Wenge

Panga-panga, Millettia spp.

Appearance

Wenge

Shown with water-based finish (top), and oil-based finish (bottom)

Color: Heartwood is yellow-brown when freshly cut, turning dark brown to almost black with alternate layers of light and dark. Sapwood is yellowish-white and clearly demarcated from heartwood.

Grain: Straight when quartersawn; coarse texture.

Species & Grade Variations: Moderate variations in color.

Properties

Hardness (Janka): 1630 (26% harder than Northern red oak).

Dimensional Stability: Excellent (5.8; 33% more stable than red oak). However, actual installations have shown significant movement in use.

Workability

Sawing/Machining: Difficult due to rapid dulling of tools; carbide tooling recommended.

Sanding: Moderately difficult. Particular attention should be paid to removing the scratches from the previous sanding.

Suggested Sequence:

  • First Cut: 50 at a 7-15 degree angle with the grain
  • Second Cut: 60 straight with the grain
  • Third Cut: 80 or 100
  • Hard Plate: 100
  • Screen: 100 or 120

Nailing: No known problems.

Finishing: Staining may be difficult.

Comments: Dermatological and respiratory allergic potential.

Origin

Africa.

Availability

Limited availability.