The tropical essence of wenge, native to West and Central Africa, is a coveted wood for furniture and flooring due to its aesthetic qualities, but also because of its durability. Its resistance to termites, fungi and borers makes wenge an excellent material.
Strength. Wenge is very strong (MOR is 16,200 psi) and very stiff (MOE is 1.97 million psi). It’s pretty tough too, with a 1630-pound rating. The wood also has high impact resistance; hence its use for sporting goods and tool handles.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are fairly rare, inhalation of wenge wood dust has been reported to cause central nervous system effects, abdominal cramps, skin and eye irritation and is also a sensitizer .
Wenge is a very dense, medium-structured, dark hardwood from Central West Africa. It is often used as a replacement for Ebony when a job is budget constrained.
What type of wood is wenge wood and what does this mean for sustainability? Wenge wood is a tropical hardwood from a tree species called Millettia laurentii and several other closely related tree species.
Wenge can be used for veneers, panelling, furniture and more. The other great advantage of wenge wood is the wide variety of possible uses! Wenge is suitable for veneering paneling and furniture. The wood has strong flexural properties with a moderate hardness, making it very strong and stiff.
These woods are typically more exotic tropical hardwoods like rosewood, padauk, and teak, but sassafras (a fairly common wood) can cause respiratory problems, nausea, or even cancer.
Although I personally cannot guarantee that wenge or any other type of wood is 100% safe for use with cutting boards. But with the knowledge I have and the research I’ve uncovered, I’m not the least bit concerned about my family using it in that capacity. And indeed, I made cutting boards with wenge for my daughters.
Wenge is a relatively unknown type of wood for furniture and in the bathroom area, but it is breaking through as an accent colour. From the Millettia laurentii tree found in Central Africa, a tropical wood with a very dark colour.
1. Australian Buloke – 5,060 IBF. Native to Australia, this ironwood comes from a species of tree found in most of eastern and southern Australia. This particular species is known to be the hardest wood in the world, with a Janka hardness of 5,060 lbf.
The exotic species wenge is found in forests from southern Cameroon to northern Angola and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Is wenge a good tonewood for guitars? Wenge is a hardwood with an open grain. It offers a relatively bright tone with excellent mids and a resonant low-end. Wenge is rare but is generally used as the back/sides of acoustic bodies and in guitar necks and fretboards when used, rather than in solid bodies.