The Blackwood Family

African Blackwood

Scientific Name: Dalbergia melanoxylon
Location: dry Savannah regions of Central & Southern Africa
Dried Weight: 79lbs/ft3
Janka Hardness: 3,670lbf
Crushing Strength: 10,500lbf /in2

African Blackwood is often completely black. The sapwood is a pale yellow. This Blackwood has a fine, even texture with a straight grain. The end grain is diffuse-porous. African Blackwood is very durable when it comes to decay and is moderately durable to insect to attacks. This wood is very difficult to work with because of its extreme blunting effect on cutters. African Blackwood turns well.


Australian Blackwood

Scientific Name: Acacia melanoxylon
Location: Tasmania & eastern Ausralia
Dried Weight: 40lbs/ft3
Janka Hardness: 1,160lbf
Crushing Strength: 7,777lbf /in2

Australian Blackwood has a color medium golden brown to reddish brown. It usually has a straight to slightly interlock grain. It has a uniform fine to medium texture. The end grain is diffuse-porous. Australian Blackwood is moderately durable when it comes to decay. This wood is easy to work with and turns, glues, stains, and finishes well. It also responds well to steam bending.


Burmese Blackwood

Scientific Name: Dalbergia cultrata
Location: Southeast Asia
Dried Weight: 65lbs/ft3
Janka Hardness: 3,350lbf
Crushing Strength: not available

Burmese Blackwood ranges in color from a medium olive or reddish brown to a darker purplish brown. The color will darken with age. The sapwood is a pale grey color. The grain of Burmese Blackwood can be irregular and the texture can be a uniform medium. The wood has a good natural lustre. The end grain is diffuse-porous. Burmese Blackwood can be difficult to work with on the account of its density. It turns and finishes well, but gluing precautions should be taken because the wood is oily.


Malaysian Blackwood

Scientific Name: Diospyros ebonasea
Location: Malaysia
Dried Weight: 72lbs/ft3
Janka Hardness: 3,000lbf
Crushing Strength: not available

Malaysian Blackwood has a heartwood that ranges from medium brown to black. The sapwood is pale yellow to tan. The grain is generally straight and it has a very fine even texture. The wood  gives off a good natural lustre. The end grain is diffuse-porous. Malaysian Blackwood is rather difficult to work with on account of its high density and blunting effect. It is very difficult to steam bend.