Bloodwood (Brosimum rubescens)
Bloodwood (Brosimum rubescens)

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Common Name(s): Bloodwood, Satine

Scientific Name: Brosimum rubescens (syn. B. paraense)

Distribution: Tropical South America

Tree Size: 80-150 ft (25-45 m) tall, 4-7 ft (1.2-2.1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 66 lbs/ft3 (1,050 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .90, 1.05

Janka Hardness: 2,900 lbf (12,900 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 25,290 lbf/in2 (174.4 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 3,013,000 lbf/in2 (20.78 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 14,310 lbf/in2 (98.7 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.6%, Tangential: 7.0%, Volumetric: 11.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.5

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a bright, vivid red. Color can darken to a darker brownish red over time with exposure to light. Applying a thick protective finish, and keeping the wood out of direct sunlight can help slow this color shift. Well defined sapwood is a pale yellowish color, though given the typically large trunk diameters, it’s seldom seen or included in imported lumber.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually straight or slightly interlocked. Has a fine texture with good natural luster, and is also somewhat chatoyant.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large pores, few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses and other mineral deposits common; parenchyma winged and confluent; narrow to medium rays, normal spacing.

Rot Resistance: Reported to be very durable, and resistant to most insect attacks.

Workability: Bloodwood is extremely dense, and has a pronounced blunting effect on cutters. The wood tends to be brittle and can splinter easily while being worked. Those persistent enough to bear with the difficulties of working with Bloodwood to the finishing stage are rewarded with an exceptional and lustrous red surface.

Odor: Has a mild scent when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: The wood’s dust has been reported as occasionally causing effects such as thirst and salivation, as well as nausea. Can also cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Widely available in wide boards, as well as smaller turning squares and blanks.Many boards exhibit only a dull reddish brown coloration; truly blood-red pieces are the ideal. Prices are moderate to moderately high 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: Carvings, trim, inlays, furniture, guitars, knife handles, and turned objects.

Comments: Traditionally known by the name Satine, it’s no wonder that the wood (now more commonly called Bloodwood) has grown so popular as an imported wood species. Though it poses some challenges in working characteristics, its hardness, strength, and coloration make this a crimson favorite.

Related Species:

Related Articles:


Bloodwood (sanded)
Bloodwood (sanded)
Bloodwood (sealed)
Bloodwood (sealed)
Bloodwood (endgrain)
Bloodwood (endgrain)
Bloodwood (endgrain 10x)
Bloodwood (endgrain 10x)
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Does anyone know if a waterfall grain patter with contrasting colors is rare for bloodwood?


Just a quick question on the data section. The modulus of rupture and elastic modulus seem confused. It would seem to take less strength to bend (EM) the wood than to actually break it (MR). Yet in every case, the elastic modulus is the larger number.

On the current page, the EM would be 20780 MPa. Why would it be 119x harder to bend a piece of wood than to rupture it?

Could you clarify? Perhaps these numbers are inverted?


I recently purchased a 6″x 6″ x3″ block of blood wood. When I cut off 1/8″ off end to remove wax I noticed checking cracks into the wood – bad. These cracks were obvious in the final polished carving. I really love the wood but reluctant to purchase more. Did I just happen to buy a bad piece or is this typical of bloodwood

Jordan Hoffman

I recently purchased a piece of Bloodowood and found no irregularities in it. But, considering it was my only Bloodwood piece to have turned, I’m not sure if that is more common than not. Though with the research I have done, it seems like you may have just gotten a bad piece.


Bloodwood has a nice deep rich color that’s very appealing to the eye. I have some turned princes here if you want to see them.


Anyone ever have a problem with bloodwood getting mold on it after finishing it with a liquid beeswax?? This occurs after I have finished it and store it for several weeks.

Jonathan Morton

Made a couple yoyos out of bloodwood. Sell them on etsy image
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I believe I have a few of these trees in the park I’m in at Acton CA USA. How they got here I have no idea. The leaves look like eucalyptus but bark is thick brown with clear red sap leaking out of the wounds. It is growing near a sandy wash with drainage as required. I’m going to cut a branch for a walking stick. There is a lot of sap from one I will collect for the medicinal properties. I’m melting some sap in my oil burner and it’s a really nice wood/flavored cigar smell – not at… Read more »

Scott Kennelly

Are you sure it’s not a red gum, from Australia? That’s a type of eucalyptus, and the wood is very hard and red.

Omry Yadan

Bloodwood bowl on the lathe, this is after sanding and before applying any finish.

Thomas DeCoste

I really enjoy the smell of this wood while working with it. It smells like pipe tobacco. It may be an acquired smell, but I enjoyed it. I also found working with a router and a bowl shaping bit to work beautifully. Cut it on my table saw with a fine tooth blade and it came out great as well. No splintering or tear out. It’s hard as nails and sanding is a real bear, but overall it has been a joy to work with so far. No allergies for me when working with it. Did everything in a t-shirt… Read more »


Hi Thomas,
I was just reading your 2015 comment on blood wood, not splintering or tearing. Would you have the info what country this bloodwood came from? I’m looking to test it for my project.
Appreciate for your kind attention.

Jared Snyder

If you guys want to see something beautiful, burn the wood slightly with a blowtorch. Just hold the flame a couple inches away from the wood and burn it as if you’re painting. It makes the color so much deeper and brighter and once you put a sealant overtop of it, it makes it some of the most beautiful wood you’ll ever see.

Stephen Barton

I built a classical guitar out of bloodwood ,and it is gorgeous the book matched back looks like a wizard with a big hat and beard, it is hard and heavy wood and the guitar has a very bright sound, with good volume, I French polished it and the finish looks a mile deep


Thank you for your advice.


definitely predrill – I’ve had bad results with my nail gun


I’ve also made about a dozen small-ish projects for my shop out of bloodwood due to the gorgeous color and luster. At this point I am discontinuing it unless a customer wants to pay double the price I used to charge for it. And that’s due purely to the challenges of working with it. I haven’t had too many problems but a piece I just finished was a NIGHTMARE. It’s always very inclined to splinter, especially on the router, but that hasn’t been a problem for me. I haven’t found tear out to be worse than similarly hard woods but… Read more »

Randy Wilson

I hand chop bowls. No batteries-no electricity! Just an adze and bowl scraper. I just finished a 10 by 10 by 4″ bowl. I’m giving it as a gift. The insides are smooth. Does anyone have experience with applying poly urethane and and good or bad experience with putting food in it ?? Not like hot soup or cold cereal, but fruit or salads??

I’ve lately been trying it as a fingerboard material. Works fantastic (comparable to Indian Rosewood) but you must take great care when cutting the fret slots (to avoid splintering) It’s slow work, particularly when shaping the wood on a planer, and I generally sand it to at least 1,000 grit before slotting. The occasional fret may not seat well due to the hardness of the wood. A light coat of dewaxed shellac (rubbed on in almost French polish fashion) gives enough strength to cement the frets if such is the case. If the frets do seat on first attempt, it’s… Read more »

Bruce Bennett

I’ve been using Bloodwood for Bass and Guitar fretboards since the mid 90s and I love it.. I do prefer and recommend quarter sawn if you can find it, Plain sawn tends to warp easily and being as its so stiff it can be a serious problem on a neck. its very flexible and has a lot of “memory” would probably make a darn fine archery bow..


If you are cutting this wood indoors wear a mask and have a shop vac handy. It will look like the wood bled all over the place. The dust is so fine and powdery that it goes every where.
If you are using a power saw or table saw, I highly recommend cutting this one outside.


If you have wood allergies, this species will trigger the hell out of, definitely wear a respirator


I found it splinters if you look at it wrong. It can be thoroughly miserable to work with. I found severe tear out with the router, and some tear out on the lathe. If you are careful and can get past the machining, it sands and finishes well. With lots of care the finished product is spectacular. I’ve made several high-end walking sticks out of bloodwood, and those are the ones people reach for first.


Super sharp tools are the key on the lathe. Good luck keeping them that way, though :)


I have a custom bow made of bloodwood. It shoots so great and the color is so impressive that I’m sure the next one I have made will be also made out of bloodwood.


When I first purchased Bloodwood the blank was quarter-sawn, will this affect its workability if so what can I do?


Yeah, the sawdust & glue (or lacquer) trick works great with bloodwood. I’ve made a few boxes & rocking chair with it. LOVE this wood!

I’m thinking/planning a solid body electric guitar made out of bloodwood (quarter sawn, if possible — the iridescent-like quality of the grain is gorgeous). Trying to get some idea about the tone qualities of the wood first. I’ve heard comparisons to mahogany, which is what my SG is made of.

Bob McCollam

I tried to use thin stripps of Blood woob for Guitar purflins & binding. It was very brittle. It did not bend will over a hot pipe so I put it in boiling water. I had some sucess bending in one direction but when I tried to reverse the bend at the waist but it splintered. I ended up with many joints in the purlins. I looks great after filling gaps with saw dust & super glue then sanding.

Scott @ DustyNewt

Love the mild aroma, and the iridescence of quarter sawn pieces. One of my favorites!


bloodwood is very hard an heavy.
difficult to carve, but a great color.


Bloodwood can often times have a very strong odor and can sometimes cause skin reactions. Take care when sanding it.