Materials / Different Timbers

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Here is some information about some of the timbers that I use for my Instruments. The list is not complete and lack of time means that I probably won't update more here...

Honduras Rosewood (Dalbergia Stevensonii)
African Blackwood (Dalbergia Melanoxylon)
Satiné, Bloodwood or Muirapiranga (Brosimum Paraense)
Tulip Wood (Dalbergia Frutescens, D. Decipularis)
Black Maire (Nestegis Cunninghamii)
Jichituriqui (Aspidosperma cylindrocarpon)

Honduras Rosewood

Dalbergia Stevensonii, or Honduras Rosewood, a member of the Leguminosae Family , is used in Musical Instrument Making in various ways: as sound timber in Marimba phones and other percussion Instruments as well as in Recorders and other woodwind instruments. It originates primarily from the southern part of Belize, formerly British Honduras, hence the name. This timber species grows to a height of between 15 and 30 m and has a diameter of about 1 m. It produces a timber that is hard, heavy, durable and very resonant. The Heartwood is pinkish brown to purple with alternating dark and light zones forming a very attractive figure, distinct from 2 ½ to 5cm thick yellow sapwood. The Texture is medium to rather fine, the grain generally straight to slightly roey the luster low to medium. Fresh cut or turned wood has an aromatic odour which dissipates with age

Please read also this article about Honduras Rosewood by Tom Ridenour of Ridenour Clarinets:

African Blackwood (Dalbergia Melanoxylon)


Satiné, Bloodwood or Muirapiranga (Brosimum Paraense)

Botanically Satiné or Muirapiranga (Brosimum Paraense) belongs to the Moraceae and is therefore related to Muirapinima or Snakewood (Brosimum Guianensis). It is a Amazon timber and one can find it comparatively often. The timber has a bright red colour that doesn't fade and is very dense.

Tulip wood
(Dalbergia Frutescens, D. Decipularis)

Dalbergia Frutescens, or Tulipwood, a member of the Leguminosae Family, is used for ornatmental turnery, various other decorative applications like inlays and musical instrument making since the 18th Century.

A small tree, rarely bigger than 0.25m diameter and smaller with the sapwood removed, about 0.2m. The Heartwood is pink-yellow with a pronounced striped figure of pink to deep red. The Sapwood is white to pale yellow, often cut off at source. Found in South America, most notably Brazil where it flourishes near Bahia and Pernambuco. The name Tulipwood mostlikely comes from the tulip-like colours found in the heartwood, but like many members of the Dalbergia genus, Brazilian Tulipwood has a pleasant scent when the wood is cut that reminds of Tulips.

In Musical Instrument making it is used mainly for Recorders, Flutes and Marimba keys.


Black Maire (Nestegis Cunninghamii)

The Black Maire tree grows in colder climates of the central North Island of New Zealand. This moderately proportioned tree belies the spectacular grain within.

The timber is dense, hard and has good sound qualities. Relatively new to the use for making Woodwind Instruments it provides a good alternative to the well established timbers used for Flutes. It has, despite the name, a white to yellow appearance .The grain changes in its cross section from cream white through brown to contain black streaks. The texture is very clean cutting and beautiful "off the tool". Freshly cut timber has a strong aromatic smell that reminds a bit of Eucalyptus.


Jichituriqui (Aspidosperma cylindrocarpon)

Jichituriqui, also known as Peroba Rosa or Bolivian Pear. Belongs to the Family of Apocynaceae and is found in the Monsoon Forests of Bolivia in sufficient amounts. Density is about 0.89 g/cm³ at 12% moisture content, it resembles Maple in it's physical appearance and is a substitute for european Pear.