Marblewood tree is known for the highly distinctive stripes, ranging in color from dark brown, to even purple or black. While the sapwood is usually bears the same distinctively pale yellow color as the heartwood, only the heartwood features the trademark striping, which makes the wood so appealing to turners. The striping is random and irregular; no two patterns are ever alike. The wood is heavy and dense, making it well suited for applications where strength and durability are key — such as flooring and furniture.
The wood can prove difficult to work, on account of its density and sometimes interlocked graining. Marblewood is also known for its high natural resin content; proper, complete kiln drying is essential for applications which involve finishing.
Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Flooring, veneer, cabinetry, furniture, turned objects, carvings and utility applications.
Comments: Marblewood derives its name from the contrasting dark streaks and light color, giving an appearance similar to that of marble. The wood can have a similar appearance to that of Zebrawood, although Marblewood is a more coarse wood and the two species are unrelated.
Although working it requires sharp blades and a bit of patience, the wood can deliver some rather stunning results when finished. It is a very stable wood. While it is hard on tools, it can be sliced thin and hold its shape.
Small surface checks — pesky lines which refuse to sand out — are common. Premium-grade examples will have no such surface checks, and will have a glass-like natural luster after being finish sanded.