Brazilwood Hardwood


Brazilwood is a timber species originating from Brazil, and is botanically known as Caesalpinia echinata (Leguminosae). It was originally prized for its dyeing properties, and is still used for a variety of purposes today. The heartwood of Brazilwood is a bright orange-red, which matures to a deep red-brown, while the sapwood is nearly white. The figure of the wood varies from stripy to marble-like, and may contain pin knots to add to the interest and character. The grain of Brazilwood is usually straight to interlocked, with a fine, even texture and a natural gloss. Brazilwood is a versatile timber, and can be used for turnery, violin bows, guntimber sections and much more. If currently available from sustainable and legal sources, it is possible to find suppliers of Brazilwood.

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Also Called:
Bahia Wood, Pernambuco Wood, Para Wood, Pau Brazil, Brasilete, Brazil Ironwood

Durability Notes:
Brazilwood wood is a very durable timber.

The drying and seasoning of Brazilwood 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; Brazilwood - needs very slow drying to avoid degradation and checking. 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.

Brazilwood is a very hard and heavy with exceptional shock resistance and stiffness. Due to its hardness it can be challenging to work and has a severe blunting effect on tools. Brazilwood can be polished to an excellent finish.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Musical Instruments, Cabinetry, Turnery, Bow Making, Carvings, Inlay, Veneers

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

Commonly asked questions about Brazilwood

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

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