BunnyBass Library of Wood: Padauk


Padauk (unfinished) - click here for a larger picture.

Padauk
In German: Padouk

Botanical names
Pterocarpus soyauxii
Pterocarpus osun
Pterocarpus cabre
Pterocarpus tinctorius
Pterocarpus chrysothrix

Family
Leguminosae Papilionatae

Trading names
African Padauk, Padauk

Names in the countries of origin
Cameroon: Muenge, Mbe
Zaire: Corail, N'Gula, Bosulu, Nzali
Nigeria: Osun
Congo: Kisesi

Specifics
Up to 130 feet high and 5 feet in diameter. Slim and straight trunk, no branches until approx. 60 feet. The transicion between the roots and the normal wood is short. Heartwood and sapwood aeras are sharply divided. The heartwood is coral-red when freshly cut, toning down to a medium to dark purple-brown over time after exposure. The sapwood is wide and greyish-white, giving a distinctive contrast to the heartwood. Padauk dries fairly rapidly with little degradation, kiln dries well. The grain is straight, interlocked, and coarse. It is elastic but easy to split. Easy to work, producing a lot of dust, finishes well, and is often used for elegant interior furnishings, high quality lathe-works, joinery, and so on. In the past padauk was also used to build high end sail boats, because the wood is extremely resiliant and durable.

Weight
In General a heavy wood
Fresh wood : 950 kg/cbm (2717 pounds/cubic yard)
Air dryed : 850 kg/cbm (2431 pounds/cubic yard)
Weight by 15% humidity: 800 kg/cbm (2288 pounds/cubic yard)

(the above information from the reference monograph Nutzholzer: Aus Aller Welt by Edmondo Palutan)


As used in Guitar & Bass construction:

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Reference photographs:

...unfinished padauk (print at 13.5x9mm for actual size).

...a Marleaux bass with very pretty figured padauk facings on the body.

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