Bubinga Lumber

Botanical Name: Guibourtia spp.

Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: Essingang (Cameroon), Ovang, Kevazingo (Gabon), Waka (Zaire).

Uses: Some resemblance to rosewood. Fine furniture and cabinet work, decorative veneers, fancy turnery, inlay work, acoustic guitar bodies.

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Distribution: The species in this group are found in Equatorial Africa from Southeast Nigeria, through Cameroon and Gabon to the Congo region. Occur in Swampy or periodically inundated forests, also near river or lake shores.

General Characteristics: Reaches a height of 130 to 150 ft; boles are straight and cylindrical to 70 ft, sometimes fluted or buttressed; trunk diameters 3 to 6 ft. Heartwood pink, vivid red, or brown with purple streaks or veins, on exposure becomes yellow or medium brown with a reddish tint, veining becomes less conspicuous; sapwood whitish and clearly demarcated. Texture is fine and even; grain is straight or interlocked; lustrous; sometimes highly figured; has an unpleasant odor when first cut which disappears on drying.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) mostly 0.65 to 0.78; air-dry density is 50 to 60 pcf.

Working Properties: Though quite hard and heavy, the species work, saw, and plane rather well and produce a good finish; glues well; a good wood for turning.

Durability: Heartwood has a good durability and is resistant to termite attack. Moderately resistant to marine borers.

Preservation: Heartwood is resistant to impregnation; sapwood is moderately resistant.

Mechanical Properties

(2-cm standard)

Bending Strength:

12% (47): 33,500 psi
12% (47): 22,600 psi
12% (46): 19,200 psi

Modules of Elasticity:

12% (47): 3,470 @ 1,000 psi
12% (47): 2,480 @ 1,000 psi
12% (46): 2,200 @ 1,000 psi

Maximum Crushing Strength:

12% (47): 13,000 psi
12% (47): 10,500 psi
12% (46): 9,600 psi

Drying and Shrinkage:

Timber must be seasoned slowly to avoid distortion and checking. Kiln schedule T2-C2 may be suitable for 4/4 stock and T2-C1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry; radial 4.0 to 7.6%; tangential 6.6 to 10.2%; volumetric 9.4 to 16.6%.

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