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Zebrawood

Heartwood is a golden yellow with narrow veining or streaks of dark brown to black. Grain is interlocked or wavy and produces alternating hard and soft grained material.

Thicknesses

Subject to availability

4/4
5/4
6/4
7/4
8/4
9/4
10/4
12/4
16/4
20/4
1/2"
3/4"
1"

Distribution

West Africa

Scientific Name

Microberlinia brazzavillensis

Specific Gravity: Basic

0.67

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

0.81

Janka Hardness

1830

Colour/Appearance

Heartwood is a light brown or cream colour with dark blackish brown streaks vaguely resembling a zebra's stripes. Depending on whether the wood is flatsawn or quartersawn, the stripes can be either chaotic and wavy (flatsawn), or somewhat uniform (quartersawn).

Grain/Texture

Has a fairly coarse texture and open pores. Grain is usually wavy or interlocked.

Endgrain

Diffuse-porous; medium pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; deposits (brown) occasionally present; growth rings distinct due to marginal parenchyma; rays not visible without lens; parenchyma banded (marginal), apotracheal parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, paratracheal parenchyma vasicentric, aliform (winged or lozenge), and confluent.

Rot Resistance

Heartwood is rated as durable and is also resistant to insect damage.

Workability

The wood saws well, but can be very difficult to plane or surface due to the prevalence of interlocking grain. Tearout is common. Zebrawood glues and finishes well, though a transparent pore filler may be necessary for the large open pores which occur on both dark and light surfaces.

Odor

Has a characteristic, unpleasant smell when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity

Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Zebrawood has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation.

Pricing/Availability

Zebrawood tends to be fairly expensive, though usually not as prohibitively expensive as other exotics such as Ebony or Rosewood.

Sustainability

This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range. (A closely-related, lesser-used species in Cameroon, Microberlinia bisulcata, is also listed as critically endangered.)
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