The African Padauk has a nice dark red colour which darkens to the air. Its texture
is rough enough and sometimes presents a contre-fil. Its seasoning is slow. Its uses
are varied : veneering for the creation of decorative surfaces, for instance, making
of mosaic wood floors with alternance of lighter woods.
When they are dry, the Padauks have an excellente stability at the use. They are
very tough, particularly the one from Andaman islands whose qualities are superior
at the ones of oak. There are dense woods which take a beautiful polishing. They
are resistant against the rotting.
The Padauk, which regroups under this name the Padauk from India, Burman, the Philippines
and the Amboine *, has a tint going to light brown to dark red according to the species
and the trees themselves. The Amboine* is a curled Padauk which grows into the eastern
Its texture is fine. It has a great power to resist to the insects without previous
treatment. Its seasoning is easy but it has a tendency to crack. Its working is a
little bit arduous because of its hardness.
It's used for different uses like decorative veneering for the cabinet making, the
making of sleepers for the railways. The gnarls of Asian Padauk are known under the
name of "gnarl of Amboine* ".
* I'm very sorry, I don't know the exact english name of this wood, then I would
prefer keep the french term. You can send my an e-mail to inform me ! Thank you !
It's a very decorative tree, searched from the very beginning. It has a little or
middle size. This name of rosewood is generic and regroups several species present
somewhere in the world. The exportation countries are principally India and Brasil
but one can also talk about Madagascar, Honduras and some other countries of central
Its colour is variable according to the specimens. It goes from purple-brown to black-purple
for the Indian rosewood, to the brown-yellow veined of purplish-blue brown for the
Sisso rosewood, and from the red-brown to the brown-purple for the Rio rosewood.
This wood isn't difficult to season, it can be worked easily even if it needs the
greatest care because of its specific weight. However, it blunts the sharp of tools.
Generally, the gluing is satisfactory.
When it's going to be cut, its heart exhales a pleasant smell of rose during its
Its finishing doesn't present difficulties and its varnishing is easy. The wax finishing
also gives a beautiful polishing but it's necessary to fill up the pores previously.
It's very appreciate by the cabinet makers. Used like veneering, it's also used like
solid wood to realize various objects : desk sets, pedestals, handles of knives,
music instruments... It's also used for the making of turning woodwork objects.
The sapelli comes from Africa and more particularly from a tropical region which
stretches from Sierra Leone to Ouganda and Zaïre. It's exported from the occidental
part of Africa, Ivory Coast to Cameroon.
It's a very high tree with a trunk of 1 meter of diameter minimum.
It looks like mahogany because it has a brown-red tint with some sheens. However,
it's darker, owns a finer and denser texture than that latter. The sandpapering and
varnishing give it a beautiful aspect.
Its seasoning is simple and fast enough. It's tough, durable and shrinks weakly.
Nevertheless, it's less stable for the use than the mahogany. Because of its hardness,
its working is more difficult. The intertwining of its veins involve the warping
when the saw parts season.
It's used for decorative veneering and some woodworks (window frames, stairs...).
Its name has been gave to numerous woods but the only one which is produced by the
Tectona grandis can have this name. This tree grows in Burman and Thailand principally,
which are the two main exporters, and in India, Indochina and Java. But one must
know that it's cultivated in other regions. It's a high tree which can reach 40 meters
with a diameter of 1 to 1.50 meters.
Its colour is middle brown to dark brown with sometimes some darker veins or even
almost black. Its texture is rough enough. Its touch is soft and it exhales a smell
This wood seasones slowly but easily even if it has a tendency to split. It owns
a great stability at the use and a good solidity. It's particularly durable. It's
difficult to saw and work because it's abrasive. It has a good resistance against
the acids, what explains its use for the making of the upper part of experiment tables.
It's used for decorative veneering but also for numerous other uses like the making
of solid furniture for instance, skeleton of building, shipbuilding.
of African Padauk
Other names of Padauk
Mean dry weight
0.65 to 0.85 hard
0.56 to 0.80
semi-hard to hard
0.85 to 1.00 very hard (Padauk of Burman)
of Indian Rosewood
Burma rosewood (Burman)
Other name of Rio Rosewood
Mean dry weight
0.85 to 1.05
hard to very hard
0.80 to 1.10 hard
0.60 to 0.75
Teak (Burman and India)
May Sak (Laos)
Mean dry weight
0.55 to 0.80 hard
The trees named Padauk come from the western Africa and, more particularly from Cameroon
and Nigeria. However, the Andaman islands export them too. As for Burman, it supplied
them in the past. There are middle high trees.
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.