What is Sheesham Wood and What Makes It Different?

When it comes to woodworking, the number one material you will need would be wood. After all, you wouldn't be able to work on your project without this vital material to form and shape into the desired furniture or creation you want. And with the many types of wood out there, you might be wondering about what the best kind is best for you. Well, this is where the Sheesham wood comes from. But what is Sheesham wood and what makes it different from the other types of wood out there?

Read on as I talk about the wonders of Sheesham wood and other things you need to learn regarding this type of wood.

What Is Sheesham Wood?

Many people are unfamiliar with the Sheesham wood, but that's because it's commonly known as the Indian Rosewood (scientific name is Dalbergia Sissoo). It's a native to the Southern Iran and places across India, where it's planted on roadsides and canals. It's one of the most useful sources of timber in India. The Indian Rosewood has a medium to coarse texture with a natural luster. It has a golden to deep brown color, with dark streaks for a better appearance.

Not only is it used for woodworking projects and furniture, but in areas where it is planted in, people use it for fuel or making instruments, plywood, and veneers. The popular Rajasthani instrument "Kartaals" is made out of this type of wood.​

The Pros of Sheesham Wood

Now, why do many people prefer using Sheesham wood over others? This is because it has the following benefits:

  • Sheesham wood has a sturdy and uniform texture, with a natural resistance to decay. It's best for carving and engraving wood, as it is less susceptible to mites and will be able to last for more extended periods of time.
  • The wood would season well without it warping or splitting easily. It's solid construction and quality makes it last for a long time without worry about too much maintenance and cleaning.
  • It is very durable, one of the timbers that don't fall victim to dry-wood termites. Sheesham wood also has resistance to cutting and sawing but works well for turnery. It polishes well and can be finished to create a smooth surface.
  • The wood has a unique coloring and is different towards all types of Sheesham trees, so each woodworking project or furniture you purchase will have a unique color because of the well-defined grains and fine finishing through hand waxing. It brings out the enchanting and antique finish to any home, making it look beautiful and rustic.
  • It is one of the most affordable types of wood available. Sheesham wood is cheaper than walnut, teak, or rosewood.

The Cons of Using Sheesham Wood

But of course, Sheesham wood also has its disadvantages. Here are some things to take note of:

  • The biggest drawback to investing in Sheesham wood is its proneness to wood borers. The sapwood found in Sheesham trees are prone to woodboring beetles. If wood borers end up in your Sheesham furniture, it will end up drilling deep holes into it, while forming a fine white powder. It's difficult to get rid of these wood borers as well!
  • If the Sheesham wood has knots, it weakens the wood quickly, reducing the lifespan of your furniture.
  • While Sheesham wood has a variety of colors and never just one particular shade, the furniture is usually stained to form a dark shade to be uniform. Because of this, it would hide the wood's grains and would have the living area look smaller because of its dark colors.

I mention both pros and cons of Sheesham wood so you are more familiar with what you should be investing in. That way, you can weight these points to see if the wood is just right for you.

What Makes Sheesham Wood Different From Others?

But what makes Sheesham wood different from the likes of others, such as parawood or heartwood (which is darker than sapwood )? Here are the significant differences that can help you distinguish Sheesham wood from the rest:

  • Sheesham would have a lower oil content than other types of wood, like teak wood. Because of this it is less water resistant than others and will require an extra layer of oil.
  • It is denser than Mango wood and has a more smooth and attractive surface.
  • Sheesham wood costs less than other types of wood, mainly teak.
  • It has a golden brown to darker reddish brown color, while others are other white or pale brownish white.
  • The Sheesham wood looks more exquisite and for its wood grains and double colors. You can see that it has a solid construction that won't warp or split easily.

How to Choose Quality Sheesham Wood?

Now that you're familiar with what the Sheesham wood is, how will you know that what you're purchasing is made out of quality materials? Here are some factors to consider:

  • Check the quality of the wood, which should be smooth, shiny, and cannot scratch or corrode easily.
  • Look at the grains, as it should be clear and with lovely patterns. The cutting surface would be loose and rough.
  • When looking at Sheesham wood furniture, the craft should have a firm structure and magnificent look. Again, it should be smooth and clear, without any spots and smoothly painted to avoid it from splitting easily.
  • Any wood would end up changing because of the temperature and water content. You all need to check if the wood has been treated with a suitable drying content, or it wouldn't be able to adapt to the temperature it will be staying in. Not only would this have the wood split, but it can shrink to become loose. The water content should be about 15% or higher in dry areas.

Caring for Furniture Made of Sheesham Wood

You're now more knowledgeable about everything you need to know about Sheesham wood! If you own one or plan on doing so, here are some tips to follow so you can properly maintain it to have it art for a long time:

  • When you are creating a woodworking project, make sure that you are using the best forms of equipment. A quality woodcutting board will help keep your wood and surface protected, as well as saws to cut through the Sheesham efficiently. Clean it up with a vacuum to suck away all the dust that may attract mites or allergies. If working outdoors, use a leaf vacuum .
  • Polish and clean furniture made out of Sheesham wood once a week to have it continue shining. Dust it using only a slightly-moistened microfiber dusting cloth. Avoid using too much water.
  • Remember to use only wood safe polish and soft microfiber cloth and soft brushes when polishing. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or silicon/spray polishes, as these would leave residue on your Sheesham wood.
  • Do NOT place extremely hot or cold items on the furniture, as this would permanently stain the wood.

In Conclusion

When it comes to choosing the best types of wood for your projects or would like to purchase quality wood furniture, then you may want to look into ones that are made out of the Sheesham tree. These trees aren't only sturdy, but they are affordable and look great in any office or household.

​I hope that this article on Sheesham wood helped you become more knowledgeable on what you need for woodworking projects or when purchasing furniture. So don't air any longer and start studying more on the most durable woods in the world and invest in the materials you need today.

If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences when choosing kinds of woods for your projects, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.​

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