African Veneer

African Veneer

WoodLand African Veneers : Flooring & Furniture

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  • Trade Names: Afrormosia, Kokrodua, Assamela, Gold Teak
  • Similar woods: Teak
  • Origin: West Africa, between the Congo and the Ivory Coast.
  • Range: In the lower tropical rain forests, generally in groups.
  • Uses: As veneer for inferior purposes. Not used in Central Europe as face veneer. Serves as substitute for Teak in furniture making and used in the USA for interior boat fixtures and fittings.
  • Properties: Similar to Oak, moist wood stains when coming into contact with ferrous metals.
  • Machining: It works well but with a tendency to pick up the interlocking grain. Low feed speed should be used.
  • Seasoning: Drying is slow with minimal shrinkage and good shape stability.
  • Finishing: DD paint or open pore varnishes for exterior surfaces. NC paint is recommended for interior use. The wood should be surface treated to prevent staining as a result of reaction with iron
  • Jointing: Because of its application, water-proof glues are always used, causing no problem. Screw and nail joints must be pre-drilled.


  • Trade Names: Bubinga, Kevazingo
  • Similar woods: Mutenye, Libenge, Etimoe
  • Origin: Africa
  • Range: West Africa, from East Nigeria through Gabon to Zaire, drier regions in the lower tropical rain forests. Trees up to 45 m tall with conspicuously high roots.
  • Range: Differentiation is made between plain striped and pommele Bubinga wood, latter of which is considered the most valuable at present.
  • Uses: Higher quality architectural woodwork and mass-produced furniture, paneling and parquet flooring. Well-suited also for musical instruments.
  • Properties: Brown to violet-red heartwood with conspicuous growth zones. Resin pockets can occur; these degrade both the veneer and lumber.
  • Properties: To achieve the required grain Bubinga is either true quarter cut (rather plain) or rotary cut eccentrically (colorful).
  • Machining: Despite its great hardness this wood is relatively easy to work. However, carbide-tipped tools should be used.
  • Seasoning: The wood should be carefully and slowly dried to avoid splitting. When moist, the wood gets a blue stain when coming into contact with metal.
  • Finishing: The wood is suitable for any type of varnish or polish treatment.
  • Jointing: No special considerations are necessary and glue joints can be easily produced. It is essential to pre-drill screw joints because of the hardness of this wood.

Ebene de Macassar

  • Trade Names: Macassar, Ebony, Marble Wood
  • Similar woods: Ziricote
  • Origin: Celebes Islands (East Indies)
  • Range: Celebes Islands, possibly also Maluku, Borneo, very rare as veneer wood because it only grows with small dimensions.
  • Uses: Highest quality architectural woodwork, inlays and musical instruments.
  • Properties: The wood is black with brown regular or irregular reddish-brown to green-brown streaks. The wood has a distinct sheen and is most decorative.
  • Machining: Despite its extreme hardness Macassar Ebony is not particularly difficult to work. Very smooth surfaces are given when planed.
  • Machining: Sawdust should be efficiently extracted because of the risk of Inflammation of the eyes and skin.
  • Seasoning: Since Macassar Ebony is prone to checking it should be dried very slowly and carefully. It should definitely be kept out of the sun.
  • Finishing: Due to its decorative marking, silky luster or polished surfaces are to be recommended and these finishes take without any great difficulty.
  • Jointing: Glue joints are easy to produce and hold well. Nail joints are very difficult to produce and screw joints must be pre-drilled.

White Ebony

  • Trade Names: Black Pearl, Pale Moon Ebony
  • Similar woods: African Ebony
  • Origin: Indochina
  • Range: Most likely to be found in Laos, but not so often in Cambodia and Vietnam. Occurrences are very limited. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to obtain veneer qualities in decent lengths.
  • Range: If obtainable, these are very expensive. Nearly all logs have small worm holes, the yield is almost always diminished due to checking.
  • Uses: Due to the small dimensions, it is mostly used for turnery objects or knife handles in the exclusive sector. Due to its considerably high price,
  • Uses: it is used exclusively for high-grade interior fittings, but lengths over 250 cm are very seldom.
  • Properties: Highly decorative wood with a very individual black and white marking. The latter differs from log to log and can go from highly white to predominantly black.
  • Properties: When book-matched, furniture made of White Ebony is marvelous and unique, as beautiful patterns develop then.
  • Machining: Worm holes can be filled up and machining presents no problem then.
  • Seasoning: Very difficult as the wood has a strong tendency to warp and check.
  • Finishing: White Ebony takes lacquer very well, therefore there are no great problems with regard to surface treatment.
  • Jointing: Glued joints hold well. Caution: Problems can occur with checks.


  • Trade Names: Macore, African Cherry, Cherry Mahogany
  • Similar woods: Douka, Moabi
  • Origin: Africa
  • Range: West Africa from Liberia through the Ivory Coast to Ghana and Nigeria.
  • Uses: Sliced veneer mostly used as backing and inside veneer in Central Europe. Used also in Southern Europe and North America as face veneer
  • Uses Solid wood for parquet floors and stairs. Figured Macore is used for high quality architectural woodwork or musical instruments.
  • Properties: The heartwood is pink to red-brown and rather resistant to fungi, insect infestation and the weather. Macore is one of the most sought after redwoods from Africa.
  • Properties: Blocks with a great deal of sap and less than 1 m in diameter are hardly suitable for veneer production.
  • Machining: Straight grain wood can be worked without difficulty. Stellite-tipped saws are required to cut Macore and reduce tool wear.
  • Seasoning: Drying should be carried out very carefully at average and constant temperatures. Despite the low shrinkage Macore is prone to end splitting when drying.
  • Finishing: Macore can be treated with all kinds of stains, varnishes and lacquers. Dust extraction should definitely be available, because sanding dust can cause inflammation of mucous membranes .
  • Jointing: The wood can be glued well. Screw and nail joints should be pre-drilled.

African Padouk

  • Trade Names: Padauk, African Corail, African Padouk
  • Similar woods: Asian Padouk
  • Origin: Africa
  • Range: West Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Zaire, Angola, lower tropical rain forests. Different from the Burma Padouk, the Asian Padouk, which is less common.
  • Uses: Sliced veneer, construction lumber, shape-retaining frame-work for precision instruments, etc., architectural woodwork and inlays. It is almost solely quarter cut and sliced.
  • Properties: The heartwood is lustrous coral-red to red-brown, even orange-brown and most decorative
  • Properties The flitches call for intensive cooking and the veneers must be completely covered when stored otherwise the wood quickly darkens.
  • Machining: Padouk can be easily worked with both hand and machine tools. Tool blades are not dulled by crystalline deposits.
  • Seasoning: Low shrinkage permits tensionless drying but this must be slow and controlled.
  • Finishing: Due to its color and texture this species of wood is excellently suited for polishing. Ultraviolet resistant varnishes prevent the brilliant red wood from darkening down too quickly.
  • Jointing: Glue joints are durable. Pre-drilling screw and nail joints is of advantage.


  • Similar woods: Panga Panga
  • Origin: Africa
  • Range: West Africa, Gabon, Cameroon, Congo, Zaire, concentrated between Stanley Pool and Kiwu, in the Province of Equator and around Kisantu.
  • Uses: Valuable veneer wood, specially used as slicing wood for face veneer with close veins. Architectural wood for furniture, paneling and parquet flooring, construction lumber.
  • Generally cut halfround on the staylog.
  • Properties: The heartwood is two-colored light brown, later darkening to coffee brown to black-violet, similar to Rosewood. Has to be intensively cooked and sliced hot.
  • The heartwood is most resistant to fungi, insect attack and the weather.
  • Machining: Despite its hardness Wenge can still be worked well with all tools but this calls for considerable power.
  • Seasoning: Drying is very slow and only when properly controlled is there little risk of dry checking. Stability is very good in dried state.
  • Finishing: Due to its coarse pore texture and parenchyma band deposits this wood is difficult to varnish. Best suitable are DD and PU varnishes at a wood moisture content not in excess of 12 %.
  • Jointing: Gluing is rather difficult. Casein and synthetic resin glues have proved successful. Screw and nail joints should be pre-drilled.


  • Common Name: Anigre, anegre, agnegre, aningeria
  • Scientific Name: Aningeria superba, Aningeria robusta
  • Family: Sapotaceae
  • Color: Creamy yellow to pale brown
  • Origin: East and West Africa (Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, etc.)
  • Properties: Angire is an often overlooked beauty. Its texture is pleasing to the eye and works well projects where a subtle yet defined wood veneer is needed.
  • Properties: Curly anigre is one of the more affordable figured veneer types despite it’s relative rarity. Anigre can be found in Ghana, Cameroon, Congo, and in the rain forests of Uganda.
  • Properties: I’ve had the pleasure of seeing numerous veneered projects in which the creator used anigre as a contrasting compliment to darker woods such as walnut and jarrah.
  • Texture: Smooth texture with semi-open pores
  • Finishing: Readily accepts stains and finishes


  • Common Name: Zebrawood, Zebrano, Zingana
  • Scientific Name: Microberlinia brazzavillensis
  • Color: Golden or creamy white field with brown/black stripes
  • Family: Leguminosae
  • Origin: Africa (Gabon, Cameroon, and Congo)
  • Properties: What an appropriate name for a wood species! Few woodworkers can ignore the striking beauty of the stripes in zebrawood veneer.
  • Properties: Zebrano trees can grow to 150 feet tall and have a trunk diameter of up to 5 feet! I’ve managed to get my hands on a small but affordable assortment of this exotic wood from Africa
  • Properties: If you are looking for large sheets of this species, we also offer it in AA grade paper-backed veneer that can be applied with contact cement or any other veneer adhesive.
  • Texture: Coarse, open-pored
  • Finishing: Readily accepts stains and finishes


  • Common Name: Kambala, Odum
  • Origin: Central and West Africa
  • Properties: The sizeable logs are quartered to produce a straight grained veneer that may be light yellowy brown to medium brown in colour,
  • generally darkening a little on first exposure but inclined to bleach somewhat over the longer term. The grain is usually interlocked and the texture quite coarse. Some logs have an attractive mottle


  • Common Name: Yewtree
  • Origin: Europe, Asia, North Africa
  • Properties: This slow growing and long lived tree has been cultivated in England and Ireland for many centuries and has historic interest as it was traditionally used in the making of bowstaves.
  • Properties: Fine and generally uniform in texture, the creamy coloured sapwood is distinct from the darker yellow-brown to orange-brown heartwood.
  • Properties: Particularly valued are logs with a good scattering of small black pips. Large, sound veneers of Yew are seldom seen and therefore it is mostly used for furniture.
  • Properties: Occasional trees will produce a burr which, at its finest, will yield magnificent, highly decorative veneer that may vary from a heavy pip to a full all-over burr.
  • When logs of good quality and dimension are found, high prices will be paid.


  • Trade Names: Ovengkol, Amazaque, Hyeduanini, Anokye, Palissandre
  • Origin: West- and Central Africa: Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gaboon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sierra Leone
  • Uses: furniture surfaces, panelings, parquet floors, stairs
  • Properties: heavy hardwood, suitable for slicing
  • Color: brown to olive-brown with grey to darkbrown streakings, matt-finished


  • Similar woods: Tiama, Kosipo, Sipo, African Mahogany
  • Origin: Africa
  • Range: West, Central and East Africa, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Angola, Zaire and Uganda.
  • Uses: Sliced veneer for faces, furniture, paneling, parquet flooring, doors, pianos and construction lumber.
  • Properties: Weak pink to dark red heartwood, quickly darkening to a red brown in time. Aboudikro-Sapele, which generally grows along the Ivory Coast,
  • Properties: Normally is darker than the wood from other growing areas. Blocks with numerous bark pockets, color defects or pin knots are not suitable for veneer production
  • Properties: There is a heavy demand for narrowly streaked blocks (pencil stripe) with an average diameter of 1 m and over.
  • Machining: Sapele is easily worked with hand and machine tools despite of certain hardness. Only irregular fibre grains make it difficult to produce smooth surfaces.
  • Seasoning: Kiln seasoning is difficult because Sapele has a marked tendency to distort when dried too quicklyThis is why drying must be carried out very slowly so that the lumber is is not degraded.
  • Finishing: The wood takes well to stains, varnishes and polishes but the resin exudation must be considered and, if necessary, washed out
  • Jointing: No difficulty to produce joints with glue, screws and nails, all of which are durable

Limba ( White )

  • Trade Names: Limba, Afara, Egoin, Frake, Ofram
  • Similar woods: Koto
  • Origin: Africa
  • Range: Limba is found in the West African rain forests on the Guinea coast. The tree is distributed most frequently in the Congo.
  • Uses: Limba is a favourite wood for the production of plywood, sliced and peeled veneer. Also used in furniture production, for painted doors and for moldings.
  • Properties: The color varies greatly by region. Limba from the Congo has the desired light yellow color, whereas the wood from the Ivory Coast can be brown to black in color.
  • Properties: Limba is the dominating species of wood in the southern part of the Congo and is exported from there in significant quantities.
  • Machining: Limba can be easily and cleanly machined by all usual wood working methods. Alternating spiral grain presents no problems with normal feed.
  • Seasoning: To guard against attack by insects the wood should be kiln-dried soon after cutting & with greatest care due to its innernsion. It must be noted that the dark heartwood takes longer to dry.
  • Finishing: All types of surface treatment can be applied for interior use. Limba also stains very well.
  • Jointing: The light Limba wood presents no problem when gluing. Screw joints should be pre-drilled.

Limba, Black

  • Trade Names: Black Limba, Black frake
  • Similar woods: Paldao
  • Origin: Africa
  • Range: In the tropical rain forests of West and Central Africa. Limba always has a dark heart. One speaks of Black Limba if this dark heart is one third or more of the diameter of the logs.
  • Range: In most cases, only single logs are available, therefore, a constant supply is difficult.
  • Uses: High-end interior fitting in all fields.
  • Properties: In general, Limba is pale yellow in color, plain and in Central Europe mainly used by the door industry for paintable doors. Black Limba is very rare.
  • Properties: The more prominent and set-off in dark their structure is, the more decorative and expensive are the veneers.
  • Machining: Machining presents no problem. The wood can be shaped, screwed, planed and nailed without difficulty.
  • Seasoning: Can be carried out well and quickly. Material with a dark heart needs to be dried longer.
  • Finishing: Staining and varnishing work well; takes any kind of surface treatment without problems
  • Jointing: Problem-free
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