Although not a true Diospyros ebony species, Katalox earned its “Royal Mexican Ebony” nickname due to its great density (which actually supercedes all true ebonies, in that regard) and the fact that, as it ages, it turns considerably darker than when its initially cut and dried. It is known to be generally very durable, making the wood ideal for a variety of applications — although it can be very difficult difficult to resaw (density) and glue, due to its typically high natural oil content. The grains can be straight, irregular or interlocked; it’s texture ranges from fine to medium, with a nice natural luster.
Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but its supply has been impacted by recent epidemic poaching across Central America (in particular, Mexico).
Common Uses: Inlays, fine furniture and cabinetry, flooring, guitar building, turnings, and other small specialty items.
Comments: Katalox is one of the most dense woods in the world. Despite its somewhat uncooperative working characteristics, its stability and handsome appearance makes the wood a popular choice with guitar luthiers and fine funrniture craftsmen, alike. Its heartwood is among the most durable of all the exotics in the world, but the sapwood can be susceptible to bug holes.