African Blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon)

 
 
 
 

Family - Leguminosae
Distribution - Tanzania and Mozambique
Other names: African ebony / renadillo / grenadilo, Babanus, Banbanus, Begboio, Black botany bay wood, Bokango, Cape damson, Chella, Chiku, Did, Driedoring, Ebene, Funiti, Grenadilla d'Afrique, Lurr, Motangu, Mozambique ebony, Mpingo, Mufulamamba, Mufunjo, Mugembe, Mugweze, Mugwiti, Muhati, Mukelete, Mukudziti, Mumhingwe, Mungara, Munhowe, Murgwiti, Murwiti, Opo, Pau preto, Pau-preto, Pingo, Poyi, Rit, Rugbe, Samachi, Senegal ebony, Shami, Tareh, Umbambangwe.

Characteristics: The sapwood is narrow, white in colour, and clearly defined from the dark heartwood, which is dark brown with prominent black streaks. It is straight grained and extremely fine textured and hard. Its weight is about 1200 kg/m3 when dried. The timber dries extremely slowly and heart shakes are very common.

Working Qualities: In spite of its hardness it works quite easily, and takes an excellent finish. It is however moderately hard to saw, and requires drilling for nails and screws.

Uses: Ornamental turnery, chessmen, carved figures, walking sticks, inlay work, brushbacks and knife handles. Its oiliness and resistance to climatic changes commend it for woodwind instruments in preference to ebony, and it is used in the manufacture of bagpipes, clarinets, piccolos and flutes.

 
 
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