BOXWOOD BY NATURE, IF NOT BY BOTANICAL NAME
Like many of the boxwoods that are not related to the Buxus species, Maracaibo boxwood is a beautiful wood to turn, as it has an almost creamy color and texture. Some wider stock is available, but generally boards are of limited width. The hardness and shock
resistance of the lumber makes it popular for handles and other turned items.
Type Tropical hardwood
Other names Casearia praecox, castelo
Alternatives Common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens), jelutong (Dyera costulata), Kamassl boxwood (Gonioma kamassi), San Domingo boxwood (Phyllostylon brasiliensis )
Sources Venezuela, Colombia, West Indies
Texture Even, fine and very smooth
Grain Close and generally straight
Weight Heavy (53 lb./cu. ft.) (850 kg/cu. m)
Strength Considered to have good shock resistance
Seasoning and stability Slow to season and prone to checking, but very stable once seasoned.
Wastage Likely to be moderate as sapwood is hardly noticeable, but if the dimensions are small a fair amount will be wasted in gluing up larger boards.
Range of board widths Likely to be limited
Range of board thicknesses Likely to be limited
Durability Good, but some risk of insects attacking sapwood
Watch out for blue staining if humidity is high. You can find rays and even some figuring on quartersawn surfaces. As a veneer, Maracaibo boxwood is sometimes stained black to imitate ebony.
Not listed as being vulnerable, but no certified lumber found.
AVAILABILITY AND COST
Not widely available, but should not be particularly expensive when you do find it.