Not a true cedar (of the Cedra genus), Spanish Cedar is actually more closely related to true mahoganies, as all are in the Meliaceae family. Weight, Density and mechanical properties can vary, depending on climate and conditions. Most of what is made available to the US market is plantation-grown, which produces wood that is lower in density, and paler in color than that cut from trees grown in forests. Its grains are straight and its texture is fine; combined with its modest hardness and density, the wood is very easy to work, and glues and finishes well.
Sustainability: This species is in CITES Appendix III, and is listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List.
Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, cabinetry, musical instruments (flamenco and classical guitar soundboards), humidors, and boatbuilding.
Comments: The CITES Appendix III listing for Spanish Cedar applies to the countries of Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, Guatemala, and Peru (voluntary restructed exportation). It remains freely exported from other Latin American countries. The wood is renowned for its impressive strength-to-weight ratio and (resultingly) great resonance, which is why it has been a standard choice as the soundboard for classical and flamenco guitars built in these regions for generations.