Padauk - African Hardwood

Padauk - African

African Padauk, also known by its botanical name Pterocarpus soyauxii (Leguminosae), is a highly versatile timber. Its heartwood is a vivid red-orange when freshly cut, but over time it can change to bright red, red or coral-pink with dark streaks, and can darken further to a reddish or purplish brown or black. The colour fades over time. African Padauk has a fine to medium texture with a natural sheen, and its grain can range from straight to interlocked. It can be used for furniture, joinery, mouldings and much more, making it a great choice for a variety of projects.

African Padauk is a sustainable and legal timber source, and is becoming increasingly popular for its beautiful colour and versatility. If you’re looking for a wood species with a unique and striking colour, that is also strong and durable, African Padauk could be the perfect choice for your next project.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
Barwood, Camwood, Bosulu, Corail, Mututi, Mba, Ngula,

Durability Notes:
The African Padauk heartwood is very durable. It is resistant to termite attack and can last over 25 years in contact with the ground, even without any protective treatment. The African Padauk heartwood is quite resistant to preservative treatment, and the sapwood is moderately resistant.

The drying and seasoning of Padauk - African 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; Padauk - African - dries with almost no impact on the grade and quality of the wood and shows negligible 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.

African Padauk is heavy and dense. It has high bending and crushing strengths, with medium stiffness and resistance to abrasion. African padauk works well despite its density, with only a slight blunting effect on cutting edges. African Padauk planes, moulds, turns, drills, sands and well. Small sections are liable to split when nailing or screwing, so pre-drilling is advisable. African Padauk can be brought to an excellent polished finish. It also weathers very well.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Cabinetry, Flooring, Musical Instruments, Carvings, Turnings, Decorative Panels.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 12-18% for KD

Possible Health Risks:
Sawdust can cause skin and respiratory problems, swelling of the eyelids, itching and vomiting.

Commonly asked questions about African Padauk Wood

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

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