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Common Name(s): Wenge
Botanical Name: Millettia laurentii
Woodworking Qualities: Wenge’s innate hardness makes machining and hand tools rather ineffective. For this reason, carbide tipped tools are highly recommended. Wenge holds nails well and sands quite well, but pre-boring for nailing is suggested. Solvent-based stains are not typically accepted well in this wood.
Janka Rating: At 1630, Wenge falls somewhere in the middle of the realm of Janka ratings.
Species Characteristics: Wenge is a very hard, durable, and stable wood.
Appearance: After harvesting, Wenge is a yellow brown color. However, over time, it darkens to a deep brown color that may fringe into black. Sapwood is yellow-white, standing out strongly from the dark heartwood.
Color Change: Wenge exhibits a color change from a lighter yellow-brown to a very dark brown that is often confused for black until closer inspection.
Uses: The primary use for Wenge is hardwood flooring. Other uses may include construction and joinery, although neither field compares with the former.
This species of wood originates from Africa, specifically the Congo, Mozambique, and Tanzania.