If you’ve been following GrootCecil on social media, browsed the online store or made a purchase you would know that he was partial to using Blackwood for hand crafting his beautiful braai blade handles and cutting boards.

Whilst trying to find more Blackwood suppliers in the Garden Route he and his son-in-law per chance happened upon something new in an unassuming lumber yard hidden on a back road in the city of George.

They sell hardwood flooring and quickly informed GrootCecil that they had no Blackwood stock at the time. After explaining he needed it for knifemaking the lumber yard manager took them to a precarious pile of wood hidden away under a tarp.

GrootCecil is known much better for a devilish smile creeping underneath his magnificent beard, but the yard manager must have seen the doubting frown when he pulled the dusty tarp from the pile of orange looking wood pieces.
He knew better though, took a damp cloth and when wiping away the dust he exposed the most beautiful pieces of Tigerwood. They were quite surprised at how lovely the wood looked, even though they have never heard or knew about this cashew nut type tree with its tiger striped grain. But they instantly knew they had to have it.

GrootCecil loves experimenting while doing woodwork and couldn’t wait to see if the stripes, like its animal twin, would match up when crafting and turning a blade handle at home.

He jumped right to it and emerged with a freshly varnished blade handle that truly made family and friends ooh and ah when they saw its lovely intricate designs. Per chance or by GrootCecil design the grain of that first knife handle matched up perfectly and looked even more perfect.

A new Tiger King has emerged and swiftly took its rightful place on the throne of our new range. Its unique grain pattern will ensure every hand made blade handle will be as distinctive and special as the person making the purchase.

Next steps

Making products by hand and to order is subject to availability of raw materials. Thus the reason for our longer than usual online shopping lead time.

Raw material availability like high-carbon steel wood and leather are dynamic in nature. We decided to adapt our range a bit to use the Tigerwood instead of Blackwood for the reasons listed below:

•    It’s easy to sand and bore, but also very easy to turn and regular to plane.
•    It’s great to saw, peel into veneer, glue, screw and very good to turn. It finishes well and gives a very lustrous surface.
•    Tigerwood is a highly distinctive exotic wood with vibrant reddish-brown tones and prominent black striping that varies in thickness from fine strokes to thick contours.
•    Its color when fresh is light orange to reddish brown and is more or less conspicuously marked with vertical blackish bands of variable spacing. There is often a variegated grain appearance, which produces a very striking and beautiful mottled figure.
•    Continuous unprotected exposure to sunlight turns the color more reddish and accentuates the black striping but eventually turns it a uniform silver-grey.
•    Its interlocked grain is also wavy and irregular, complimenting the wood’s dynamic appearance. The texture is fine and homogeneous; and the luster generally high.
•    Tigerwood is ranked among the more durable hardwoods with a Janka hardness rating of 1850, making it a visually striking hardwood that lasts and also goes by Zebrawood, Zorrowood or Kingwood.
•    Uses also include the crafting of tool handles and musical instruments.

We hope that you will enjoy the craftsmanship and creativity with the new direction our range has taken and that it will be an equally wonderful edition to your braai set. Get ready to show of your GrootCecil stripes when around the braai or going camping with friends and family.
Written by Etienne Marais

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