Kiaat is closely related to African Padauk (both are species of the Pterocarpus genus), sharing its characteristics of being durable, extremely stable and easy workability. The wood is renowned for its great bug and termite resistance.
Although Kiaat is considerably less dense (than Padauk), it has an impressive strength-to-weight ratio which (combined with its durability) makes it a very versatile, useful wood — suitable for a great variety of applications. Its heartwood color can vary from a light golden brown to a medium brown with a reddish or purplish tint. Grains can be straight, wavy or interlocked; its texture ranges from fine to medium, with a nice natural luster. Kiaat has very good working properties, and turns, glues and finishes well.
Sustainability: This species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is classified by the IUCN as being “Near Threatened.”
Common Uses: Furniture, boatbuilding, veneer, turnings, and other small wooden objects.
Comments: Kiaat has been utilized for centuries in a variety of applications in its native Africa. It is renowned for its strength and durability. It has extremely low shrinkage rates, and is considered to be a very dimensionally-stable wood.
Its relatively small tree size make larger boards difficult, if not impossible, to access, with small craft pieces being more commonly found.
This is a wood which remains very rarely seen in the US.