YELLOW BOXWOOD FROM BRAZIL
Pau amarello combines the bright yellow color and grain pattern of jelutong (Dyera costulata) with the hardness of common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens). Indeed, the Smithsonian Institution lists it as one of the many woods that are known as boxwood, most of
which are hard, heavy and tough, and are commonly used for mallets, tool handles, printers' blocks and rulers. Typically pau amarello has a fine texture, with darker and lighter patches shimmering across the pattern and hinting at an interlocking grain. The
end-grain has distinct lines
of earlywood and latewood, which do not show up on the face.
Type Tropical hardwood
Other names Yellowheart Alternatives Common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens), bastard box (Eucalyptus cypellocarpa), American holly (Ilex opaca)
Sources Lower reaches of the Amazon in Brazil
Texture Fine to medium; even
Grain Curving and Interlocking
Weight Heavy (c. 54 lb./cu. ft.) (860 kg/cu. m)
Seasoning and stability Shrinks evenly during seasoning, and without much distortion. Not thought to move much in use.
Wastage Sapwood is almost indistinguishable from the heartwood, and with few defects and little distortion there should be low wastage.
Range of board widths Probably limited
Range of board thicknesses Likely to be limited
Figured pau amarello, with curly patterning in the grain, is known as pau setim. This can be very difficult to plane, and is best sanded for surfacing because of likely tearing.
Pau amarello is the sort of lesser-known species from tropical rain forests that is sometimes available from certified sources, but it will not be common. It has not been listed as vulnerable, and its use should probably be encouraged.
AVAILABILITY AND COST
Pau amarello is available from some specialist dealers. It is usually cheaper than common boxwood.