Wenge

Scientific name:  Millettia laurentii

Description:  Heartwood is medium brown, sometimes with a reddish or yellowish hue, with nearly black streaks. Upon application of a wood finish (particularly an oil finish) the wood can become nearly black. However, unlike most other dark hardwoods, the heartwood of wenge can lighten (rather than darken) when exposed to sunlight.  Grain is straight, with a very coarse texture. Low natural lustre.

Properties:  Can be difficult to work with hand and machine tools. Blunts tool edges. Sands unevenly due to differences in density between light and dark areas. Very splintery—care must be used when handling unfinished wood with bare hands as splinters can be very large and have an increased risk of infection. Very large pores can be difficult to fill if a perfectly smooth/level finish is desired.

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