Tigerwood (Goncalo Alves): Uses, Properties, Pros, and Cons

Goncalo Alves is the common name for several species of hardwoods in the Astronium genus. This wood is also known as Tigerwood or Jobillo.

The Goncalo alves wood tree is 100-130 feet tall, 3-5 feet trunk diameter. It is a fine wood and can be used for many things.

We didn’t even find any significant flaws in this wood, making it seem like a pretty perfect wood. However, that does not make this wood free from disadvantages because several things can be a problem.

Tigerwood is commonly used as furniture, veneer, flooring, cabinetry, turned objects, etc.

The properties of Tiger wood

Tiger wood (Goncalo Alves) heartwood tends to be reddish-brown with a variety of other colors. It is also a wood that tends to darken with age.

The wood has a smooth and uniform texture with a good natural luster. Not only that, but this wood also has straight grains, although they are usually interlocked or wavy.

You can count on Tigerwood for decay resistance because this wood is considered very durable against it.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any information on its resistance to insect attack, and it looks like you’ll have to look into that in another article.

Tigerwood advantages

Moderate price: It is a widely available wood, and various forms are sold. You can get Goncalo Alves as veneer or lumber in multiple lengths and widths.

You can also get it in the form of a smaller craft blank. Not only are they widely available, but the price of goncalo alves is also in the moderate range for imported hardwoods.

So, it looks like this is a pretty good wood to use as the main wood in some things. It even seems like a good choice for making large, bulky wooden items, although it doesn’t seem good for decoration.

Workability: Despite its high density, it’s a wood that is generally not very difficult to work. However, you must be careful of several things during the process because they can have fatal effects.

For example, the blunt effect on cutters is difficult to glue because they are resistant to water absorption and other machining and planning operations challenges.

So, it is better if the work on goncalo alves wood is carried out by professionals who are used to handling hard-to-work wood.

The use of good equipment, including machines, is highly recommended to make the work easier and faster to complete.

Durability: In terms of resistance to rot, it seems like you don’t have to worry about goncalo alves because this wood is considered very durable against decay.

Not only that, but this wood also has excellent weathering properties. This is good news, especially for those looking for quality wood to make long-term wood objects.

I hope this wood can last as long as possible, even decades. Before starting to use it, you should find information about its resistance to insect attack. This is so that you are more confident in using the goncalo alves wood.

Tigerwood for flooring

Goncalo alves you can use as flooring, and we also think this is a good wood for that. Some of the properties of goncalo alves are good, such as its hardwood, high rot resistance, not too difficult to work, and others.

That’s why it seems like using it as flooring is pretty good, although you shouldn’t expect to get beautiful flooring.

This can be a substitute for Oak if you lack the wood in making flooring. We think this is only a substitute, and it’s not recommended to use it as the main wood flooring.

Tigerwood for veneers

Goncalo Alves is commonly available as veneers, and we don’t think you need to make your own to get them.

However, if we review it from the appearance, we think this is not the right wood for luxury and beauty. That’s why it looks like you can only use this wood if it’s just for a regular look.

Some of its properties, such as being highly resistant to decay, are great for this, and it can be a high-quality veneer.

If you want to have a good goncalo alves veneer, we recommend choosing wood and making your own.

Tigerwood for furniture

This is a smart choice for furniture, especially for large furniture that you want to use for the long term.

Goncalo alves is also a hardwood that isn’t too difficult to work with, which is why it looks like you can do it yourself.

However, it would be best if you chose what types of furniture you want to make, along with its size. If it’s only for small and less important furniture, we suggest using another wood.

You also don’t need to hope for the beauty of Goncalo Alves furniture because the appearance of this wood looks ordinary.

Tigerwood for cabinetry

Not only furniture, but goncalo alves are also commonly used as veneer, and they seem good for several reasons.

You can make cabinetry as a place to store important items, collections, even decorations, or you can even make kitchen cabinetry. If you prefer to use it as kitchen cabinetry, then it is a very good choice.

This will be a good quality and durable kitchen cabinetry if you take good care of it. However, we do not recommend keeping the natural color of the goncalo alves, and instead, paint it to cover it up.

Tigerwood for carving

If you need wood for carving, then goncalo alves can be a good choice. This wood is commonly used because its characteristics are very supportive and can produce quality curved objects.

However, preparing your carving tools properly would be best because some things can be challenging. Tigerwood is a high-density wood, so the carving tool you use must be sharp and prepared to sharpen it again.

Goncalo alves also have a moderate blunting effect that might be a drag, though we don’t think it’s significant.

Tigerwood for turned objects

If you’re not good at carving, turning is a good option for making high-value art items. Fortunately, tiger wood (goncalo alves) is also commonly used for this.

However, there are some things you should pay attention to, such as planning well and choosing the right look.

Not only that, but make sure the appearance is also related to the turned objects you want to create so that it can be a nice final result.

If you can use other woods, we think using other woods is a better choice, such as choosing rare exotics.

Tigerwood for pool cues

Because tiger wood or goncalo alves are hardwood, there’s nothing wrong with using them as pool cues. Because we think it seems like this wood is good enough for that.

We think of several reasons in this regard, such as having high decay resistance, so it’s durable and has a high density.

It looks like the pool cues’ appearance doesn’t matter in this case because you can paint it or cover it with something. However, going for a natural look is also great if you make it shinier.

Tigerwood for archery bows

The last common use on this list is archery bows. Goncalo alves are hardwood that has a high density.

That’s why it seems that making archery bows is a pretty good choice, sturdy, and we don’t think it will break easily.

However, it seems you must pay attention to other factors such as flexibility because it can be bad if it’s not a flexible wood, especially for classic archery bows.

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