Uses: In fine furniture and the construction of musical instruments - in particular woodwind instruments (most commonly clarinets and oboes) and guitar and stringed instrument fingerboards. African Blackwood is also used for chess pieces, ornaments, and walking stick and knife handles.
General Description: African Blackwood heartwood is dark and often very uniform. Some pieces may have a red or purple undertone to them, while others are completely black. African Blackwood’s aesthetic qualities, as well as its tonal qualities when used in the construction of clarinetes and other woodwind instruments, make it highly desirable. African Blackwood is rare as a result of historic overharvesting and sustainably sourced wood be costly.
African Blackwood is strong, dense, and heavy. This hardness makes it difficult to work with - African Blackwood is known for blunting tools.
Drying is slow. African Heartwood is usually pre-dried in log form before being cut and fully dried in smaller, more manageable pieces. Seasoned African Blackwood is naturally oily.
African Blackwood heartwood is extremely durable and largely speaking, decay resistant. It is also less affected by environmental changes than other woods.
Family Name: Fabaceae
Latin Name: Dalbergia melanoxylon
Distribution: Central and southern Africa
Also known as: Mpingo (Swahili)
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