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  • Kamassi has a fine texture and it works and polishes well.  It is a good substitute for genuine Boxwood (albeit slightly darker and greener in colour).  It occurs in evergreen forests of the Eastern Cape of South Africa.  In the past, it was exported for the manufacture of small specialty items (tool handle’s, chessmen, etc).  Shuttles produced from Kamassi were once preferred by textile manufacturers, because they wore smoothly in the loom.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common uses: Turned objects, carving, musical instruments, chessmen, small specialty wood items.

    Comments: The bark and the leaves of Kamassi trees are reported to be “deadly poisonous”

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  • Boire is known throughout Africa to be a tough, durable wood, despite a Maple-like density. It is reputed to remain smooth under friction, which makes it ideally suited for its primary use in flooring. The sapwood of Boire is pale brown in color; its heartwood is typically medium brown to bronze, with dark streaks (and sometimes other hues, such as oranges and yellows, intermingled). The species has interlocked grain, and fine and uniform in texture. Other than the tearout commonly associated with interlocking grains, the wood has good working properties.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common Uses: Flooring, furniture, cabinets, joinery, veneer, gunstocks and general construction.

    Comments: This is not an exotic wood which has a boatload of information available with regard to it. Most all of the major US flooring websites that offer this wood share the exact same descriptions and specs, obviously copied one from another. In it, they list its Janka Hardness rating as 940 lbf. Conversely, Ken Goldstein’s 2009 “Janka Hardness Test For Hardwoods” (http://ejmas.com/tin/2009tin/tinart_goldstein_0904.html) shows Boire having measured at 1326 lbf. Perhaps its density varies greatly, as the latter figure (1326) represents more than a 40% increase over the figure commonly given by US flooring industry sources.

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  • This hard and heavy timber comes from Malaysia.  It is very dense with high bending and crushing strengths. The wood is moderately difficult to work with machines as the interlocked grains and toughness has a blunting effect on tools. It is best to pre-dill for screwing and gluing results are variable. Very durable and immune from insect or fungal attack.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices but some members of the Shorea genus are listed on the IUCN Red List.

    Common uses: Veneer, plywood, decking.

    Comments: Due to its hardness, durability and relative availability, it is a very popular decking species in South Africa.

     

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  • Avodire is another wood sometimes utilized as a Mahogany substitute (which is appropriate, since both are in the Meliaceae family), with similar aesthetics and cooperative working properties. Typical colors range from a pale yellow to cream, and a variety of figured grain patterns are commonly found — typically accompanied by dramatic levels of chatoyance — which makes it very popular with veneer mills. Its sap can be difficult to differentiate from the heartwood. While its grain patterns can be straight, wavy, irregular or interlocked, its texture is fine and it has an impressive natural luster.

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    Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.

    Common Uses: Veneer, cabinetry, furniture, millwork, and plywood.

    Comments: Highly-figured pieces can be quite stunning. The wood is very stable, and has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. The wood glues and finishes well, and, overall, has working properties very similar to mahogany.

    Continued UV-ray exposure turns Avodire’s color to more of a darker golden yellow.

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  • Indigenous to the tropical regions of East Africa, Anigre has been used primarily as an interior wood; it is decidedly non-durable, and thus not recoomended for outdoor applications. The wood’s aesthetics can vary greatly, as Anigre is comprised of three seperate Pouteria-genus species. Its colors can range from pale yellowish to orangish-brown wood, to a pale pinkish-brown — sometimes with additional highlight coloration. Anigre typically darkens to a golden-to reddish brown over time, with repeated UV ray exposure.

    Examples can be quite beautiful — and sometimes stunning, with curly and mottled figuring being not uncommon. Its hues tend to be generally pastel in nature, so it makes a very complimentary, aesthetically unimposing wood for a variety of interior applications. Grains are typically straight but can occasionally be interlocked. Its texture is medium and it has a nice natural luster.

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    Sustainability: Anigre is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but some species are reported by the IUCN as being “conservation dependent.” Essentially, from the IUCN’s perspective, if any of the current conservation programs protecting these respective species were to cease it would likely result in their rendering a “vulnerable” or “endangered” Red List status.

    Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, cabinetry and furniture; in board form it?s used for boatbuilding, general carpentry, and other light construction uses.

    Comments: Formerly classified in the genus “Aningeria,” Anigre is currently placed in the Pouteria genus — sometimes described as a ?wastebasket taxon? where out-of-place genera are categorized.

    Depending on specific species, Anigre has varying degrees of silica content. While possessing a moderate hardness and density, it has generally cooperative working properties, but can gum up cutters and blades.

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  • This fine grained lightweight timber from Australasia has a sheen to it unlike most other timbers. Grain can pick up during planing, but otherwise it works well. A durable timber which could be used for lightweight boatbuilding or cabinet work.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is reported as being conservation dependent by the IUCN.

    Common uses: boat building, cabinetry, veneer, musical instruments and turned objects.

    Comments: Harvesting of Kauri in New Zealand is strictly controlled.

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  • This light coloured timber from Tropical West Africa is used for interior work only, mainly shopfitting, but could be used for flooring, furniture etc. Not a structural timber due to its low density and lack of durability.

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    Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Common uses: Veneer, plywood, boxes, crates, turned objects, interior trim, and other small specialty wood items.

    Comments: Abura works well and takes a good finish.  It has an unpleasant odor when freshly cut and has been known to be an irritant.

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