It's a little tree, almost a shrub, high of 12 meters maximum. In reality, this name
regroups several different woods which have in common the specific weight, the uniformity
of the grain and the light yellow colour. One finds it in occidental Europe, England,
Turkey, Iran but also in Asia and South of Africa.
This wood is exported from Ceylan and south and central India.
This tree has a little size enough because it measures about 15 meter with a diameter
of 30 cm.
Its colour is golden yellow to golden brown. But it can be different according to
It's a heavy wood, durable and strong. Its texture is fine and regular, intermingled
with a striped motive. A neat finishing makes it possible to obtain a perfectly polished
surface and a beautiful glazed effect.
It's difficult to work, by hand like machine. Its gluing can pose a problème too.
Its seasoning is critical because this wood has a tendency to buckle and split on
Well known as far back as the nineteenth century, it's used punctually by the cabinet
makers. It's used for the making of little objects and veneering principally.
This tree is from the same type botanic than the rosewood but, however, we can't
mistake one for the other because the Cocobolo has a very different colour . It grows
from Mexico to Panama and it's exported more particularly from Nicaragua and Costa
Its colour is purplish-blush red or yellow, with black veins. It becomes dark orange-red
with the sunshine. Its veins can be right or irregular according to the trees.
It has a middle texture but regular and it's so dense than the rosewood. Its grain
In spite of its hardness, it's easy to work with, however, some tools well sharpened.
In order to be realized in good conditions, its seasoning must be made from little
logs. It stays stable when it's dry.
When this wood is used, it exhales a pleasant smell because of the presence of an
essential oil. This one facilitates the finishing giving a nice glazed aspect but,
unfortunatelly, causes difficulties for the gluing.
It's important to keep in mind that the sawdust is irritant and can make to appear
a dermatosis. It also has an important power of colouring which tints the skin.
This wood is used for veneering and turning woodwork too.
The black ebony is used for a long time because its use comes from the egyptian civilization.
At the present time, this wood is became rare and it's imported from tropical Africa
principally under the shape of heart logs. In the past, it was imported more particularly
from India and Ceylan.
Its colour is black with some little lighter traces. This wood has a very close-grained
texture, what gives a marvellous aspect after the finishing.
Its seasoning is difficult and slow. It's hard and brittle but has a nice polishing.
It's difficult to work because it blunts the sharp of the tools rapidly. So, it's
used for turning woodwork especially when it's used solid.
At present, the ebony is used for the making of luxurious little objects. In fact,
its use is less and less frequent and the veneering intended for the creation of
marquetries aren't very marketed.
The Macassar ebony, very rare too, has a different colour. It's dark brown with black
or brown veins or, for the one from Coromandel, with some grey or brown spots. It
owns some characteristics almost identical at the ones of black ebony. At the contrary,
it's more difficult to work when it's solid.
Mean dry weight
Bois satiné de l'Inde
0.85 to 0.95 very hard
Mean dry weight
N'goubou ou Bingo (Centrafrican Republic)
for the Macassar ebony
Wood of Coramandel
Mean dry weight
1.10 to 1.20
Its grain is very fine with some right veins sometimes, more often irregular. It's
very dense even after seasoning. This last operation must be made with the greatest
care, because otherwise, it splits.
Used for a long time, this wood is very used for turning wood work, wood engraving
and marquetry. It makes it possible to realize little objects li
This chapter is intended to present to you some kinds of wood used in marquetry.
Each wood will be described according to its technical qualities with a little biologic
outline. Of course, this list isn't exhaustive and will be completed in the future.