Common Name(s): Panga Panga
Scientific Name: Millettia stuhlmannii
Distribution: Eastern Africa
Tree Size: 60-90 ft (18-27 m) tall, 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 54 lbs/ft3 (870 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .72, .87
Janka Hardness: 1,640 lbf (7,310 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 19,020 lbf/in2 (131.2 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 2,281,000 lbf/in2 (15.73 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 10,890 lbf/in2 (75.1 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 3.9%, Tangential: 6.6%, Volumetric: 10.5%, T/R Ratio: 1.7
Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a very dark brown with black streaks. Upon application of a wood finish (particularly an oil-finish) the wood can become nearly black.
Grain/Texture: Has a straight grain and a coarse texture. Panga Panga also has very large pores that can present a challenge to fill if a perfectly smooth/leveled finish is desired.
Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large to very large pores in no specific arrangement, very few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; brown or yellow deposits occasionally present; medium rays not visible without lens, normal spacing; parenchyma winged, confluent, and banded (bands typically as wide as the pores).
Rot Resistance: Very durable, and resistant to termite attack.
Workability: Can be difficult to work with hand and power tools. Blunts tool edges. Can sand unevenly due to differences in density between light and dark areas. Can easily get splinters when handling this wood, which tend to go septic (see safety information below).
Odor: Panga Panga has a faint, slightly bitter scent when being worked.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, breathing Wenge wood dust (closely related to Panga Panga) has been reported to cause central nervous system effects, irritation of the skin and eyes, and is a sensitizer. Also, Wenge splinters tend to take longer to heal and are more likely to go septic (get infected) than splinters from other woods. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Panga Panga and Wenge can both be dark enough to be used as substitutes for ebony.
Comments: Panga Panga is very similar in working properties and appearance to Wenge, and it’s not uncommon for the two species to be used and mixed interchangeably.