Afara Hardwood


Afara wood - also known by its botanical name, Terminalia superba (Combretaceae) - is a pale yellow-brown to straw-coloured wood. The sapwood and heartwood are not clearly differentiated, and the heartwood may have grey-black streaks. Afara has a straight and close-grained texture, with a moderately coarse feel. Its grain can occasionally be wavy or interlocked, giving an interesting figure.

This versatile timber is suitable for a range of uses, including furniture, joinery and turnery. It can be sourced from sustainable and legal sources, and is a popular choice for many projects.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
Limba, Limba Clair, Light Limba, Limba Blanc, Akom (Cameroon), Korina (Usa), Ofram (Ghana), Frake. Varieties With Darker Heartwood Are Known As Limba Bariole, Dark Afara, Limba Noir, Dark Limba

Durability Notes:
Afara wood has some durability but is considered non durable and not suited for exterior applications

The drying and seasoning of Afara is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Afara - kiln-dries well with little movement and air-dries quickly but with a tendency to shake or split. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Afara has low bending strength with low stiffness and medium crushing strength. Afara can be easily worked with both machine and hand tools, with only a slight blunting effect on cutters. Irregular grain can tear. Afara will take an excellent finish provided filler is used.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Cabinetry, Flooring, Musical Instruments, Milling, Boatbuilding, Joinery, Carving, Turning, Veneer.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Afara Wood

Is Afara a hardwood or a softwood? Afara is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Afara hardwood or softwood? - Afara is a hardwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Afara family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is Afara? Afara can be described as brown, light brown

Is Afara good for outdoor use? or is Afara good for exterior use? Afara is most suited for interior/interior use. Afara can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

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