Blackbean Hardwood


Blackbean wood (Castanospermum australe) is an attractive and versatile timber with a unique colour range. The sapwood is white to yellowish and the heartwood is medium to chocolate brown, sometimes with dark streaks. Over time, the heartwood can darken to black. The grain is generally straight, but may be slightly interlocked and the texture is medium to coarse with an oily feel. Quarter sawn wood displays attractive stripes. Blackbean is suitable for a wide range of applications, including cabinetmaking, joinery, and furniture. If available from sustainable and legal sources, you can use our system to connect with suppliers of Blackbean.

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Also Called:
Beantree, Moreton Bay Chestnut, Moreton Bay Bean

Durability Notes:
Blackbean wood is moderately durable

The drying and seasoning of Blackbean 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; Blackbean - is challenging to dry. If care is not taken, honeycombing and collapse can occur. Kilning needs to be preceded by very slow air-drying. Movement in service is medium. 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.

Blackbean is hard and heavy. Blackbean has medium strength but will not withstand shock loads as it is brittle. Blackbean has a tolerable blunting effect on cutting tools, due to a high mineral content. Planing and moulding can be challenging. DAs the wood is oily gluing can be challenging. Blackbean nails and screws adequately and stains and polishes to an excellent finish. Blackbean has very high electrical resistance.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Flooring, Cabinets, Boatbuilding, Turnery, Carving, Veneers, Handles.

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

Commonly asked questions about Blackbean Wood

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

Is Blackbean good for outdoor use? or is Blackbean good for exterior use? Blackbean is most suited for internal/interior use. Blackbean should not 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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