African Blackwood, Mpingo
OTHER COMMON NAMES:
African Blackwood, African Ebony, African Grenadilo, Banbanus, Ebene, Grenadilla, Grenadilled'Afrique, Mpingo, Mufunjo, Mugembe, Mukelete, Pau Preto, Poyi, Zebrawood
Used most frequently in carving, inlay and turnery. Prized for its exceptional tonal qualities, African Blackwood is ideal for the creation of musical instruments, specifically woodwinds such as oboes, clarinets, piccolos and bagpipes, to name a few.
Africa (Mozambique, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe)
AVG BENDING STRENGTH: 31,640 psi
SPECIFIC GRAVITY: 1.08
AVG. WEIGHT: 80 lbs/cu.ft.
SAPWOOD COLOR: The distinct sapwood is typically pale-yellow in color.
HEARTWOOD COLOR: In stark contrast to the sapwood, African Blackwood heartwood ranges fromjet-black to dark-brown or dark-purple in color.
GRAIN: African Blackwood grain is variable, but normally straight.
TEXTURE: Very fine and even textured.
LUSTER: Low to medium luster.
MOVEMENT: When seasoned properly, African Blackwood is extremely stable, with little to no movement.
DURABILITY: African Blackwood heartwood is highly decay-resistant, yet only moderately resistant to insects. The sapwood is susceptible to powder-post beetles.
BLUNTING EFFECT: African Blackwood is extremely dense, making it rather difficult to work and creating a significant blunting effect on cutting tools.
CUTTING RESISTANCE: Extreme density and hardness make this wood somewhat resistant to cutting,
PLANING: Again, its hardness and density makes African Blackwood somewhat difficult to plane by either hand or machine tools.
TURNING: Considered to be one of the finest woods for turnery applications, metalworking tools are recommended for use with African Blackwood on the lathe.
BORING: Recommended that metalworking tools be used, as this wood can be tough to bore.
GLUING: Average to good gluing properties.
NAILING: Pre-boring required.
SCREWING: African Blackwood will hold screws as well as most metals, though pre-boring is recommended.
POLISHING: Finishes well, producing a high luster.
STAINING: Average to good staining properties.
STEAM BENDING: Does not respond well to steam bending.