked up in NY.

The logs were mostly 2.5 to 3.5 inches in diameter and a couple feet long. At first I was not

too impressed, because the growth rings were further apart than some I have seen. I carved

a small piece into a clay sculpture tool. It responded well to the rotary chisel in the grinder

(20K rpm). Refining it with hand tools revealed it was extremely fine textured. It might not be

the best boxwood out there, but it seems like really nice stuff to me. The logs arrived with the

ends unwaxed, and there were some checks. Cutting off an inch or two got rid of those and revealed that the wood was not dry. However, the carved piece did not seem wet when I was done. The moisture is more evident in the freshly cut end grain. I carved the piece with the

pith enclosed, so there's a tiny hole there. But there's no sign so far of additional checking.

I think the wood compares favorably to the stuff I got from Gilmer last year.

Octopus describes prices and quantities in Euros and kg, and I don't remember exactly

what it was. But it worked out to about $5 a pound, I think, which is about half of what I

paid Gilmer. That's including the shipping, which made up a little more than half the price.

That's about it. I'm pleased with the way this all worked out, and I won't hesitate to buy

more from them.


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