Wood Species

Common Name(s): Angelim amargoso, angelim, fava, fava-amarela, fava-amargosa, faveira, faveira-amarela, faveira-bolacha, faveira-de-impigem, faveira-grande-do-igapó.

Scientific Name: Vatairea sp., Leguminosae.

Distribution: Primarily Brazil and Belize, Guatemala, Guiana, Honduras, México, Panamá, Suriname.

Tree Size: 100-200 ft (30-60 m) tall,

                 3-6 ft (1-1.8 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 58 lbs/ft3 (936 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): 0.79, 1.07

Janka Hardness: 1,532 lbf (6,816 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 21,465 lbf/in2 (148.5 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,948,582 lbf/in2 (13,435 MPa)

Crushing Strength: 12,450 lbf/in2 (85.9 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.8%, Tangential: 9.8%,

                  Volumetric: 14.0%, T/R Ratio: 2.0

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is yellowish brown, sometimes with colored streaks; slightly paler sapwood isn’t always clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Freshly sawn surfaces can have a lighter olive hue, with color darkening to a deeper reddish-brown with age.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually interlocked, with a uniform, medium-coarse texture. Moderate natural luster.

Rot Resistance: Rated as durable to very durable, with good resistance to insect attack.

Workability: Considered to be difficult to work on account of its density and irregular grain. The wood also has a high cutting resistance with a pronounced blunting effect on cutters.

Odor: Has a pungent, unpleasant odor when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Angelim vermelho has been reported to cause unspecified allergic reactions.

Pricing/Availability: Not commonly offered for sale in North America. The wood is sometimes sold as decking or for other outdoor timber applications. Given the immense size of the tree, prices are likely to be reasonable for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Construction, 

Comments: Angelim amargoso is yet another example of a very strong and dense tropical hardwood coming from South America. Like most of these hard tropical exotics, it can be a challenge to work, but its durability may be justification to bear with such an uncooperative wood. Additionally, it has quite an offensive odor while it is being worked — and the scent is present both in the green wood and in dried wood.

The phrase “amargoso” in its common name is the Portuguese designation meaning “bitter;” the wood is also sold or listed as Angelim amargoso


Angelim Amargoso Radial

Angelim Amargoso Tangencial

Common Name(s): Angelim vermelho, Angelim pedra

Scientific Name: Dinizia excelsa

Distribution: Primarily Brazil and Guyana in South America

Tree Size: 100-200 ft (30-60 m) tall,

                 3-6 ft (1-1.8 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 67 lbs/ft3 (1070 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): 0.79, 1.07

Janka Hardness: 3,160 lbf (14,050 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 22,550 lbf/in2 (156 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,811,000 lbf/in2 (19.39 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 12,450 lbf/in2 (85.9 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 5.4%, Tangential: 8.8%,

                  Volumetric: 14.3%, T/R Ratio: 1.6

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is reddish brown, sometimes with colored streaks; slightly paler sapwood isn’t always clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Freshly sawn surfaces can have a lighter olive hue, with color darkening to a deeper reddish brown with age.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually interlocked, with a uniform, medium-coarse texture. Moderate natural luster.

Rot Resistance: Rated as durable to very durable, with good resistance to insect attack.

Workability: Considered to be difficult to work on account of its density and irregular grain. The wood also has a high cutting resistance with a pronounced blunting effect on cutters.

Odor: Has a pungent, unpleasant odor when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Angelim vermelho has been reported to cause unspecified allergic reactions.

Pricing/Availability: Not commonly offered for sale in North America. The wood is sometimes sold as decking or for other outdoor timber applications. Given the immense size of the tree, prices are likely to be reasonable for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Heavy construction (exterior applications), flooring, decking, boatbuilding, docks, and other applications where its strength and rot resistance can be utilized.

Comments: Angelim vermelho is yet another example of a very strong and dense tropical hardwood coming from South America. Like most of these hard tropical exotics, it can be a challenge to work, but its durability may be justification to bear with such an uncooperative wood. Additionally, it has quite an offensive odor while it is being worked — and the scent is present both in the green wood and in dried wood.

The phrase “vermelho” in its common name is the Portuguese designation meaning “red;” the wood is also sold or listed as Angelim pedra (pedra means “stone” in Portuguese), though this common name is more commonly applied to timber coming from the Hymenolobium genus.


Angelim  Pedra Tangencial

Angelim Pedra Radial

Common Name(s): Canelão(Brazil), Palo san antonio; Canelon; Boisarrade; Badula; Canelón (Bolivia); Yuruma (Bolivia)

Scientific Name: Rapanea

Distribution: South America(Brazil e Bolivia)in subtropical rain forest; 

Tree Size: 54-65 ft (15-20 m) tall, 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 35 lbs/ft3 (560 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): 0.61

Janka Hardness: 925.94 lbf (4,118 N)

Shrinkage: Radial: 3.7%, Tangential: 8.6%, Volumetric: 12.5%, T/R Ratio: 2.33

Color/Appearance: The sapwood and hardwood are not differentiated, the wood is whitish brown color, with dark pink streaks

Grain/Texture: The grain is typically straight. This species is usually reported to have a coarse texture.

Rot Resistance: This species is reported to have medium natural durability. It is highly permeable and it presents good absorption of preservatives.

Workability: Sawing of this species is reported to be rather easy. It is easy to machine. Planing is reported to be easy. Boring operations are rather easy. This species has a regular finishing because of its coarse grain.

Odor: There is no distinctive odor or taste.

Allergies/Toxicity: No information available.

Pricing/Availability: Primarily sold as rough sawn lumber. Prices are moderate to low for an imported tropical species.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 

Common Uses: Housing general, frames, shutter boards, Packing, moldings

Comments: 

Common Name(s): bruteiro, cachimbo-de-jabuti, cambará, cambará-rosa, cedrilho, jaboti, jaboti-da-terra-firme, quaruba-vermelha, quarubarana, quarubatinga, verga-de-jabuti

Scientific Name: Erisma uncinatum Warm, Vochysiaceae.

Distribution: South America; 

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 37 lbs/ft3 (590 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): 0.46, 0.55

Janka Hardness: 864.16 lbf (3,844 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 11,632 lbf/in2 (80.2 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,507,667 lbf/in2 (10,395 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 6,120 lbf/in2 (42.2MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 3.3%, Tangential: 7.5%, Volumetric: 12.5%, T/R Ratio: 2.33

Color/Appearance:The heartwood is pale pink brown to purplish brown or light reddish-brown. The sapwood is grayish white, and is distinct from the heartwood.

Grain/Texture: The grain is typically straight. Texture is typically medium to coarse.

Rot Resistance:The timber is reported to have good resistance to attack by decay-causing fungi and dry-wood insects. Its resistance to attack by termites is rated as poor. Resistance to Impregnation. Response to preservative treatment is reported to vary from moderate to poor.

Workability:Cutting Resistance
The timber is reported to be easy to saw. Internal growth stresses may be present.
The wood exerts slight blunting effect on cutters.The material is reported to be slightly abrasive, but it responds well to planing and other machining operations. Worked surfaces tend to be fuzzy.,Gluing properties are reported to be generally good. Nail holding characteristics are rated as good. Sanding properties are reported to be good.The wood is reported to take a good polish.

Odor: There is no distinctive odor or taste.

Allergies/Toxicity: No information available.

Pricing/Availability: Primarily sold as rough sawn lumber, siding, beans and boards S4S for furniture industry . Prices are moderate to low for an imported tropical species.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 

Common Uses: Bedroom suites, Boat building, Boxes and crates, Cabinetmaking, Chairs, Chests, Concrete formwork, Decorative plywood, Desks, Fine furniture, Furniture , Joinery, Living-room suites, Moldings, Office furniture, Packing cases, Plywood, Rustic furniture, Shipbuilding, Tables , Utility furniture, Wardrobes.

Comments: 

Common Name(s): cedrarana, cedro-branco, cedroarana, cedromara, cedrorama, taperibá-açu, tornillo 

Scientific Name: Cedrelinga catenaeformis

Distribution: Tropical South America

Tree Size: 65-115 ft (20-35 m) tall, 3-6 ft (1-1.9 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 35 lbs/ft3 (555 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .47, .55

Janka Hardness: 950 lbf (4,230 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 9,870 lbf/in2 (68.1 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,574,000 lbf/in2 (10.86 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 5,950 lbf/in2 (41.1 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 3.8%, Tangential: 6.9%, Volumetric: 12.6%, T/R Ratio: 1.8


Color/Appearance: Heartwood is light to a golden brown. Very large, open pores also give a pronounced veined look to face grain surfaces. Sapwood isn’t often seen, and the paler color gradually transitions into the darker heartwood.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to slightly interlocked. Coarse, uniform texture with a moderate natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; very large pores in no specific arrangement, very few; reddish-brown mineral/gum deposits common; parenchyma vasicentric; narrow rays, spacing normal to fairly close.

Rot Resistance: Rated as moderately durable; poor insect resistance.

Workability: Easy to work with hand or machine tools, yet due to it’s low density and interlocked grain, fuzzy surfaces may result from some machining operations. Extra sanding or very sharp tools may be necessary to obtain a smooth finish. Turns, glues, and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor (though green lumber can have an unpleasant scent).

Allergies/Toxicity: Besides the standard health risks associated with any type of wood dust, no further health reactions have been associated with Cedroarana.

Pricing/Availability: Despite the tree’s large size, Cedroarana is only occasionally available as lumber, and is more commonly seen as smaller craft or turning blanks. Prices are moderate for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Furniture, turned objects, construction/utility wood, and paper (pulpwood).

Comments: Cedroarana has some of the largest pores of any commercial wood in the world. Anything above 200 micrometers is considered very large, yet Tornillo’s vessel diameters are routinely over 300 or 400 micrometers, upwards to approximately 500µm! These large pores give it a unique open texture, with the pores appearing as thin dark veins on all facegrain surfaces.


Scans/Pictures:

Tornillo (Cedrelinga catenaeformis)

Cedroarana(sanded)

Tornillo (sealed)

Cedroarana(sealed)

Tornillo (endgrain)

Cedroarana(endgrain)

Tornillo (endgrain 10x)

Cedroarana (endgrain 10x)

Common Name(s): Cumaru, Brazilian Teak

Scientific Name: Dipteryx odorata

Distribution: Northern South America

Tree Size: 130-160 ft (40-50 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 68 lbs/ft3 (1,085 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .86, 1.09

Janka Hardness: 3,330 lbf (14,800 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 25,390 lbf/in2 (175.1 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 3,237,000 lbf/in2 (22.33 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 13,850 lbf/in2 (95.5 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 5.3%, Tangential: 7.7%, Volumetric: 12.6%, T/R Ratio: 1.5

Color/Appearance: Heartwood tends to be a medium to dark brown, sometimes with a reddish or purplish hue; some pieces may have streaks of yellowish or greenish brown.

Grain/Texture: Grain is interlocked, with a medium texture and a waxy feel.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; large pores in no specific arrangement, few; heartwood mineral/gum deposits present; parenchyma lozenge, aliform, confluent, and sometimes marginal; narrow rays, spacing fairly close.

Rot Resistance: Cumaru has excellent durability and weathering properties. The wood is rated as very durable regarding decay resistance, with good resistance to termites and other dry-wood borers.

Workability: Tends to be difficult to work on account of its density and interlocked grain. If the grain is not too interlocked, Cumaru can be surface-planed to a smooth finish. However, the wood contains silica and will have a moderate blunting effect on tool cutters. Due to its high oil content and density, Cumaru can present difficulties in gluing, and pre-boring is necessary when screwing or nailing the wood.

Odor: Cumaru has a faint, vanilla or cinnamon-like odor when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Besides the standard health risks associated with any type of wood dust, no further health reactions have been associated with Cumaru.

Pricing/Availability: Should be inexpensive for an import. Cumaru, much like Jatoba, represents a great value for those seeking a low-cost lumber that has excellent strength and hardness properties.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Flooring, cabinetry, furniture, heavy construction, docks, railroad ties, bearings, handles, and other turned objects.

Comments: Wood of the species Dipteryx odorata is most commonly called Cumaru among most woodworkers, though it is sometimes referred to as Brazilian Teak as well: primarily when used as hardwood flooring. (Brazilian Teak is not related to the wood that is most commonly called Tectona grandis.)

Cumaru is also called by the name Tonka Bean, and the tree is commonly cultivated for its vanilla-cinnamon scented seed—the tonka bean—which contains a chemical compound called coumarin.

Cumaru lumber is extremely stiff, strong, and hard, lending itself well to a variety of applications. It is sometimes used in place of the much more scarce Lignum Vitae. The heartwood fluoresces under a backlight, wich can help distinguish it from Ipe.


 Scans/Pictures:

Cumaru (sanded)

Cumaru (sanded)

Cumaru (sealed)

Cumaru (sealed)

Cumaru (endgrain)

Cumaru (endgrain)

Cumaru (endgrain 10x)

Cumaru (endgrain 10x)

Source: The Wood Database

Common Name(s): Faveira Ferro, Angelim vermelho

Scientific Name: Dinizia excelsa

Distribution: Primarily Brazil and Guyana in South America

Tree Size: 100-200 ft (30-60 m) tall,

3-6 ft (1-1.8 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 67 lbs/ft3 (1070 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): 0.79, 1.07

Janka Hardness: 3,160 lbf (14,050 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 22,550 lbf/in2 (156 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,811,000 lbf/in2 (19.39 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 12,450 lbf/in2 (85.9 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 5.4%, Tangential: 8.8%,

Volumetric: 14.3%, T/R Ratio: 1.6

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is reddish brown, sometimes with colored streaks; slightly paler sapwood isn’t always clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Freshly sawn surfaces can have a lighter olive hue, with color darkening to a deeper reddish brown with age.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually interlocked, with a uniform, medium-coarse texture. Moderate natural luster.

Rot Resistance: Rated as durable to very durable, with good resistance to insect attack.

Workability: Considered to be difficult to work on account of its density and irregular grain. The wood also has a high cutting resistance with a pronounced blunting effect on cutters.

Odor: Has a pungent, unpleasant odor when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Faveira Ferro has been reported to cause unspecified allergic reactions. 

Pricing/Availability: Not commonly offered for sale in North America. The wood is sometimes sold as decking or for other outdoor timber applications. Given the immense size of the tree, prices are likely to be reasonable for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Heavy construction (exterior applications), railway sleepers, flooring, decking, boatbuilding, docks, and other applications where its strength and rot resistance can be utilized.

Comments: Faveira Ferro is yet another example of a very strong and dense tropical hardwood coming from South America. Like most of these hard tropical exotics, it can be a challenge to work, but its durability may be justification to bear with such an uncooperative wood. Additionally, it has quite an offensive odor while it is being worked — and the scent is present both in the green wood and in dried wood.

Common Name(s): Garapa

Scientific Name: Apuleia leiocarpa

Distribution: South America

Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 51 lbs/ft3 (820 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .65, .82

Janka Hardness: 1,650 lbf (7,350 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 18,530 lbf/in2 (127.8 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,257,000 lbf/in2 (15.57 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 9,030 lbf/in2 (62.3 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.2%, Tangential: 7.5%, Volumetric: 11.4%, T/R Ratio: 1.8


Color/Appearance: Garapa has a golden to yellowish brown color, which darkens with age. The wood is fairly chatoyant, and appears to shift from dark to light coloring in different lighting angles. (This is evident in the scanned image of the sealed wood below, which only appears as patches of light/dark wood.)

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually straight, but can also be interlocked. Uniform medium texture with a moderate amount of natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous; yellowish brown mineral deposits common; parenchyma lozenge, winged, and confluent; narrow rays, spacing normal.

Rot Resistance: Rated as durable, though vulnerable to termites and other insect attacks.

Workability: Garapa is fairly easy to work, despite its density. Glues and finishes well, and is about average for dimensional stability.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Garapa has been reported to cause skin irritation.

Pricing/Availability: Garapa is not commonly available in lumber form, though it is sometimes used for flooring and decking. The price should be moderate for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Flooring, decking, dock, and boatbuilding.

Comments: Garapa is occasionally exported from South America.


Scans/Pictures: 

Garapa (Apuleia leiocarpa)

Garapa (sanded)

Garapa (sealed)

Garapa (sealed)

Garapa (endgrain)

Garapa (endgrain)

Garapa (endgrain 10x)

Garapa (endgrain 10x)

Common Name(s): Ipe, Brazilian Walnut, Lapacho

Scientific Name: Handroanthus spp. (formerly placed in the Tabebuia genus)

Distribution: Tropical Americas (Central and South America); also farmed commercially

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 69 lbs/ft3 (1,100 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .91, 1.10

Janka Hardness: 3,510 lbf (15,620 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 25,660 lbf/in2 (177.0 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 3,200,000 lbf/in2 (22.07 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 13,600 lbf/in2 (93.8 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 5.9%, Tangential: 7.2%, Volumetric: 12.4%, T/R Ratio: 1.2

Color/Appearance: Heartwood can vary in color from reddish brown, to a more yellowish olive brown or darker blackish brown; sometimes with contrasting darker brown/black stripes. In certain species, there are powdery yellow deposits within the wood. Ipe can be difficult to distinguish visually from Cumaru, another dense South American timber, though Ipe tends to be darker, and lacks the subtle yet characteristic vanilla/cinnamon scent while being worked.

Grain/Texture: Has a fine to medium texture, with the grain varying from straight to irregular or interlocked. Moderate natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous to numerous; tyloses and mineral/gum deposits occasionally present; parenchyma unilateral, winged, and marginal; narrow rays, spacing normal; ripple marks present.

Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable; excellent insect resistance, though some species are susceptible to marine borers. Superb weathering characteristics. (Ipe was used for the boardwalk along the beach of New York City’s Coney Island, and was said to have lasted 25 years before it needed to be replaced: an amazing lifespan given the amount of traffic and environmental stresses put upon the wood.)

Workability: Overall, Ipe is a difficult wood to work, being extremely hard and dense, with high cutting resistance during sawing. Ipe also has a pronounced blunting effect on cutting edges. The wood generally planes smoothly, but the grain can tearout on interlocked areas. Also, Ipe can be difficult to glue properly, and surface preparation prior to gluing is recommended. Straight-grained wood turns well, though the natural powdery yellow deposits can sometimes interfere with polishing or finishing the wood.

Odor: Ipe has a mild scent while being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Ipe has been reported to cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritation, as well as other effects such as headaches, asthma-like symptoms, and/or disturbance of vision. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Primarily sold as decking or flooring, boards for furniture or general use are sometimes available as well. Prices are moderate for an imported tropical species.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, Ipe species grow in very low densities, with mature trees only occurring once per 300,000 to 1,000,000 square feet (3 to 10 hectares) of forest area. This necessitates the clearing of large sections of rainforest trees (most of which are of little commercial value). Though uncommon, certified sources of Ipe are available.

Common Uses: Flooring, decking, exterior lumber, veneer, tool handles, and other turned objects.

Comments: Ipe is a wood of extremes: extremely dense and durable, as well as extremely difficult to work. Its incredible hardness and strength make it well suited for flooring applications, though it is referred to as “Brazilian Walnut” among flooring dealers—though it is not related to true Walnut in the Juglans genus.

Formerly placed in the Tabebuia genus, species of Ipe (H. guayacan, H. impetiginosus, H. serratifolius) were moved to the Handroanthus genus in 2007 based on genetic studies


Ipe (sanded)

Ipe (sanded)

Ipe (sealed)

Ipe (sealed)

Ipe (endgrain)

Ipe (endgrain)

Ipe (endgrain 10x)

Ipe (endgrain 10x)

Source: The Wood Database

Common Name(s): Jatoba, Brazilian Cherry

Scientific Name: Hymenaea courbaril

Distribution: Central America, southern Mexico, northern South America, and the West Indies

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 57 lbs/ft3 (910 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .77, .91

Janka Hardness: 2,690 lbf (11,950 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 22,510 lbf/in2 (155.2 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 2,745,000 lbf/in2 (18.93 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 11,780 lbf/in2 (81.2 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.2%, Tangential: 8.0%, Volumetric: 12.1%, T/R Ratio: 1.9


Color/Appearance: Heartwood varies from a light orangish brown to a darker reddish brown, sometimes with contrasting darker grayish brown streaks. Color tends darken upon exposure to light. Sapwood is a light grayish yellow, clearly demarcated from the heartwood.

Grain/Texture: Grain is typically interlocked, with a medium to coarse texture. Good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large pores, very few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; mineral deposits (dark brown) occasionally present; parenchyma vasicentric, aliform (lozenge or winged), confluent, and marginal; narrow to medium rays, normal spacing.

Rot Resistance: Jatoba is rated as being very durable in regards to rot resistance, and is also resistant to termites and most other insects. (Though it has been reported to be susceptible to attack from marine borers.

Workability: Jatoba is considered difficult to work with on account of its density and hardness, and has a moderate blunting effect on tool cutters. Jatoba also tends to be difficult to plane without tearout due to its interlocking grain. However, Jatoba glues, stains, turns, and finishes well. Responds well to steam-bending.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Jatoba has been reported to cause skin irritation.

Pricing/Availability: Available in satisfactory sizes and widths as lumber, and also available as flooring planks. Jatoba is inexpensive for imported timber.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

Common Uses: Flooring, furniture, cabinetry, tool handles, shipbuilding, railroad ties, turned objects, and other small specialty items.

Comments: Although it’s widely named “Brazilian Cherry,” (mostly among flooring sellers), it bears little relation to the domestic Cherry (Prunus serotina) that is found in the US, except perhaps that its natural color closely matches the  common stained color of domestic Cherry that has been aged/stained reddish-brown as seen on some interior furniture.

Jatoba is exceptionally stiff, strong, and hard—representing a great value for woodworkers seeking high-strength, low-cost lumber.


Scans/Pictures:

Jatoba (sanded)

Jatoba (sanded)

Jatoba (sealed)

Jatoba (sealed)

Jatoba (endgrain)

Jatoba (endgrain)

Jatoba (endgrain 10x)

Jatoba (endgrain 10x)

Common Name(s): Louro Preto, Laurel Negro

Scientific Name: Cordia spp. (C. megalantha, C. glabrata)

Distribution: Tropical Americas, southward to Brazil

Tree Size: 50-65 ft (15-20 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 59 lbs/ft3 (845 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .74, .84

Janka Hardness: 2,200 lbf (9,790 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 17,610 lbf/in2 (121.5 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,580,000 lbf/in2 (10.90 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 9,270 lbf/in2 (63.9 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.0%, Tangential: 7.4%, Volumetric: 11.6%, T/R Ratio: 1.9

Color/Appearance: Heartwood medium brown with a reddish cast (or sometimes olive-colored cast). Darker brown streaks common. Sharply demarcated from the pale sapwood. Color darkens with age.

Grain/Texture: Grain can be straight or irregular. Fine to medium texture and good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; solitary and radial multiples; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, few; tyloses and other mineral deposits (yellow/brown) common; parenchyma varies slightly between species, but is generally banded (marginal), as well as vasicentric, aliform (lozenge), and confluent; medium to wide rays, spacing normal to wide.

Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable.

Workability: Some species may contain silica that will dull cutters. On the whole, Louro Preto is easily worked and machined with good results. Although it has a fairly high amount of natural oils present, gluing is usually problem-free. Turns and finishes well.

Odor: Can have a pleasant, characteristic scent.

Allergies/Toxicity: Besides the standard health risks associated with any type of wood dust, no further health reactions have been associated with Louro Preto, however, it is very closely related to Bocote, which has been shown to cause cross reactions once an allergic sensitivity to certain woods has been developed. Woods that can cause initial sensitivity include:  Pau Ferro, Macassar Ebony, Cocobolo, and most Rosewoods.

Pricing/Availability: Prices are likely to be high for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, veneer, and turned objects.

Comments: A very close relative of Bocote in both anatomy and appearance, Louro Preto doesn’t always have the stunning grain patterns that are commonplace in Bocote.


Scans/Pictures:

Louro Preto (Cordia megalantha)

Louro Preto (sanded)

Louro Preto (sanded)

Louro Preto (sanded)

Louro Preto (endgrain)

Louro Preto (endgrain)

Louro Preto (endgrain)

Common Name(s): Bulletwood, Massaranduba

Scientific Name: Manilkara bidentata

Distribution: Caribbean, Central and South America

Tree Size: 100-150 ft (30-46 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 67 lbs/ft3 (1,080 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .85, 1.08

Janka Hardness: 3,130 lbf (13,920 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 27,870 lbf/in2 (192.2 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 3,344,000 lbf/in2 (23.06 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 12,930 lbf/in2 (89.2 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 6.7%, Tangential: 9.4%, Volumetric: 16.8%, T/R Ratio: 1.4


Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a medium to dark reddish brown. Color tends to darken with age. Pale yellow sapwood is clearly differentiated from the heartwood, though not always sharply demarcated.

Grain/Texture: Grain straight to interlocked or wavy. Fine uniform texture with low natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; radial multiples of 2-5 common; medium to large pores, few; tyloses and mineral deposits common; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, reticulate; narrow rays, spacing fairly close.

Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable, with good resistance to most insect attack. Susceptible to marine borers.

Workability: Despite its high density, Massaranduba generally produces good results with both hand and machine tools, though it does exhibit an above-average dulling effect on cutters. Responds well to steam-bending. Can pose challenges in gluing due to high density and oil content.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Massaranduba has been reported to cause skin irritation. 

Pricing/Availability: Infrequently imported, Massaranduba is sometimes available as decking or flooring planks. Expect prices to be in the mid to upper range for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Heavy construction (within its natural range), decking, flooring, boatbuilding, bent parts, and turned objects.

Comments: Massaranduba is an incredibly strong, dense wood which has good durability in exterior applications.


Scans/Pictures:

Bulletwood (Manilkara bidentata)

Massaranduba (sanded)

Bulletwood (sealed)

Massaranduba (sealed)

Bulletwood (endgrain)

Massaranduba (endgrain)

Bulletwood (endgrain 10x)

Massaranduba (endgrain 10x)

Common Name(s): Tanibouca, Mirindiba, Tanimbuca, Periquiteira

Scientific Name: Buchenavia ssp

Distribution: South America, Northern Brazil

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight:62 lbs/ft3 (940 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 14% MC): .78 

Janka Hardness: 2,815 lbf (12,521N)

Shrinkage: Radial:3.5%, Tangential: 8.3%, Volumetric: 12.1%, T/R Ratio: 1.4


Color/Appearance: Heartwood brown, light brown or yellowish brown, slightly distinct from pale yellow sapwood. 

Grain/Texture: Distinct and irregular growth rings, grain stright or interlocked, texture fine to medium and luster moderate. 

Endgrain: 

Rot Resistance: Jatoba is rated as being very durable in regards to rot resistance, and is also resistant to termites and most other insects. (Though it has been reported to be susceptible to attack from marine borers.

Workability: Difficult to saw and plane . Finishing is regular in planing and excellent in sanding, turning and boring.

Odor: Agreeable odor when green, which disappears after drying

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Mirindiba has been reported to cause skin irritation.

Pricing/Availability: Available in satisfactory sizes and widths as lumber. It’s inexpensive for an imported timber.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, and is reported by the IUCN as being a species of least concern.

Common Uses: Paling, Fence pickets, Stakesposts, Crossarms, Crossties,  Beams, Joists, Boards, Flooring, Steps, Paneling, Common furniture,  Decorative veneer, Common Veneer ,  Knife handles, Lasts, Tool handles, Agricultural tools, Heavy packing, Cooperage, Chemstorage, Truck bodies, Truck flooring.

Comments: 

 

Common Name(s): Teak, Burmese Teak

Scientific Name: Tectona grandis

Distribution: Native to southern Asia;

Widely grown on plantations throughout tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

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

Average Dried Weight: 41 lbs/ft3 (655 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .55, .66

Janka Hardness: 1,070 lbf (4,740 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 14,080 lbf/in2 (97.1 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,781,000 lbf/in2 (12.28 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 7,940 lbf/in2 (54.8 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 2.6%, Tangential: 5.3%, Volumetric: 7.2%, T/R Ratio: 2.0

Color/Appearance: Heartwood tends to be a golden or medium brown, with color darkening with age.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, though it can occasionally be wavy or interlocked. Coarse, uneven texture and moderate to low natural luster. Raw, unfinished wood surfaces have a slightly oily or greasy feel due to natural oils.

Endgrain: Ring-porous or semi-ring-porous; large to very large solitary earlywood pores, medium to large latewood pores, few; solitary and in radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses and other heartwood deposits (light-colored) common; medium rays visible without lens, spacing normal; parenchyma vasicentric, and banded (marginal), with bands sometimes wide enough to enclose entire earlywood pores.

Rot Resistance: Teak has been considered by many to be the gold standard for decay resistance, and its heartwood is rated as very durable. Teak is also resistant to termites, though it is only moderately resistant to marine borers and powder post beetles.

Workability: Easy to work in nearly all regards, with the only caveat being that Teak contains a high level of silica (up to 1.4%) which has a pronounced blunting effect on cutting edges. Despite its natural oils, Teak usually glues and finishes well, though in some instances it may be necessary to wipe the surface of the wood with a solvent prior to gluing/finishing to reduce the natural oils on the surface of the wood.

Odor: Teak can have a leather-like scent when freshly milled.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Teak has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye, skin, and respiratory irritation, as well as other health effects, such as pink eye, rash, nausea, asthma-like symptoms, and vision effects. 

Pricing/Availability: Despite its widespread cultivation on plantations worldwide, Teak is very expensive. It is perhaps one of the most expensive lumbers on the market, at least for large-sized, non-figured wood. Other woods are more expensive, but are typically only available in small pieces, (i.e., Gaboon Ebony or Snakewood), or they are valued solely for the figure of their grain (i.e., burl woods, Pommele Sapele, or Waterfall Bubinga).

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Ship and boatbuilding, veneer, furniture, exterior construction, carving, turnings, and other small wood objects.

Comments: Sometimes called Burmese Teak, this name is used to differentiate natural-grown trees (typically from Myanmar, aka Burma) from Teak grown on plantations. Used extensively in India and within its natural range for centuries, Teak has grown into a worldwide favorite. With its superb stability, good strength properties, easy workability—and most of all, its outstanding resistance to decay and rot—it’s no wonder that Teak ranks among the most desired lumbers in the world.

Much like the many names and knockoffs of Mahogany, the moniker “Teak” has been affixed and assigned to a number of different woods seeking acclaim. The usual procedure is to  take a wood bearing any degree of resemblance to Teak and insert a geographical location in front of the name. For instance, Cumaru is sometimes referred to as Brazilian Teak, while Rhodesian Teak bears little botanical relation to real Teak—Tectona grandis. The name Burmese Teak, however, does refer to genuine Teak.


Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the wood sample (curly veneer) and turned photo of this wood species.

Teak (Tectona grandis)

Teak (sanded)

Teak (sealed)

Teak (sealed)

Teak (endgrain)

Teak (endgrain)

Teak (endgrain 10x)

Teak (endgrain 10x)