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Premium Tonewoods

Sustainable Harvesting

Three-X Quality Check

Over 40 Years In Service

Botanical Name:

Swartzia spp. (S. cubensis)



Other Names:

Mexican Royal Ebony, Catalox

Tree Height:

100-130 ft

Tree Diameter:

2-4 ft

Weight at 12% moisture content:

72 lbs./ft.3

Growing Regions:

Southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America

General Characteristics:

With a dark reddish-brown to black heartwood, you can sometimes even see a strong purple-ish color. Katalox grain is usually straight but can also be irregular or interlocked, with a fine texture and nice natural luster.


Inlays, fine furniture and cabinetry, parquet flooring, guitars, turnings and other small specialty items

Working Properties:

Katalox is considered difficult to work, considering its high density. There is a moderate to high blunting effect on cutting tools, and if an interlocked grain is present, tearout can occur during planing. Gluing can also be a bit troublesome, as Katalox has such a high density and natural oil content.

Suitable Substitutes:

Used as a substitute for true Ebony.


No further discussion.


Ready to try your hand at working with


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