What Is Wenge Wood? Properties, Characteristics, & Uses
Wenge wood comes from two similar trees found in Central Africa. The tree is considered endangered and its timber is very difficult to get hold of, also making it an expensive wood. However, it is sought after because it is resistant to termites while being strong and hardwearing. It is used primarily in wood paneling, parquetry, and cabinet making, although alternatives are more commonly used because of the scarcity of the wood and its resulting cost.
About Wenge Wood
Wenge is actually a brand name for a type of timber that comes from the Millettia laurentii tree of Central Africa. It can grow to nearly 30 meters in height and have a trunk diameter of approximately 1 meter.
It is popular to work with because, despite being somewhat resistant to hand and machine tools, it is a very strong wood with an attractive grain. It is also resistant to termites, and its natural oils mean that it does not need to be treated.
It is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list as an endangered species of tree and has become endangered because of the destruction of its natural habitat and because its use has made it so popular that it has been heavily exploited.
Benefits of Wenge Wood as a Timber
Wenge Wood Drawbacks
Wenge wood is considered an endangered species, but it is still a highly sought-after timber for cabinetry, parquetry, and flooring. It is very dense and strong, and it has an attractive partridge pattern. However, it is difficult to work, whether using hand tools or machine tools. Once finished, though, the wood is resistant to termites and retains its strength even when moist thanks to its density.