Common Name(s): Goncalo Alves, Tigerwood, Jobillo
Scientific Name: Astronium graveolens (syn. A. fraxinifolium)
Distribution: From Mexico southward to Brazil
Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 57 lbs/ft3 (905 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .80, .91
Janka Hardness: 2,170 lbf (9,640 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 16,970 lbf/in2 (117.0 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 2,401,000 lbf/in2 (16.56 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 10,770 lbf/in2 (74.2 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 4.2%, Tangential: 7.8%, Volumetric: 11.2%, T/R Ratio: 1.9
Color/Appearance: Heartwood is typically a medium reddish brown with irregularly spaced streaks of dark brown to black. Color tends to darken with age.
Grain/Texture: Grain can be straight, but is usually wavy or interlocked. Fine, uniform texture with good natural luster.
Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses and other heartwood deposits common; growth rings indistinct; rays visible without lens; parenchyma vasicentric.
Rot Resistance: Goncalo Alves has excellent weathering properties, and is rated as very durable regarding decay resistance.
Workability: Goncalo Alves is generally not too difficult to work, despite its high density. Figured pieces with irregular grain can pose a challenge in planing and machining operations. Goncalo Alves can also have a moderate blunting effect on cutters. The wood is very resistant to moisture absorption, which can make it difficult to glue. Goncalo Alves turns and finishes well.
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Goncalo Alves has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: Widely available in a variety of widths and lengths as both lumber and veneer, as well as smaller craft blanks. Prices should be moderate for an imported hardwood.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Flooring, veneers, furniture, cabinetry, carving, turned objects, and other small wood specialty objects such as: pool cues, archery bows, knife handles, etc.
Comments: Goncalo Alves is commonly referred to as “Tigerwood” or “Brazilian Tigerwood” among flooring dealers. The wood has superb stiffness, strength, hardness, and durability. However, density and other mechanical properties can vary widely depending on the growing site and source region. The name “Jobillo” is sometimes used to refer to higher grades of Goncalo Alves among woodturners.
Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the turned photo of this wood species.