HARD AND -LOOKING, WITH DISTINCTIVE COLORINGWILD
Bubinga is initially pinky red but darkens with age, and it has an interesting brown-red figure, with a mixture of straight and interlocking grain. Irregular brown-red gum lines add to the intriguing color. Hard-wearing and with a fine finish, it is useful
for solid wood flooring, and for tool handles as an alternative to rosewood.
Type Tropical hardwood
Other names African rosewood
Alternatives Louro (Nectandra species)
Sources Central and West Africa
Color Brown-red, with some purple streaking
Texture Coarse and open but consistent
Grain Sometimes straight but usually swirling; occasionally curved and interlocking
Weight Heavy, but moderate for a tropical hardwood (55 lb/cu. ft.) (880 kg/cu. m)
Strength Does not bend well, but neither does it bruise easily.
Seasoning and stability Seasons well; stable
Wastage Could be high, considering the inconsistent grain patterning and possible pockets of resin. There is a fair amount of pale sapwood.
Range of board widths May be limited
Range of board thicknesses May be limited
Durability Prone to insect attack, and only the sapwood will take preservative.
The most notable special effect you can achieve with bubinga is to use the rotary-cut veneer kevasingo.
I have not been able to find bubinga from a certified source, but it does not appear on the IUCN list of endangered species.
AVAILABILITY AND COST
Used for tool handles and furniture making, bubinga is likely to become more popular as supplies of rosewood diminish. Its price is moderate for a tropical hardwood.