product

African Padauk – Kiaat – Umbila – Muninga “Pterocarpus angolensis”

Umbila

  • Common Name(s): Muninga, Kiaat, Mukwa
  • Scientific Name: Pterocarpus angolensis
  • Distribution: South-central Africa
  • Tree Size: 40-60 ft (12-18 m) tall, 1.5-2.5 ft (.5-.8 m) trunk diameter
  • Average Dried Weight: 38 lbs/ft3 (605 kg/m3)
  • Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .59, .60
  • Janka Hardness: 1,360 lbf (6,050 N)
  • Modulus of Rupture: 14,250 lbf/in2 (98.2 MPa)
  • Elastic Modulus: 1,267,000 lbf/in2 (8.73 GPa)
  • Crushing Strength: 8,020 lbf/in2 (55.3 MPa)
  • Shrinkage: Radial: 1.7%, Tangential: 2.8%, Volumetric: 5.4%, T/R Ratio: 1.6
  • Color/Appearance: Heartwood color can vary widely from a lighter golden brown, to a darker reddish or purplish brown. Colors tend to become more subdued with age.
  • Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to interlocked. Medium to coarse texture with a low natural luster.
  • Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large pores in no specific arrangement, very few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; mineral deposits occasionally present; growth rings indistinct; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing close; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, winged, confluent, and banded (not marginal).
  • Rot Resistance: Heartwood is rated as being durable to moderately durable; good resistance to insect attack.
  • Workability: Generally easy to work with tools, though if there is interlocked grain present, it may tearout during planing operations. Moderate blunting effect on cutters. Glues, stains, and finishes well.
  • Odor: Has a mild, aromatic scent while being worked.
  • Common Uses: Furniture, boatbuilding, veneer, turnings, and other small wooden objects.
  • Comments: Sometimes sold under its South African name Kiaat, this wood is actually closely related to the much more well-known African Padauk (Pterocarpus soyauxii). And, much like other species in the Pterocarpus genus, Muninga has outstanding stability, and should remain quite stable in the midst of seasonal changes

Doussie – Chanfuta – Pod mahogany “Afzelia quanzensis”

Chanfuta

  • Common Name(s): Chanfuta, pod mahogany
  • Scientific Name: Afzelia quanzensis
  • Distribution: Eastern Africa to South Africa
  • Tree Size: 66-82 ft (20-25 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter
  • Average Dried Weight: 52.1 lbs/ft3 (835 kg/m3)
  • Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .70, .84
  • Janka Hardness: 1,850 lbf (8,230 N)
  • Modulus of Rupture: 15,810 lbf/in2 (109.0 MPa)
  • Elastic Modulus: 1,704,000 lbf/in2 (11.75 GPa)
  • Crushing Strength: 9,570 lbf/in2 (66.0 MPa)
  • Shrinkage: Radial: 3.3%, Tangential: 4.8%, Volumetric: 8.2%, T/R Ratio: 1.5
  • Color/Appearance: Heartwood is golden to reddish brown. Well defined sapwood is a pale yellowish white. Color tends to darken with age.
  • Grain/Texture: Grain is interlocked with a uniform medium to coarse texture; naturally lustrous.
  • Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable. Moderately resistant to termites, and variously resistant/susceptible to other insect attacks—though with good resistance to marine borers.
  • Odor: No characteristic odor.
  • Common Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, veneer, flooring, docks, boatbuilding, exterior millwork and construction, turned objects, inlays, and other small specialty wood items.
  • Comments: Sometimes marketed with an alternate spelling “chamfuta”—this Afzelia species shares the same properties that make the other woods in the genus so popular. Namely, excellent dimensional stability, and excellent rot resistance. The wood also has a mahogany-like appearance, and is sometimes called pod mahogany (or even Rhodesian mahogany)

Jambire – Panga panga “Millettia Stuhlmannii”

Panga Panga

  • Common Name(s): Panga Panga
  • Scientific Name: Millettia stuhlmannii
  • Distribution: Eastern Africa
  • Tree Size: 60-90 ft (18-27 m) tall, 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m) trunk diameter
  • Average Dried Weight: 54 lbs/ft3 (870 kg/m3)
  • Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .72, .87
  • Janka Hardness: 1,640 lbf (7,310 N)
  • Modulus of Rupture: 19,020 lbf/in2 (131.2 MPa)
  • Elastic Modulus: 2,281,000 lbf/in2 (15.73 GPa)
  • Crushing Strength: 10,890 lbf/in2 (75.1 MPa)
  • Shrinkage: Radial: 3.9%, Tangential: 6.6%, Volumetric: 10.5%, T/R Ratio: 1.7
  • Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a very dark brown with black streaks. Upon application of a wood finish (particularly an oil-finish) the wood can become nearly black.
  • Grain/Texture: Has a straight grain and a coarse texture. Panga Panga also has very large pores that can present a challenge to fill if a perfectly smooth/leveled finish is desired.
  • Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large to very large pores in no specific arrangement, very few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; brown or yellow deposits occasionally present; medium rays not visible without lens, normal spacing; parenchyma winged, confluent, and banded (bands typically as wide as the pores).
  • Rot Resistance: Very durable, and resistant to termite attack.
  • Odor: Panga Panga has a faint, slightly bitter scent when being worked.
  • Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • Common Uses: Panga Panga and Wenge can both be dark enough to be used as substitutes for ebony.
  • Comments: Panga Panga is very similar in working properties and appearance to Wenge, and it’s not uncommon for the two species to be used and mixed interchangeably.

MONZO – “Combretum Imberbe”

Monzo

Common Name(s): Leadwood

Scientific Name: Combretum imberbe

Distribution: From South Africa north to Tanzania

Tree Size: 32-64 ft (10-20 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 76 lbs/ft3 (1220 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .96, 1.22

Janka Hardness: 3,570 lbf (15,880 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 20,960 lbf/in2 (144.5 MPa)*

Elastic Modulus: 2,494,000 lbf/in2 (17.20 GPa)*

Crushing Strength: 9,950 lbf/in2 (68.6 MPa)*

Shrinkage: Radial: 2.0%, Tangential: 4.7%, Volumetric: 6.8%, T/R Ratio: 2.4*

*Strength and shrinkage values are for the closely related Combretum schumannii

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a rich, reddish brown to dark brown; color darkens with age. Clearly demarcated sapwood is a pale yellow.

Grain/Texture: Knots and other grain irregularities are not uncommon. Fine uniform texture.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; sometimes exclusively solitary; large pores sometimes arranged in radial/diagonal patterns, very few; heartwood mineral/gum deposits common; parenchyma vasicentric and lozenge; narrow rays, spacing fairly close to close.

Rot Resistance: Reported to be very durable, with excellent insect resistance and weathering characteristics.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Common Uses: Carving, furniture, turned objects, and other small specialty items.

Comments: Smaller trees are used as fuelwood, as the wood burns slowly at high temperatures.

PAU FERRO “Swartzia madagaccarienis Desv”

Pau Ferro

Common Name(s): Pau Rosa

Scientific Name: Bobgunnia fistuloides, B. madagascariensis
(syn. Swartzia fistuloides, S. madagascariensis)

Distribution: Small clusters within African rainforests

Tree Size: 70-90 ft (21-27 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 64 lbs/ft3 (1,030 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .82, 1.03

Janka Hardness: 2,940 lbf (13,080 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 24,100 lbf/in2 (166.2 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,480,000 lbf/in2 (17.10 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 13,450 lbf/in2 (92.8 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.2%, Tangential: 6.0%, Volumetric: 10.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.4

Color/Appearance: Heartwood tends to vary in color from a pink or yellow to a darker reddish brown, with darker brown streaks common. White to pale yellow sapwood clearly demarcated from heartwood. Color tends to darken with age. Bobgunnia madagascariensis tends to be more on the reddish or orangish side, while B. fistuloides tends to be a more subdued brown.

Grain/Texture: Grain tends to be wavy or interlocked. Uniform medium to coarse texture, with a high natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large pores in no specific arrangement, few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; heartwood deposits common; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing fairly close; parenchyma unilateral, lozenge, winged, confluent, and banded.

Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable regarding decay resistance, and is also resistant to insect attack. Pau Rosa has good weathering characteristics in outdoor applications.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Common Uses: Veneer, carvings, furniture, turned objects, and other small, specialty wood items.

Comments: Formerly classified in the Swartzia genus along with Katalox and Wamara, Pau Rosa has since been placed into its own genus, Bobgunnia.

Pau Rosa is one of only a handful of woods that have the potential of being nearly rainbow-colored; its appearance is reminiscent of Tulipwood or Canarywood.

MISSANDA – TALI “Erythropleum suavoelens”

Missanda

Erythrophleum suaveolens is distributed from Senegal to Sudan and Kenya in the east and from there south to Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It has been introduced as an ornamental in tropical Asia.
Uses:
The bark, traded as ‘sassy-bark’, ‘mancona bark’ or ‘casca bark’ is used as emetic and purgative. The crushed bark is applied to swellings caused by Filaria. In DR Congo the dried powdered bark is taken as a snuff to cure headache. In Kenya a diluted decoction of the roots is used as an anthelminthic, especially against tapeworm. In Malawi a decoction of the roots and bark is applied to soothe general body pain. Pieces of root or bark are a protective and love charm. The bark has been used in arrow poisons and as ordeal poison and the bark and leaves as fish poison. The use as an anesthetic for fish in aquaculture is tricky as small differences in dosage will kill, rather than stupefy fish. In the Western world, bark extracts were used in the late 19th century to treat heart failure. Side effects and better results with digitoxine ended this practice.

Production:

The tree produces quite hard, heavy and durable wood, marketed as ‘alui’, ‘tali’, ‘erun’, ‘missanda’ or ‘sasswood’, which is suitable for joinery, flooring, railway sleepers, harbour and dock work, turnery, construction and bridges. It is also used for boat building and wheel hubs. The bark has been used in West Africa for tanning hides and skins; it is used in DR Congo to colour leather brown. Erythrophleum suaveolens is planted as an ornamental and avenue tree. In West Africa the powdered bark is mixed with the residue of palm oil processing, and after boiling it is mixed with seeds of maize, cowpea or cotton, which effectively reduces pest damage to the seeds. Dried leaves are mixed with stored grains and pulses to repel or kill storage insects. The use in agroforestry has been promoted: nitrogen fixation and the large amount of leaf litter are advantageous to intercrops.

SANDALO AFRICANO – Xilati – Dzanvori “Spirostachys Africana Sonder”

Sandalo

Common Name(s): Tambootie (variously spelled as: Tambuti, Tambotie, etc.), Sandalo

Scientific Name: Spirostachys africana

Distribution: Southern Africa

Tree Size: 30-50 ft (9-15 m) tall, 1-1.5 ft (30-46 cm) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 60 lbs/ft3 (955 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .81, .96

Janka Hardness: 2,480 lbf (11,010 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 14,890 lbf/in2 (102.7 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,487,000 lbf/in2 (9.08 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 8,920 lbf/in2 (61.5 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 2.8%, Tangential: 5.4%, Volumetric: 8.2%, T/R Ratio: 1.9

Color/Appearance: Color ranges from a golden brown to a darker reddish brown, often with black streaks throughout. Pale yellow sapwood sharply demarcated from heartwood. Occasionally figured pieces will be seen with subtle mottled grain patterns.

Grain/Texture: Tambootie has a straight grain (though occasionally it can be wavy) with a fine, even texture. Natural oils within the wood help give it a high natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous to numerous; commonly in radial multiples of 2-4; heartwood gum deposits occasionally present; narrow rays not visible even with hand lens, spacing close; parenchyma generally not visible with hand lens.

Rot Resistance: Tambootie heartwood is rated as being very durable, and is also resistant to insect attack.

Odor: Tambootie has a lingering scent that’s been described as sweet and pleasing, though it is also quite strong.

Common Uses: Carvings, furniture, turned objects, and other small, specialty wood items.

Comments: Tambootie is prized in Africa as a decorative hardwood, used for luxury furniture and other high end applications. It’s frequently used as a substitute for Sandalwood (which is a vague term that may encompass any number of aromatic wood species in Africa and Asia).

Tambootie is one of the few woods that ought to really be handled and worked with care, regardless of a person’s allergic resistance to other woods—its toxicity is well-known throughout its native range

PAU-ROSA – Patchini – Nake “Berchemia zeyheri”

Pau Rosa

Common Name(s): Pink Ivory, Red Ivorywood

Scientific Name: Berchemia zeyheri

Distribution: Southern Africa

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 65 lbs/ft3 (1,035 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .90, 1.04

Janka Hardness: 3,230 lbf (14,370 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 20,020 lbf/in2 (138.1 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,193,000 lbf/in2 (15.12 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 11,630 lbf/in2 (80.2 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.8%, Tangential: 7.2%, Volumetric: 12.1%, T/R Ratio: 1.5

Color/Appearance: Pink Ivory ranges in color from a pale brownish pink, to a bright, almost neon pink, to a deep red. Typically the most valuable pieces of Pink Ivory are a vibrant  pink. Pink Ivory can commonly be seen with a curly or fiddleback grain pattern, further enhancing its visual impact. Sapwood of Pink Ivory tends to be pale yellow to light brown, with a somewhat gradual demarcation from heartwood. Color changes in Pink Ivory (becoming faded or dull over time) can be problematic and are not fully understood.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to interlocked; fine, even texture with good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium pores in no specific arrangement, nuymerous; commonly in radial multiples of 2-4; gum/heartwood deposits common, though not easily seen with lens; growth rings may be distinct due to increased pore frequency in earlywood; narrow to medium rays visible without lens; parenchyma not visible with lens.

Rot Resistance: Rated as durable to very durable regarding decay resistance, Pink Ivory is said to have excellent weathering characteristics: though it is seldom used in applications where this would be an issue.

Workability: Pink Ivory has a pronounced blunting effect on cutting edges, and it’s fairly difficult to work in board form. Tearout can occur on figured or quartersawn sections during planing. Pink Ivory is much more common in applications involving carving or turning, and it turns and finishes well.

Odor: Pink Ivory has a distinct and somewhat unpleasant odor when being worked.

Common Uses: Carving, veneers, inlay, knife handles, billiard cues, chessmen, and other turned objects.

Comments: Pink Ivory trees are said to be both rare and valuable, and have been rumored to be “rarer than diamonds.” Other reports state that the tree is relatively common in some areas of South Africa—though large trees with straight, defect-free trunks are much more scarce. According to folklore, the tree is considered sacred to the Zulus in South Africa and is reserved for royalty.

CHANATE – MOPANE – Legumaxosae – Caesalpinoideae “Colophospermum mopane”

Chanate

  • Common Name(s): Mopane, Mopani
  • Scientific Name: Colophospermum mopane
  • Distribution: Southern Africa
  • Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter
  • Average Dried Weight: 67 lbs/ft3 (1,075 kg/m3)
  • Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .88, 1.08
  • Janka Hardness: 3,390 lbf (15,060 N)
  • Modulus of Rupture: 16,530 lbf/in2 (114.0 MPa)
  • Elastic Modulus: 1,917,000 lbf/in2 (13.22 GPa)
  • Crushing Strength: 10,190 lbf/in2 (70.3 MPa)
  • Shrinkage: Radial: 4.0%, Tangential: 5.2%, Volumetric: 9.3%, T/R Ratio: 1.3
  • Color/Appearance: Heartwood is medium to dark reddish brown, with black stripes. Color tends to darken with age. Well-defined sapwood is a pale yellow.
  • Grain/Texture: Grain is usually interlocked. Fine uniform texture with a moderate natural luster.
  • Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, few to moderately numerous; heartwood mineral/gum deposits common; parenchyma vasicentric, banded; narrow rays, spacing normal to fairly close.
  • Rot Resistance: Mopane is rated as very durable, and is also resistant to termites and powder post beetles.
  • Odor: No characteristic odor.
  • Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • Common Uses: Flooring, musical instruments (woodwind), turned objects, fuelwood/charcoal, furniture, inlay, and exterior construction.
  • Comments: Mopane is an often neglected and overlooked African hardwood, though its density and durability are virtually unrivaled. The wood is also said to have excellent acoustic properties, comparing similarly to African Blackwood—at a more economical price.

PAU- PRETO Eviko – Mpingo – Mico “Dalbergia melanoxylon”

Pau Preto

  • Common Name(s): African blackwood, mpingo (Swahili), grenadilla
  • Scientific Name: Dalbergia melanoxylon
  • Distribution: Dry savanna regions of central and southern Africa
  • Tree Size: 20-30 ft (6-9 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter
  • Average Dried Weight: 79 lbs/ft3 (1,270 kg/m3)
  • Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): 1.08, 1.27
  • Janka Hardness: 3,670 lbf (16,320 N)
  • Modulus of Rupture: 30,970 lbf/in2(213.6 MPa)
  • Elastic Modulus: 2,603,000 lbf/in2(17.95 GPa)
  • Crushing Strength: 10,570 lbf/in2(72.9 MPa)
  • Shrinkage: Radial: 2.9%, Tangential: 4.8%,
  • Volumetric: 7.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.7
  • Color/Appearance: Often completely black, with little or no discernible grain. Occasionally slightly lighter, with a dark brown or purplish hue. The pale yellow sapwood is usually very thin, and is clearly demarcated from the darker heartwood.
  • Grain/Texture: Grain is typically straight; fine, even
  • texture and good natural luster.
  • Rot Resistance: Heartwood is rated as very durable in regards to decay resistance, though only moderately resistant to insects/borers. The lighter colored sapwood is commonly attacked by powder-post beetles and other borers.
  • Odor: African blackwood has a mild—though distinctive—scent while being worked.
  • Common Uses: Musical instruments (guitars, clarinets, oboes, etc.), inlay, carving, tool handles, and other turned objects.
  • Comments: To be considered the original ebony, African Blackwood was imported and used in Ancient Egypt thousands of years ago. Even the name “ebony” has an Egyptian derivation as “hbny”—which has been shown to refer to primarily to Dalbergia melanoxylon, rather than the species which are considered to be ebony today: such as those in the Diospyros genus. In addition, African blackwood is technically in the Rosewood genus (Dalbergia), and is more stable and resistant to movement and warping than other types of ebony.
  • African blackwood is considered to be among the hardest and densest of woods in the world; indeed, among some 285 species tested, (including Lignum Vitae), Gabriel Janka originally found African Blackwood to be the very hardest. Unfortunately, many online sources list African blackwood’s Janka hardness at only ~1700lbf—which seems very unlikely given its confirmed specific gravity.