Makore (Tieghemella heckelii)

Makore (Tieghemella heckelii)

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Common Name(s): Makore

Scientific Name: Tieghemella heckelii, Tieghemella africana

Distribution: Western and Middle Africa (from Sierra Leone to Gabon)

Tree Size: 180-200 ft (55-60 m) tall, 4-6 ft (1.2-1.8 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 43 lbs/ft3 (685 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .55, .69

Janka Hardness: 1,200 lbf (5,350 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 16,330 lbf/in2 (112.6 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,552,000 lbf/in2 (10.71 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 8,290 lbf/in2 (57.2 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 5.5%, Tangential: 7.7%, Volumetric: 12.4%, T/R Ratio: 1.4

Color/Appearance: Pink or reddish brown, commonly with a mottled or wavy grain pattern. Figured grain patterns are commonly seen in Makore, and include: mottled, curly, wavy, and moire.

Grain/Texture: Makore has a fine texture with closed pores. It also tends to have a natural luster and shine from its high silica content. The grain can be straight, interlocked, or wavy.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium pores predominantly in radial multiples of 2-4; tyloses and other deposits present; growth rings indistinct; rays not visible without lens; parenchyma reticulate/banded.

Rot Resistance: Heartwood is very durable, and is also resistant to insect attack.

Workability: Generally easy to work, though sections with interlocked grain can cause tearout during planing or other machining operations. Makore will react when put into direct contact with iron, becoming discolored and stained. Makore also has a pronounced blunting effect on cutters due to its high silica content. Besides this dulling effect, Makore turns well, and is easy to glue and finish.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Makore has been reported to cause eye, throat, and skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Should be moderately priced for an import. Likely to be on par with other common African hardwoods such as Padauk or African Mahogany. Boards with figured grain patterns are likely to be much more expensive. Makore, much like Sapele, is frequently imported from Africa in both board and veneer forms, and is available in a wide variety of figured grain patterns.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as endangered due to a population reduction of over 50% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.

Common Uses: Veneer, plywood, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, boatbuilding, musical instruments, turned objects, and other small wooden specialty items.

Comments: None.

Related Species:
None available.

Related Articles:

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Justin Holden for providing the wood sample of this wood species.

Makore (Tieghemella heckelii)

Makore (sanded)

Makore (sealed)

Makore (sealed)

Makore (endgrain)

Makore (endgrain)

Makore (endgrain 10x)

Makore (endgrain 10x)

Makore (curly)

Makore (curly)

Makore (sealed)

Makore (quartersawn)