Lignum Vitae


Scientific Name: Guaiacum officinale
Location: Central America and northern South America
Dried Weight: 79lbs/ft3
Janka Hardness: 4,390lbf
Crushing Strength: 12,200lbf /in2

Lignum Vitae has a heartwood that ranges from pale yellowed olive to a deeper forest green or dark brown to almost black color. The colors darken with age, especially when exposed to light. The grain is interlocked and it has a very fine texture with an oily feel. The wood can be polished to a very fine lustre. The end grain is diffuse-porous. Lignum is rated as very durable in regards to decay. It is difficult to work with on account of its density and moderate blunting effect. It is also difficult to get a strong glue bond due to its high oil content. It is an exceptional wood for Turing and finishes well.