Wenge: Millettia laurentii

Wenge

Distribution

Wenge is native to Zaire, with populations also present in Cameroon and Gabon.

Description

Wenge has a clearly defined dark brown heartwood, with veins of black running through it. The grain is straight, and the timber has a rather coarse texture. Average weight 880 kg/m3; specific gravity .88.

Properties

Wenge is a heavy, dense wood. It has high bending strength and resistance to shock loads, medium crushing strength and low stiffness. It has a low steam bending classification.

Seasoning

Wenge seasons slowly, care and attention is required during the drying process to minimize surface checking. There is small movement in service.

Working

Due to the high density of Wenge timber it is not easily worked with hand tools, however machine tools will be satisfactory. Resin cells within the timber may present problems when gluing or polishing the wood. Nailing will require pre-boring. Once filled this timber can be brought to a high finish.

Durability

Wenge is very durable and resistant to termites. It is extremely resistant to preservative treatments.

Uses

Wenge natural durability makes it the ideal material for flooring, interior and exterior joinery and general construction. It is also an excellent turnery wood.