Latin Name: Millettia laurentii
Common Name(s): Wenge
Sources: Central Africa

Characteristics

Heartwood is medium brown, sometimes with a reddish or yellowish hue, with nearly black streaks. Upon application of a wood finish (particularly an oil finish) the wood can become nearly black.

Grain/ Texture

Grain is straight, with a very coarse texture. Low natural luster.

Workability

Can be difficult to work with hand and machine tools. Blunts tool edges. Sands unevenly due to differences in density between light and dark areas. Very splintery—care must be used when handling unfinished wood with bare hands, as splinters have an increased risk of infection. Very large pores can be difficult to fill if a perfectly smooth/level finish is desired.

Uses

Veneer, paneling, furniture, turned objects, and musical instruments.

Availability

Available in wide boards and veneer sheets. Prices are high, and are likely to remain so as supplies dwindle.