Pernambuco Wood Uses, Properties, Advantages, and Disadvantages
What is pernambuco wood?
Pernambuco is also known as Brazilwood, is a species of wood native to Brazil. The tree is only about 30-50 feet tall, 2-3 feet trunk diameter.
It’s an exotic endangered species with quite a lot of common uses. Pernambuco is also a hardwood with a very high resistance to rot.
However, this wood is not commonly used as furniture, maybe because the population is already small or for other reasons.
This wood also has good workability, so you don’t have to worry about it. Some of the common uses are inlays, carvings, veneers, and others.
The properties of pernambuco wood
The heartwood of pernambuco wood is yellowish-orange, although some are reddish-brown while the sapwood is whitish-yellow.
The wood grain is straight, although interlocking is also possible. This wood not only has an excellent natural luster but also has a smooth and even texture.
Pernambuco is also known to be very durable in its resistance to rot. This gives it a fairly significant advantage, although users requiring rot resistance may rarely do so.
This wood also has good workability, no characteristic odor and can cause health problems, such as skin irritation and swelling skin.
Pernambuco wood advantages
Resistant to rot: As a high-quality wood, of course, the Pernambuco wood has some good characteristics, including its durability. In resistance to rot, it’s a very durable wood in that respect.
Therefore, long-term use indoors is not a big problem for this wood. However, we have no information on its resistance to insect attack and others.
But it seems that it also holds up. In our opinion, this is because pernambuco wood has a high density. It seems the insects will find it difficult to eat the wood or even make a nest in it.
Good workability: It’s wood with good workability, despite its high density. It seems like the work with both hands and the machine is also not a problem.
However, that doesn’t seem to make Pernambuco easy to work on overall. Because of its density, it can provide several challenges, such as taking longer in the process.
Not only that, the high density may have a blunt effect on the cutter. We have no information regarding the silica content of this wood.
But we hope it has a little bit of content. It’s also wood with good response during the machining operation.
Appearance: There’s not much we can judge, but we think the wood is an exotic one. The appearance with a mix of yellow, orange, red, brown, which tends to be dark, makes it easier for people to remember.
We thought it was very nice and enough to give an artistic touch to the finished item. The inlays and carvings you make can be very beautiful, even when combined with other colored woods.
This wood grain figured is straight and may interlock. But we also noticed some wavy figures that add to the beauty of the pernambuco wood.
Pernambuco wood disadvantages
Endangered: Although this is valuable wood, you cannot use it freely. This is a wood that is listed on the IUCN Red List as endangered.
That’s because there has been a population reduction of more than 50% in just the last three generations. The cause is due to exploitation and decreased natural range.
Pernambuco has also been exploited for centuries. This is a matter of concern and must be addressed immediately.
It would be best to find it quite difficult to get this wood from a reliable source because the international trade of pernambuco wood is very limited.
High price: Previously, I mentioned that this is a rare wood that is endangered. For this reason, you will realize that this wood must have a very high price.
Don’t expect you to be able to get a moderate or expensive price; it’s something quite impossible, except for imitation. The source of sales with prices that tend to be very high is also in doubt.
That’s because international trade in Pernambuco is very restricted, and it isn’t easy to get a reliable source.
Some people may sell illegal wood from illegal logging. That’s why you better avoid using this wood.
Health risk: It’s also one of the woods with considerable health risks, although rare severe reactions.
Some of the diseases caused by pernambuco wood are skin irritation, nausea, swollen skin, headaches, and blisters.
We have no information regarding wood parts that may pose a health risk. Whether it’s dust, bark, or something else, that’s why it’s best to take precautions before something happens.
It’s better to do than to treat. In addition, you also don’t know about the possibility of severe reactions that could occur. So, take precautions at least to minimize severe reactions.
Pernambuco wood for stringed instrument bows
Pernambuco can be used as stringed instrument bows, such as cello, violin, viola, etc. We think that this is one of the main uses of pernambuco wood.
This wooden appearance is great for that and looks like it would fit perfectly with the musical instrument it’s used for. It seems like it will become a highly valued stringed instrument bow.
We don’t know about the wood used for musical instruments, but it looks like it’s not being used. Even if it’s used, it will require quite a lot of Pernambuco, good working, and must be very expensive.
Pernambuco wood for veneers
The veneer is one of the common uses of Pernambuco, although we think it isn’t nice. Pernambuco is an exotic wood of high value and is endangered.
That’s why, although commonly used, it doesn’t seem like the right choice. This is likely to make the Pernambuco seem worthless.
However, if we rated it from a quality point of view, this wood is indeed magnificent. Its resistance to rot is unquestionable, although we don’t know if it is against insect attack.
This wood also has good workability, and that seems to apply to veneers as well.
Pernambuco wood for inlay
You can also use pernambuco wood as an inlay. It might complement a piece of embellishment that needs a natural red, as not many kinds of wood have this unique color.
Despite its high density, we think the cutting process and other artistry can be done well overall. It’s also a high-quality hardwood at a price that tends to be very high. Because of that, the inlays that you make have more value as luxury and rare.
But, don’t forget to plan well before working, and use good quality sharp tools. It might make the process easier and faster.
Pernambuco wood for carvings
If you need suitable wood for carving media, it looks like pernambuco wood is the right choice.
In addition to basswood, aspen, and walnut, which are also used, this can solve high-value carving. However, its high density may be a problem when carving.
It can be more difficult and requires good quality and very sharp tools. Because this will be a work of art, you should first consider the source of the wood purchase.
As an engraver, we think you need to know the wood quality, including distinguishing between real and fake Pernambuco.
Pernambuco wood for turned objects
It’s also the last choice and is quite good for rare, endangered exotic wood.
Decorative or useful items can be made from this wood, although we think it’s only great for decorative items: several decorative items such as wooden bowls and cups, lamp and candle holders, and others.
The wood quality is excellent, although its density may be a challenge during the turning process.
But we don’t think that’s a problem, because after everything is done, you will produce high artistic value items with a good appearance and colors.