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African Tigerwood Lovoa trichilioides

Known by some woodworkers as striped or African walnut, this species does not have the even patterning of zebrawood, but it does possess an intriguing color and grain. It is part of the mahogany (Mellaceae) family rather than a walnut (Juglandaceae). Irregular thin, dark lines intersperse gradual changes in color from light to dark honey, with some yellowish patches. Once finished it shimmers like a hologram, with colors altering as you move the lumber in light. The thin black lines on crowncut or quartersawn lumber can be used creatively.

Type Tropical hardwood
Other names Striped walnut (U.K.), African walnut (U.K.) Alternatives English walnut (Juglans regia), mahogany (Swietenia species), snakewood (Piratinera guianensis)
Sources Central and West Africa
Color From yellow-tan to rich dark honey
Texture Varies, but moderately open
Grain Often interlocking in small patches, but generally straight or gently curving
Hardness Moderate
Weight Medium (35 lb./cu. ft.) (560 kg/cu. m)
Strength Mediocre for a hardwood
Seasoning and stability Seasons well, but has a tendency to split if there is heart shake. Moderate movement once seasoned.
Wastage Low
Range of board widths Varies greatly from yard to yard, but can be wide.
Range of board thicknesses Limited, but thick boards are available.
Durability Has some resistance to pests and rot.

Quartersawn lumber has subtle lines that can produce an attractive figure.

Tigerwood has been listed as vulnerable in some African countries by IUCN. There are few signs of certified supplies.

African tigerwood is imported by some specialist dealers, in varying widths and thicknesses, and is only a little more expensive than some softwoods.

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Updated: 12/2017   copyright 2011 Rowecraft