When freshly cut, the heartwood of wenge (millettia laurentii) is a yellow-brown color, but then in a few months it darkens to a deep, uniform brown, almost black, with alternate layers of light and dark tissue, forming a decorative figure. On the tangential surface, the light lines show up as undulating streaks, like waves on the water. Orientation of the grain is an important consideration to show the wood at its best. Clearly demarcated from the heartwood is the yellowish-white sapwood. This coarse-textured wood has a straight grain.
One of the best known of the exotic dark woods, wenge is used primarily where a bold dark color or contrasting light and dark accent strips are desired.
(H=12%) : 0,87
The timber seasons slowly and requires care to minimise surface checking tendencies.
Very durable, and resistant to termite attack
The wood saws and works well, but force is required and sawteeth and cutting tools may blunt rapidly; stellite-tipped sawteeth and tungsten-carbide tipped cutting tools are recommended. It is difficult to polish and the use of a finishing wax is recommended. Pre-boring before nailing and screwing is needed. The wood slices well. It can also be rotary cut, but intensive steaming is then needed. The gluing and varnishing properties are poor due to the presence of resin cells, but the use of a filler improves the results considerably.
- Cabinetwork (high class furniture)
- Sliced veneer
- Current furniture or furniture components
- Interior joinery