African Paduak is a very strong, stable hardwood. It is known for its typically robust reddish-brown coloration (which darkens with age), although colors can range from a bright orange to a slightly muted burgundy often with highlights, grain lines and/or secondary colors ranging from brick red to a more purplish muted hue. The wood can sometimes be found figured (ribbon; striped; etc.), and it is well known for its deep chatoyance and wonderful natural luster. Grains are typically straight, though sometimes interlocked.
The wood is considered very durable and also resistant to bug / insect / termite attack, which accordingly has seen it used in outdoor applications for centuries in its native Africa. Its working and finishing characteristics are decidedly favorable.
Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Veneer, flooring, furniture, trim, musical instruments, turned objects, handles, utility, and small specialty wood objects.
Comments: There continues to be a steady demand for Padauk in the US. Fortunately, to this point, its supply has continued to steadily grow, in response to this demand. Thus, Padauk remains a reasonably priced exotic import with aesthetics that can be, at times, quite stunning and vibrant. Its texture is similar to African Mahogany, being slightly open grained with large pores.
Premium-quality boards will have long, flowing straight grains, with a ribbon figure and dramatic chatoyance that might be confused for Bloodwood. Trees can grow over 100 feet in height, so long, wide, thick boards are not uncommon.
The wood has a very low shrinkage rate, and is renowned for dimensional stability.