Padauk, African padauk

Scientific name:  Pterocarpus soyauxii

Description:  Heartwood colour can vary, ranging from a pale pinkish-orange to a deep brownish-red. Most pieces tend to start a vibrant reddish-orange when freshly cut, darkening substantially over time to a reddish/purplish-brown (some lighter-colored pieces can age to a grayish-brown). UV-inhibiting finishes may prolong, but not prevent the gradual color-shift of this brightly coloured wood.  Grain is usually straight, but can sometimes be interlocked, with a coarse, open texture and good natural lustre.

Properties:   Overall padauk is easy to work, though tearout may occur when planing quartersawn or interlocked grain. Padauk turns and glues well. Filling the large open pores is usually necessary if a smooth, glass-like surface is desired. Reactive oil-based finishes, such as polyurethane, may have curing issues if the heartwood is not sealed properly beforehand.