African Padauk (Pterocarpus soyauxii)
Central and tropical west Africa
The heartwood ranges from a light pink/orange to a dark red/brown. The colours are at their most vibrant when the boards are freshly worked but will change to a dark brown/purple colour over time. It doesn’t take much sanding or scraping to get the original color back.
It works well with hand and power tools, but beware, the grain can be interlocked which can lead to tearout if your tools aren’t sharp. You should have no problems gluing this wood or having finish stick which makes it a great beginner exotic. It also smells nice with a light, aromatic quality. Fair warning, you will have colorful dust everywhere so don’t hesitate to wear a mask.
Veneer, flooring, turned objects, musical instruments, furniture, tool handles, and decorative objects. It’s also a fantastic wood for hand planes due to its awesome color, weight and stability.
You don’t get much more bang for your buck as you do with African Padauk. It’s relatively inexpensive (for an import), looks great and It has a light, pleasant odor when worked. This species also takes on a wicked shine when worked with high-angle planes or scrapers. This is a fantastic choice if you are new to exotics so have fun with it.