Common Name(s): Avodire
Scientific Name: Turraeanthus africanus
Distribution: Western and central regions of Africa, near lakes and streams
Tree Size: 80-115 ft (25-35 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 36 lbs/ft3 (575 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .48, .58
Janka Hardness: 1,170 lbf (5,180 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 15,400 lbf/in2 (106.2 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,614,000 lbf/in2 (11.13 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 7,490 lbf/in2 (51.7 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 4.2%, Tangential: 6.6%, Volumetric: 11.3%, T/R Ratio: 1.6
Color/Appearance: Pale yellow or cream, darkening with age to golden yellow. Heartwood and sapwood usually look the same.
Grain/Texture: Grain can be straight, wavy, or irregular and interlocked. Texture is fine, with a high natural luster.
Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and commonly in radial multiples of 2-3; yellowish deposits in heartwood pores common; growth rings indistinct; rays visible without lens; parenchyma vasicentric.
Rot Resistance: Avodire is non-durable in regards to decay resistance, and is susceptible to insect attack.
Workability: Avodire is generally regarded as having good working characteristics, and is easy to work with hand or machine tools: though wood with interlocked grain can pose a challenge with tearout while being planed. The wood also has a slight blunting effect on tool cutters. Avodire glues and finishes well.
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Avodire has been reported to cause skin irritation, nosebleeds, internal bleeding, and asthma-like symptoms. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: Avodire is commonly sold as a veneer for a moderate price, though boards are also available. Avodire lumber is likely to be in the medium price range for an imported hardwood, comparing similarly to other mid-range African timbers such as Padauk. Veneer or solid lumber with highly figured grain is likely to be much more expensive.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.
Common Uses: Veneer, cabinetry, furniture, millwork, and plywood.
Comments: Avodire can exhibit a range of grain patterns, such as wavy, mottled, and rippled, with an almost-shimmering chatoyance, making it a popular choice for veneering applications. The wood is stable, and has a very good strength-to-weight ratio. Avodire is similar in working properties to the true Mahoganies, and is somewhat related to them as both are in the Meliaceae family.
Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Justin Holden for providing the wood sample (endgrain and quartersawn) of this wood species.