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Pau Rosa

Bobgunnia spp.
Also known as |
Akite|Asomanini|Awong|Bannia|Boto|Dina|Pau Rosa
Pau Rosa Lumber @ Rare Woods USA

Pau Rosa is a very beautiful tropical wood. Depending on the specific region of the trees’ growth, colors can vary from a medium chocolate brown to an almost Padauk-like red or orange, or even a mixture of such colors which can also include yellows and purples (also like Padauk). It is a very dense wood, with grains which are typically wavy or interlocked, and moderately course. Despite its density, it is considered relatively easy to work and turns, glues and finishes well.

Drying the wood is a slow, burdenous process. Like many woods which are comparably hard, logs and boards have a tendency to crack while drying, although Pau Rosa is considered very durable and dimensionally stable, there after.

Not listed in the CITES Appendices; categorized on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as a species of “least concern.”

Why We Love This Wood

Pau Rosa is not commonly found outside of Africa. Due to the combination of its cracking tendencies (when drying) and the relative short, squatty profile of most trees, long boards are even more uncommon. The wood has a nice natural luster. Its density and somewhat coarse texture requires sharp blades, but -- despite its coarseness and typically interlocked grains -- it actually planes well.

Due to its very limited supply, Pau Rosa is not too well-known in the US. It has excellent tonal properties, despite being grossly overlooked and under-appreciated.

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    Pau Rosa Lumber @ Rare Woods USA
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    Vital Statistics
    Main Color GroupDark Brown
    Grain Pattern Pronounced
    Avg Dry Weight - LB/BF5.3
    Avg Dry Weight - KG/M31030
    Janka Hardness - LBF2940
    Janka Hardness - N13080
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    PauRosa-Standard-4/4Lumber
    4/4 Lumber
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    pau-rosa

    Other Species

    Kosso
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    Gorgeous colors and grain patterns have resulted in the exploitation of this beautiful species for use in production of “Hongmu” furniture.  It looks similar in appearance to Kiaat/Muninga, another member of the Pterocarpus genus.  We only have a few hundred BF of this endangered species left and don’t expect to get any more when it runs out.

    Common Uses:
    boxmaking, cabinetry, inlay, knife handles, specialty items
    Detail
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    kosso
    Osage Orange - Argentine

    This South American species is closely related to the domestic Osage Orange. 

    The lumber it yields is typically a bit cleaner with less defects. 

    It is pretty hard and dense making it tough on tools, but it turns and finishes well.

    Common Uses:
    boxmaking, cabinetry, carving, crafting, inlay, specialty items
    Detail
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    Tamarind - Spalted

    Spalted Tamarind comes from South East Asia.   The decay/spalting gives the wood awesome spiderweb type patterns that add character and excitement to its appearance.  The spalting is most prevalent in the sapwood which is prone to attack from bugs and fungus which cause it.

    It is moderately difficult to work, but turns and finishes well.  Sometimes the rot is more endemic than is obvious from looking at the surface of the lumber result in some wastage (lost pieces).

    Take care to use good dust collection and a dust mask, as the fungal spores add more to the air than dust alone.

    Common Uses:
    boxmaking, inlay, specialty items, turnings
    Detail
    Common Uses
    tamarind-spalted
    Chakte Viga

    This vibrant Central American wood can features primary colors ranging from orange to golden brown (with gold, red and sometimes even green accent coloration). It is thought to be the closest relative to Brazilwood (famous for its use in stringed-instrument bows), and Chakte Viga shares many of the same acoustic properties. Grains are straight, but sometimes interlocked — otherwise, this wood works easily, and finishes well. It has a fine texture and excellent natural luster. Sap is a pale off-white to pale yellow.

    Chakte Viga is a wood that has been starting to emerge from relative obscurity over the last decade or so, being one of the lesser-known and -demanded woods from the tropical Central America region. We feel it has a huge untapped potential as a guitar tonewood, as well as in fine furniture production in the US. The wood has some very subtle aesthetics, sometimes exhibiting a 3D-like shimmering chatoyance after being finished with clear lacquer.

    Common Uses:
    fine furniture, furniture, inlay, turnings
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    Common Uses
    chakte-viga
    Longhi

    Longhi is an African wood with similar working properties to its more well-known cousin, Anegre. Its color varies from a greyish-white to beige to pinkish-brown color, which slightly darkens with age and UV-ray exposure. Its generally light appearance makes sapwood difficult to distinguish. Its grains are typical straight (though occasionally interlocked) and its texture ranges between fine and medium-fine. It can sometimes possess mottled or subtle tiger-striped figuring.

    The wood must be carefully dried, as it is susceptible to fungus. It is considered to be moderately durable, and moderately stable. Longhi has a solid strength-to-weight ratio, which makes it a popular choice for flooring and decking.

    Common Uses:
    cabinetry, decking, flooring, furniture
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    Common Uses
    longhi
    Birch - Yellow

    Heartwood can vary from pale yellow to a light, muted reddish brown; sapwood is grayish-white. There are many species of Birch, worldwide; it is one of the most popular woods, ironically, for both veneer and utility applications. Figured pieces are the more desirable for veneer, with wide, dramatic curly figuring (similar to Cherry) decorating the surface.

    American Birch works easily — it turns, glues and finishes well — although most boards have very little natural luster. It’s a versatile wood that can be used for a number of different applications, but it needs to be protected, as the wood will decay when exposed to the elements. (… and if left unprotected will rot.)

    Common Uses:
    boxmaking, cabinetry, crafting, flooring, furniture
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    Common Uses
    birch-yellow
    pau-rosa
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