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Brazilian Tigerwood / Koa


Botanical name: Astronium, lecointei. Grows in: South America, Mexico.

Color: Tigerwood like Brazilian Cherry is very light sensitive spieces. Freshly cut tigerwood is from light tan to dark brown. After exposing to light souce, the aged tigerwood will turn more orange and darker dramatically.

Dense, straight and smooth grain blended with occassional curly or burl grain and bold brush stroke grain. Big color variation.

When fresh, the heartwood is russet brown, orange brown, or reddish brown to red with narrow to wide irregular stripes of medium to very dark brown. After exposure it becomes brown, red, or dark reddish brown with nearly black stripes. The dingy grayish or brownish-white sapwood, 2 to 4 in. wide, is sharply demarcated. Grain variable, straight to roey; texture fine to medium, uniform; no distinctive odor or taste. The wood often has a striking figure caused by irregular dark longitudinal bands.

Hardness/Janka: Janka:2160; (170% harder than Northern red oak).

Working Properties: it is not difficult to work in spite of its high density, finishes very smoothly, and takes a high polish. The wood weathers well and is highly resistant to moisture absorption. It is reported to be difficult to glue.

Durability: Laboratory tests indicate the heartwood to be very durable in resistance to both white-rot and brown-rot organisms. These results substantiate the reputed high durability of this species.

Preservation: Using either hot and cold bath or pressure-vacuum systems, sapwood absorbs only 2 to 4 pcf of preserving oils; heartwood absorbed one-half of this amount.

Uses: Among the most outstanding heavy, durable construction timbers, also highly favored as a fine furniture and cabinet wood. Cut for decorative veneers. it is used for specialty items such as knife handles, brush backs, archery bows, billiard cue butts, turnery, and carving.

Tigerwood is dimensionally stable and resists twisting and warping. It will remain smooth, splinter-free and friendly to bare feet for years.