Ekki Hardwood


Ekki wood, also known as Red Ironwood or Lophira alata (Ochnaceae), is a highly versatile timber with a unique pattern. The pale pink sapwood is easily separable from the heartwood, which is dark red or deep chocolate-brown, and can have purple highlights. White deposits in the pores add to the interesting pattern of the wood, and its grain is typically interlocked with an uneven and coarse texture. Ekki wood is suitable for a range of uses, including flooring, construction, decking and more. If currently available from sustainable and legal sources, Ekki wood is an excellent choice for your next project.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
Aba, Azobe, Akoura, Bakundu, Eba, Bongossi, Kaku, Hendui, Red Ironwood

Durability Notes:
The heartwood of Ekki is highly durable and decay-resistant. It does not accept treatment. Ekki weathers well and is resistant to acids.

The drying and seasoning of Ekki 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; Ekki - It is very slow-drying and can be subject to severe splitting, surface checking, end splitting and distortion. It gives poor stability 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.

Ekki is extremely heavy and dense. It had high stiffness and resistance to shock loads and very high crushing and bending strength. It has a severe blunting effect on cutters and tools. It is very challenging to work with hand tools but can be worked by machine. It requires pre-drilling for screwing and nailing. It glues and finishes adequately.

Typical Uses:
Boatbuilding, Flooring, Decking, Joinery, Exterior Cladding, Furniture, Instrument Making, Mouldings, Turnery.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 12-18% for KD

Possible Health Risks:
Dermatitis and itching

Interesting Facts:
This tough, durable wood can be challenging to work, but its longevity (especially in marine applications) make it well worth the effort.

Commonly asked questions about Ekki Wood

Is Ekki a hardwood or a softwood? Ekki is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Ekki hardwood or softwood? - Ekki 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 Ekki 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 Ekki? Ekki can be described as black/very dark brown, brown, dark brown, dark red

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