African Blackwood

African Blackwood

Other Common Names: 
Congowood, Mozambique ebony, mpingo

Botanical Name: 
Dalbergia melanoxylon

Family: 
Leguminosae

Mature Tree Height, Diameter: 
15-25 ft, rarely over 1 ft.

Weight @ 12% M/C: 
83 lbs./ft.3

Working Properties: 
Difficult to plane and machine with tools. Excellent for turnery. Usually machined with metal-working equipment.

Growing Regions: 
Sudan to Mozambique, Angola, and Nigeria to Senegal

General Characteristics: 
Heartwood dark purplish brown with black streaking. Texture is fine and even. The grain is straight and wood is slightly oily.

Uses: 
Primarily used for woodwind instruments, guitars, turnery work, knife handles, walking sticks, carvings, and more.

Acceptable Substitutes: 
Honduras Rosewood

References: 
"A Guide to Useful Woods of the World, Second Edition", Forest Products Society, 2001, pg. 211