Botanical Name: Catalpa speciosa
A soft, attractive wood, catalpa is a fine cabinet wood, easy to work with a wavy figure. The wood is relatively inexpensive, but often difficult to find locally, It's open grain and excessive softness make it unsuitable for furniture that will receive heavy use. Resistant to decay, it is ideal for indoor or outdoor carvings.
Other Names: Catawba, cigartree, indian-bean, northern catalpa.
Characteristics: Generally un even, wavy grain; mediumcoarse, even texture; light tan with a prominent darker growth ring figure.
Uses: Cabinetmaking, turning, picture frames, general ornamental uses and wood carvings.
I have found, it's prominent grain detracts from the details in a relief carving but it makes beautiful stylized carvings.
Workability: Generally very good; may fray when crosscut; dulls cutters only slightly.
Finishing: Accepts finishes well.
Weight: 28-32 lb./cu. ft.
Price: Inexpensive to moderate.