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EXOTIC HARDWOODS

Exotic hardwoods are a thing of beauty! They provide a touch of class and add elegance to the environment. Some of the most popular examples, like Teak and Purpleheart, have been in demand for centuries for their durability and allure. As they are not grown locally, sourcing top-quality hardwoods legally and ethically has become a top priority for importers in the United States and Canada.

Our decade-long experience in procuring the best exotic timbers like African Mahogany, Caribbean Walnut, Padauk, etc., has given us an edge. At Tropical Forest Products, we only provide our customers with the best hardwood timber the world has to offer. With slabs of all ranges of over 20 exotic hardwood species, we house a large selection of lumber that is sustainably sourced and FSC certified.

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Zebra Wood

ZEBRA WOOD

Zebrano (scientific name: Microberliniabrazzavillensis)

Zebra Wood, also called Zebrano (scientific name: Microberliniabrazzavillensis), has a heartwood of light brown to cream color with dark black-brown streaks, which resemble a zebra’s stripes. Its texture is coarse and open pores, and grain is generally wavy or interlocked.

Quarter cut/sawn lumber has mostly uniform stripes. Flat cut/sawn lumber has wavy stripes.

Commonly found in:

west Africa

Janka Hardness:

8,160 N(1,830 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

805 kg/m3(50 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

It is good for sawing but very difficult to plane or surface because of interlocking grain. Tear-out is also common. It is good with glues and finishes well. A pore filter may be required to resolve large open pores on light and dark surfaces.

SUSTAINABILITY:

Zebrawood is listed in the IUCN’s Red List as ‘vulnerable’ because of a one-fifth decrease in its population in just the last 3 generations brought about by human exploitation and a natural decline in its range. It is, however, not listed in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY:

This type of wood is quite expensive, however, it still pales in comparison to the eye-watering prices of Ebony wood and Rosewood.

COMMON USES:

Quarter-sawn Zebrawood is often used as veneer whereas Zebrawood is normally used for manufacturing boats, furniture, skis, and tool handles.

SUSTAINABILITY

Zebrawood is listed in the IUCN’s Red List as ‘vulnerable’ because of a one-fifth decrease in its population in just the last 3 generations brought about by human exploitation and a natural decline in its range. It is, however, not listed in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

This type of wood is quite expensive, however, it still pales in comparison to the eye-watering prices of Ebony wood and Rosewood.

COMMON USES

Quarter-sawn Zebrawood is often used as veneer whereas Zebrawood is normally used for manufacturing boats, furniture, skis, and tool handles.

Lace Wood

LACE WOOD

Lace Wood, also called Brazilian Lacewood and South American Lacewood (scientific name: Panopsisrubescens and P. sessilifolia), has a heartwood of red-brown color with pale brown rays. There is obvious flecking, which gives the wood its name.Its texture is coarse and uneven, and grain is generally straight.

When quarter cut/sawn a lace pattern is seen. Flecks are largest when quarter cut because of wide medullary rays.

commonly found in:

tropical South America

Janka Hardness:

3,740 N(840 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

580 kg/m3(36.2 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Fairly easy to work with hand tools and machine tools. It is good with glues and stains and finishes well. Prone to tear-out during planing. Certain species of wood also have a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges.

SUSTAINABILITY

It is not mentioned on the IUCN’s Red List and in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

For imported variants of lacewood, the prices are usually moderate-high but it largely depends on the particular species of lacewood in question.

COMMON USES

It is generally used for cabinetry and veneer, with premium variants of lacewood also being used to manufacture refined furniture and high-end musical instruments.

Afromosia

AFROMOSIA

Afromosia, also called Afrormosia and African Teak (scientific name: Pericopsiselata), has a heartwood of yellow-brown color, sometimes with a red or olive hue. Sapwood is narrow, pale yellow in color and clearly distinguishable from the heartwood. Its texture is even, luster is good and grain is usually straight but can be interlocked.

commonly found in:

west Africa

Janka Hardness:

6,980 N(1,570 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

725 kg/m3(45 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Good results can be achieved with either hand tools or machine tools. It turns well, is good with glues and stains, and finishes well. Boards with interlocking grain can suffer tear-out while surfacing. Cutting tools will become slightly blunt. Dark stains will develop if in contact with iron in damp conditions.

SUSTAINABILITY

This wood type has made its way onto the CITES Appendix II as well as the IUCN’s Red List after losing more than half of its population in just the last 3 generations; with some of the loss being down to the natural decline of its species and some of it being down to human exploitation.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

This wood is imported from Africa and therefore its sale is highly regulated and its prices are usually in the medium-high price range. It is generally available as a type of lumber in standard sizes.

COMMON USES

Ideally used for furniture, veneer and flooring purposes but there are certain instances of it being used for boat-building too.

Aniegre

ANIEGRE

Aniegre, also called Anigre, Anegre and Aningeria(scientific name: Pouteriaspp.;previouslyAningeria genus), has a heartwood of yellow-brown color, occasionally with a pink hue. Sapwood is pale,not distinguishable, and contains figured curly or mottled grain. Its texture is medium, luster is good and grain is interlocked.

commonly found in:

Africa, mostly tropical east Africa

Janka Hardness:

4,380 N(990 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

550 kg/m3(34 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Reasonable to work with hand tools and machine tools, though difficulty can vary with species. Lumber containing silica will blunt cutting tools.

SUSTAINABILITY

The IUCN considers certain species of this wood to be ‘conservation dependent’. If any of the ongoing programs dedicated to safeguarding this wood’s population are officially stopped, then Anigre would be added to their ‘Red List for Threatened Species’. Anigre is not mentioned in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

Even though it is considered as exotic wood and is generally imported, Anigre is still reasonably priced. It is usually in lesser volume as veneer, but larger, solid boards made out of the material are also available in certain areas.

COMMON USES

As mentioned earlier, it is used as a veneer, as plywood, and for furniture products. Anigre boards are used for low-duty construction needs, everyday carpentry, and in building boats.

Blood Wood

BLOOD WOOD

Blood Wood, also called Satine(scientific name: Brosimumrubescensand B. paraense), has a heartwood of bright red color. Sapwood is pale yellow in color and is well defined. Its texture is fine, luster is good and grain is straight or somewhat interlocked.

commonly found in:

tropical South America

Janka Hardness:

12,900 N(2,900 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

1,050 kg/m3(66 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Very high density has a significant blunting effect on cutting tools. Wood is usually brittle and prone to easy splintering while being worked on. Lustrous red surface is revealed after finishing stage.

SUSTAINABILITY

It is not mentioned on the IUCN’s Red List and in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

This type of wood is widely renowned for its bold crimson-red color, but most variants only have a dull reddish-brown appearance. It is readily available in the form of wide boards and blanks. It is generally priced in the medium to medium-high price band.

COMMON USES

Owing to its naturally premium look, it is generally used for fine and intricate wood-work such as for carvings, in furniture, for knife handles, for guitars, in indoor trims, and other turned items.

Bubinga

BUBINGA

Bubinga, also called Kevazingo(scientific name: Guibourtiademeusei, G. pellegriniana and G. tessmannii), has a heartwood of pink-red to dark-red brown, with purple/black streaks. Sapwood is of pale straw and is distinguishable from heartwood. Its texture is fine to medium, luster is moderate and grain is straight to interlocked. The figure can vary, including pommel, flamed, waterfall, quilted, mother and others.

commonly found in:

equatorial Africa

Janka Hardness:

10,720 N(2,410 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

890 kg/m3(56 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

It is generally easy to work in all aspects. It turns and finishes well. Gluing can be difficult due to high density and natural oil content. Lumber with silica content can cause dulling of cutting tools. Can be prone to tear-out during machining if grain is interlock or figured.

SUSTAINABILITY

It has indirectly made its way onto the CITES Appendix II since the three Guibourtia species that yield this wood type are on it and also because the CITES Appendix II includes finished wooden products too.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

Bubinga’s figured grain patterns like pommel and waterfall are costly but its other variants are relatively affordable, considering that it is an imported wood.

COMMON USES

It is a fairly versatile material with it being used in the manufacture of tables, cabins, premium furniture, interior accents, in veneer, in turned wooden items, and other specialty wooden objects.

Caribbean Walnut

CARIBBEAN WALNUT

Caribbean Walnut, also called Tzalam, Sabicu and False Tamarind (scientific name: Lysilomabahamense and L. latisiliquum), has a heartwood of light to medium brown color, occasionally with a purple or red hue, and dark brown streaks are common. Sapwood is pale grey-white and distinguishable from the heartwood. Its texture is open and uniform, luster is medium and grain is straight.

commonly found in:

Central America and Mexico

Janka Hardness:

6,230 N(1,400 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

780 kg/m3(49 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Natural properties make it good for working on. Lumber can have a blunting effect on cutting tools. It is good with glues, turns and finishes well. It can take a high natural polish.

SUSTAINABILITY

It is not mentioned on the IUCN’s Red List and in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

It is a moderately priced exotic wood, imported from tropical regions such as the Caribbean Islands, from where it derives its name. However, its curly grained boards and figured woods are generally expensive.

COMMON USES

It is used for small specialty wooden objects but it also has other uses such as in crafting furniture, for flooring, veneer, in interior trims, and turned items.

Cumaru

CUMARU

Cumaru, also called Brazilian Teak (scientific name: Dipteryxodorata), has a heartwood of medium to dark brown color, with a red or purple hue. Some pieces of wood can have streaks of green-brown or yellow. Its texture is medium, has a waxy feel and grain is interlocked.

commonly found in:

central and northern South America

Janka Hardness:

14,800 N(3,330 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

1,085 kg/m3(68 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Density and interlocked grain make it harder to work with. Lumber with less interlocked grain can be surface planed to a smooth finish. Expect moderate blunting effect on cutting tools if lumber contains silica. High oil content and density make gluing difficult. Before nailing or screwing, pre-boring is required.

SUSTAINABILITY

It is not mentioned on the IUCN’s Red List and in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

Renowned for its lumber’s high tensile strength and hardness, Cumaru is a cheap exotic wood, especially when it is considered that it is imported.

COMMON USES

Preferred for heavy construction, ship docks, and railroad ties, due to its durability and affordability; it is also widely used to make furniture, cabinetry, tool handles, and flooring purposes.

Iroko

IROKO

Iroko(scientific name: Miliciaexcelsa, M. regia; synonyms Chlorophoraexcelsa, C. regia), has a heartwood of yellow to golden/brown color. Sapwood is pale yellow and distinguishable from the heartwood. Its texture is medium to coarse, has open pores and grain is interlocked.

commonly found in:

tropical Africa

Janka Hardness:

5,610 N(1,260 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

660 kg/m3(41 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Mostly easy to work with, though interlocked grain makes it prone to some tear-out during surfacing. If calcium carbonate deposits are present, they will have a significant dulling effect on cutters. It is good with glue and finishes well.

SUSTAINABILITY

Iroko is listed in the IUCN’s Red List since it has lost a fifth of its population in the last 3 generations due to human exploitation coupled with a natural decline in its range.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

Iroko is a moderately priced imported wood that is popularly available in the form of veneers.

COMMON USES

Primarily used as a veneer, it is also used for cabinetry, furniture, flooring, to build boats, and to make small specialty wooden objects.

Jatoba

JATOBA

Jatoba, also called Brazilian Cherry (scientific name: Hymenaeacourbaril), has a heartwood of light orange-brown to red-brown color. Sapwood is light gray-yellow and is distinguishable from the heartwood. Its texture is medium to coarse, luster is good and grain is generally interlocked.

commonly found in:

Central America, South America and the West Indies

Janka Hardness:

11,950 N(2,690 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

910 kg/m3(57 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Density and interlocked grain make it harder to work with. Lumber with less interlocked grain can be surface planed to a smooth finish. Interlocked grain makes it prone to tear-out while planing. Expect a moderate blunting effect on cutting tools. Responds well to steam bending. It is good with glues and stains and finishes well.

SUSTAINABILITY

IUCN considers it to be a species of least concern and there is no mention of it on the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

Jatoba is considered inexpensive imported lumber, and in addition to that, it is also available in a wide variety of sizes, widths, and thicknesses making it a popular choice.

COMMON USES

It’s used in a wide variety of items ranging from its extensive usage in the building of boats and ships, furniture, cabinetry, railroad ties, and also in turned and small specialty wooden objects.

Keruing Truck Flooring

KERUING (TRUCK FLOORING)

Keruing, also called Apitong (scientific name: Dipterocarpusspp.), has a heartwood of light-medium yellow-brown to red-brown color. Its texture is medium to coarse, luster is moderate and grain is generally straight or slightly interlocked.

commonly found in:

Southeast Asia

Janka Hardness:

6,170 N(1,390 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

745 kg/m3(46 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Good results can be achieved with either hand tools or machine tools. Lumber pieces containing silica can dull cutting tools. Resin from the wood can build up on tools and make finishing difficult. A large movement in service.

SUSTAINABILITY

It is listed as a critically endangered species by the IUCN since it has lost more than 80% of its population in the last three generations due to a combination of factors such as human exploitation and a natural decline in its range. It is, however, not listed in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

Keruing wood is not found too commonly in domestic markets with it generally being available in the form of lumber and flooring planks. It is a moderately priced wood type, especially considering that it is imported.

COMMON USES

Used mostly for flooring purposes, it is often also used for flooring purposes, to build decks of trailers, and as utility lumber.

Padauk

PADAUK

Padauk, also called African Padauk and Vermillion (scientific name: Pterocarpussoyauxii), has a heartwood of pale pink-orange to brown-red color. Its texture is coarse and open, luster is good and grain is straight but can be interlocked.

commonly found in:

central and tropical west Africa

Janka Hardness:

8,760 N(1,970 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

745 kg/m3(47 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Easy to work with hand and machine tools. It turns well, is good with glues, and finishes well. On quarter cut/sawn or interlocked grain, tear-out can occur during planning.

SUSTAINABILITY

It is not mentioned on the IUCN’s Red List and in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

It is a reasonably priced, popular imported lumber that is usually imported in different sizes and thicknesses as well as craft blanks.

COMMON USES

It has a wide array of applications since it is used for portable items such as musical instruments, hardware tools, turned wooden items, small specialty wooden items as well as for larger tasks such as furniture, veneers, and flooring.

Yellow Heart

YELLOW HEART

Pau Amarello (scientific name: Euxylophoraparaensis)

Yellow Heart, also called Pau Amarello (scientific name: Euxylophoraparaensis), has a heartwood of pale to golden yellow color, which darkens with age. Sapwood is white or pale yellow. Its texture is fine, luster is high and grain is generally straight through with some waviness or interlocking.

Commonly found in:

Brazil

Janka Hardness:

7,950 N(1,790 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

825 kg/m3(52 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Easy to work with hand tools and machine tools, but can be difficult if the grain is interlocked or figured. It is good with glues and finishes well. It has a moderate blunting effect on cutting tools.

SUSTAINABILITY:

It is not mentioned on the IUCN’s Red List and in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY:

It is an extremely affordable imported exotic wood which is usually adequately available in domestic markets; as it is imported frequently from Brazil, where it is of tremendous financial and agricultural significance.

COMMON USES:

It is a versatile material and is used for flooring, in furniture and boat manufacturing procedures but also sophisticated turned items and interior accents.

SUSTAINABILITY

It is not mentioned on the IUCN’s Red List and in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

It is an extremely affordable imported exotic wood which is usually adequately available in domestic markets; as it is imported frequently from Brazil, where it is of tremendous financial and agricultural significance.

COMMON USES

It is a versatile material and is used for flooring, in furniture and boat manufacturing procedures but also sophisticated turned items and interior accents.

Makore

MAKORE

Makore(scientific name: Tieghemellaheckelii and T. Africana), has a heartwood of pink to red-brown color, with streaking color variation. Sapwood is somewhat yellow, about 3 inches wide, and is distinguishable from the heartwood. Its texture is fine and even, luster is good and grain is usually straight, although can be wavy or interlocked.

commonly found in:

western and central Africa

Janka Hardness:

5,350 N(1,200 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

685 kg/m3(43 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

It is generally easy to work with. Interlocked grain can cause tear-out during machining and planning. High silica content means it has a significant blunting effect on cutting tools. It is good with glues and turns and finishes well. Direct contact with iron can cause discoloration and staining.

SUSTAINABILITY

It is listed as ‘endangered’ in the IUCN’s Red List after losing more than half of its population in just the last 3 generations; with some of the loss being down to the natural decline of its species and some of it is down to human exploitation. It is, however, not mentioned in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

It is a moderately priced imported wood that is adequately available in the forms of veneer and lumber. However, the figured grain patterned variants of Makore in both veneer and board forms are quite expensive.

COMMON USES

It has a wide range of applications since it is used in building boats, furniture, cabinetry, veneer, as plywood, in musical instruments; even in turned items and small specialty wooden objects.

Purpleheart

PURPLEHEART

Purpleheart, also called Amaranth (scientific name: Peltogynespp.), has a heartwood of gray-purple brown color. Its texture is even, luster is moderate and grain is straight, sometimes wavy or irregular.

commonly found in:

Central and South America

Janka Hardness:

11,190 N(2,520 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

905 kg/m3(56 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Dull cutting tools can heat wood and make it exude a gummy resin. This can clog tools and make machining difficult. Avoid using sharp cutting tools. Grain orientation also makes it prone to tear-out during planning. It has a moderate dulling effect on cutting tools.

SUSTAINABILITY

It is not mentioned on the IUCN’s Red List and in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

It is a relatively inexpensive wood type considering that it is imported. It is readily available as lumber in a vast variety of shapes and sizes based on varying widths and thicknesses.

COMMON USES

As it is an exotic wood, it is often used in making accent pieces as well as specialty wooden objects but its application extends to heavy-duty objects such as furniture, in heavy construction, in manufacturing boats, and for flooring purposes.

Red Grandis

RED GRANDIS

Red Grandis, also called Flooded Gum and Rose Gum(scientific name: Eucalyptus Grandis), has a heartwood of pink to red-brown color. Sapwood is paler in color and not always clearly distinguishable from the heartwood. Its texture is medium to coarse, and grain is straight to shallow interlocked.

commonly found in:

eastern Australia

Janka Hardness:

5,600 N(1,260 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

640 kg/m3(40 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Reasonably easy to work with hand tools and machine tools. It is good with glue and stains and finishes well. It experiences large shrinkage during drying and large movement in service.

SUSTAINABILITY

It is not mentioned on the IUCN’s Red List and in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

This moderately-priced imported hardwood type is only occasionally imported into North America but when it is available, it is usually available in several sizes and thicknesses and is generally available as boards.

COMMON USES

It has several generic uses such as in flooring, in furniture, in the manufacture of boats as well as for millwork.

Santos Mahogany

SANTOS MAHOGANY

Santos Mahogany, also called Cabreuva (scientific name: Myroxylonbalsamum), has a heartwood that can be light golden-brown, burgundy, or dark purple-red. Quarter cut/sawn sections may have a ribbon/striped pattern. Its texture is moderate to fine, luster is good and grain is generally interlocked.

commonly found in:

Central and South America and southern Mexico

Janka Hardness:

10,680 N(2,400 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

915 kg/m3(57 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

High density and interlocked grain make it fair-to-poor to work on. It finishes well but gluing and staining can be difficult. It has a significant blunting effect on cutting tools.

SUSTAINABILITY

It is not mentioned on the IUCN’s Red List and in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

It’s generally available in markets as a medium-priced imported lumber ideal for flooring purposes.

COMMON USES

It is usually a popular choice for flooring purposes, but the material is versatile enough to be used both for heavy outdoor construction purposes and for decorative purposes such as in interior trims.

Sipo

SIPO

Sipo, also called Sipo Mahogany (scientific name: Entandrophragmautile), has a heartwood of moderate red-brown color. Sapwood is pale yellow and well defined. Its texture is medium, luster is moderate and grain is interlocked.

commonly found in:

west and central Africa

Janka Hardness:

5,260 N(1,180 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

635 kg/m3(40 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

It is good with glues and turns and finishes well. Tear-out due to interlocked grain can make some machining operations such as planning and routing difficult. Direct contact with iron can cause discoloration and staining.

SUSTAINABILITY

Sipo is listed as ‘vulnerable’ in the IUCN’s Red List mainly because of a one-fifth decrease in its population in just the last 3 generations, brought about by human exploitation and a natural decline in its range. It is, however, not listed in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

It is a moderately priced hardwood considering that it is imported but it is not a readily available product in the domestic markets, at all times.

COMMON USES

It is used in a variety of products such as in furniture, in the manufacture of boats, in flooring, as veneer as well as in the manufacture of turned wooden items.

Spanish Cedar

SPANISH CEDAR

Spanish Cedar, also called Cedro(scientific name: Cedrelaodorata), has a heartwood of light pink to red-brown color. Pockets of natural oils and gum are to be expected. Its texture is medium, luster is moderate and grain is straight or slightly interlocked.

commonly found in:

Central and South America and the Caribbean

Janka Hardness:

2,670 N(600 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

470 kg/m3(29 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Easy to work with hand tools and machine tools. Softness and low density can cause fuzzy surface during machining. For a smooth surface use sharp cutters and additional fine-grit sanding. Finishing is difficult as natural pockets of gum remain wet or ooze, causing cutting blades to gum up and clog.

SUSTAINABILITY

This wood type has made its way onto the CITES Appendix III as well as the IUCN’s Red List, wherein it is labeled as ‘vulnerable’ as it has lost a fifth of its population in just the last 3 generations; with some of the loss being down to the natural decline of its species and some of it is down to human exploitation.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

Spanish Cedar is usually available in sufficient quantities in the markets as a low to medium-priced imported lumber with its thinner variants of lumber (1/4’’ in particular) being used extensively in small liners and similar small crafts.

COMMON USES

It is largely used in the manufacturing process of boats and ships, with it also being utilized as plywood, in the manufacture of musical instruments, in veneer, and cabinetry.

Teak

TEAK

Teak, also called Burmese Teak (scientific name: Tectonagrandis), has a heartwood of golden or medium brown color. Its texture is coarse and uneven, luster is moderate to low and grain is straight but can be interlocked or wavy.

commonly found in:

south Asia

Janka Hardness:

4,740 N(1,070 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

655 kg/m3(41 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Easy to work within almost all regards, but a high level of silica (up to 1.4%) has a significant blunting effect on cutting tools. It is good with glues and finishes well, though may require wiping the surface with a solvent to reduce the natural oils on the surface.

SUSTAINABILITY

Since it is available amply throughout the world, it is not under immediate threat and is therefore not mentioned in the CITES Appendices and on the IUCN’s Red List.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

Teak is a type of wood that has consistently remained quite expensive despite being produced on a worldwide scale. It belongs to select a category of lumbers that are extremely expensive and yet available in large sizes; since most premium woods are only available in small sizes or are priced quite steeply on because of the figure of the wood’s grain.

COMMON USES

It is used in large-scale products such as boats, in construction projects, for carving, and also in small-scale products such as small wooden items.

Sapele

SAPELE

Sapele, also called Sapelli and Sapeli(scientific name: Entandrophragmacylindricum), has a heartwood of golden to dark red-brown. Its texture is fine and uniform, luster is good and grain is interlocked, occasionally wavy.

Quarter cut/sawn wood shows a common ribbon pattern. Other grain patterns that can be seen are pommelS, quilted, mottled, wavy, beeswing, and fiddleback.

commonly found in:

tropical Africa

Janka Hardness:

6,280 N(1,410 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

670 kg/m3(42 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Interlocked grain makes it difficult to work within machining operations such as planning and routing, and makes it prone to tear-out. It has a slight blunting effect on cutting tools. Direct contact with the iron causes discoloration and staining. It is good with glues and finishes well.

SUSTAINABILITY

Sapele is listed in the IUCN’s Red List as ‘vulnerable’ because of a one-fifth decrease in its population in just the last 3 generations brought about by human exploitation and a natural decline in its range. It is, however, not listed in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

While veneer and figured lumber made out of Sapele’s premium variants such as pommel Sapele and quilted Sapele are often very costly, its quarter-sawn and plain-sawn variants are relatively reasonably priced.

COMMON USES

As it a moderate to expensive ranging exotic wood, Sapele has both common and premium applications; ranging from its use in the manufacture of boats, furniture, cabinetry, veneer, as plywood and the manufacture of finer objects such as musical instruments and fine specialty wooden objects.

Tiger Wood

TIGERWOOD

Tiger Wood, also called Tigerwood, Goncalo Alves, and Jobillo(scientific name: Astroniumgraveolens and A. fraxinifolium), has a heartwood of reddish-brown color, with irregular streaks of black/dark brown. Its texture is fine and uniform, luster is good and grain is usually interlocked or wavy (sometimes straight).

commonly found in:

Mexico and southwards to Brazil

Janka Hardness:

9,640 N(2,170 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

905 kg/m3(57 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Not particularly difficult to work with despite high density. Lumber with irregular and figured grain can make machining and planing difficult. It has a moderate blunting effect on cutting tools. It is difficult to glue because of resistance to moisture absorption. It turns and finishes well.

SUSTAINABILITY

It is not mentioned on the IUCN’s Red List and in the CITES Appendices.

PRICING/ AVAILABILITY

It is a versatile and moderately priced imported wood that is readily available in a wide array of sizes, lengths, and types; it is available as lumber, small craft blanks, and veneer.

COMMON USES

It has several applications with some of the important ones being in veneers, cabinetry, furniture, flooring, and in turned items. It is especially used in crafting specialty wooden items like archery bows and pool cues.

Wenge

WENGE

Wenge (scientific name: Millettialaurentii)

Wenge(scientific name: Millettialaurentii), has a heartwood of medium brown color, occasionally with a red or yellow hue, and almost black streaks. Its texture is very coarse, and grain is straight.

commonly found in:

central Africa

Janka Hardness:

8,600 N(1,930 lbf)

Average Dried Weight:

870 kg/m3(54 lbs/ft3)

Workability:

Difficult to work with hand tools and machine tools, with a significant blunting effect on cutting tools. Difference in density between light and dark areas makes sanding uneven. Propensity to splinter makes it hazardous to work with bare hands. For a smooth or level finish, large pores must be filled.

SUSTAINABILITY:

This wood type has made its way on the IUCN’s Red List after losing more than half of its population in just the last 3 generations; with some of the loss being down to