Afzelia Hardwood


Afzelia is a stunning, red-brown hardwood with a mahogany-like hue, that develops on exposure to the air. Its grain is irregular and interlocked, giving it a coarse yet even texture. The heartwood is clearly differentiated from the pale, straw-coloured sapwood, and yellow or white deposits can cause staining. Afzelia is a versatile timber, ideal for furniture, joinery, shop fitting, and much more. It is a highly sought-after wood species, known by its common name Afzelia and its botanical name Afzelia spp. (Leguminosae).

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Also Called:
Doussie, Aligna, Apa, Lingue, Mkora, Chamfuta, Bolengo, M'Banga, Papao, Uvala

Durability Notes:
Afzelia is durable - the sapwood can be vulnerable to powder-post beetle attack, but the heartwood is extremely durable and stable, with great resistance to preservative treatment and impregnation.

The drying and seasoning of Afzelia 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; Afzelia - can be kiln-dried satisfactorily, provided it is dried slowly from green. There may be slight distortion, the extension of existing shakes and some fine checking. There is only small movement in service. 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.

Afzelia has a tolerable bending rating due to its liable to distort and exude resin during streaming. Afzelia has high crushing and bending strength, low resistance to shock loads and medium stiffness. Afzelia is a hard wood to work, since it had a high resistance to cutting, causing tolerable blunting of tools. It polishes well when the grain is filled but is challenging to stain. Pre-drilling is advised for nailing and screwing.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Flooring, Cabinetry, Interior Mouldings, Decking, Veneers, Plywood, Joinery, Boatbuilding, Carving.

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

Commonly asked questions about Afzelia Wood

Is Afzelia a hardwood or a softwood? Afzelia is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Afzelia hardwood or softwood? - Afzelia 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 Afzelia 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 Afzelia? Afzelia can be described as brown, dark brown, dark red, red, orange,

Is Afzelia good for outdoor use? or is Afzelia good for exterior use? Afzelia is most suited for exterior/external use. Afzelia 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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