Wenge Wood Uses, Properties, Advantages, and Disadvantages
What is wenge wood?
Wenge wood (Millettia laurentii) is a dark hardwood with a unique appearance with a Central African distribution.
The tree is 60-90 feet tall, with a trunk diameter of 3-4 feet. This is a fairly exotic wood with good durability, though difficult to work with.
However, that doesn’t seem like a problem, especially if you’re already a woodworking pro. We think this is an excellent wood for luxurious and artistically valued miscellaneous wood items, as wenge color seems to be a rarity.
Wenge wood is commonly used as furniture, paneling, veneer, musical instruments, and turned objects.
The properties of wenge wood
Wenge wood patio wood is medium brown and maybe slightly embellished in other colors. This wood also has a very rough texture, straight grain, and low natural luster.
Wenge is considered very durable in its resistance to rot and is also resistant to termites attacks. It’s also difficult to work, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you’re experienced and professional.
Wenge wood prices are also in the high range. Probably that’s because wood is limited in availability and is endangered. It seems like this will be a very valuable rare exotic.
Wenge wood advantages
Durability: You can count on wenge wood for its resistance to rot because it is considered very durable at that.
This will be wood with fairly perfect durability and may last for decades. Not only is it very durable against decay, but it’s also resistant to termite attack.
We have no information about its resistance to attack by insects other than termites. I hope it holds up, too, because otherwise, it would be a very significant disadvantage.
This can be one of the best options for some wooden objects, including for rare exotic substitutes.
Appearance: The appearance of wenge wood is a significant advantage for this wood.
Even though it was dark in color, we saw something different about wenge. It’s like showing that this wood looks beautiful.
We also noticed some wenge had unique grain figured. Not only that, but the dark color displayed also looks different from usual.
It’s not dark brown or black, but something different. Perhaps this beautiful appearance is one of the reasons why wenge is in such a high price range, apart from its endangered.
It seems like choosing a wenge with the right appearance must also be done.
Wenge wood disadvantages
High price: The price of wenge wood is in the high range, and we think it will stay the same or maybe go higher.
That’s because wenge wood is an endangered wood, and perhaps because it has an attractive appearance.
It seems that getting wenge is not an easy thing, for the reasons we mentioned above. So, you should make the right choice and make careful planning to get it.
Don’t forget to give the seller the reliable wood you buy because some endangered wood comes from dubious sources. After all, it cannot be easy to get legal wood.
Difficult to work: It looks like you need better skills and more experience to work this wood. That’s because wenge wood is a wood that is difficult to work, either by machine or by hand tools.
Several problems may occur during the working process, including blunt cutters, debris that can cause infection, and others.
We hope you do well because this will produce high-quality wooden items with a stunning appearance when finished.
Before working the wood, don’t forget to plan and prepare the best tools you can get. It could have made the work easier and faster.
Health risk: You have to be more careful working with wenge than any other wood because this wood can cause some pretty troublesome health effects, though severe reactions are rare.
An example is wood dust, a sensitizer that can cause central nervous system effects, eye and skin irritation, and stomach cramps.
Not only that, but you also have to be more careful about wenge flakes. Because it may take longer to heal, and the worse reaction is to go septic.
The probability of going septic on wenge is greater than for other woods. So, be careful and take good precautions.
Endangered: Although wenge wood is not listed in the CITES Appendices, it is listed on the IUCN Red List as endangered due to population reduction.
The reduction is due to exploitation and decreased natural range. This has reduced the wenge population by more than 50% in just the last three generations.
Seeing this fact should make us aware of using wenge within reasonable limits. For this reason, it seems the wenge wood trade should be strictly regulated and its habitat properly cared for.
It might make the wenge wood population increase, but that is if the tree can grow quickly.
Wenge wood for veneer
Wenge wood is commonly used as veneer and seems to be great for dark veneers. Maybe you need dark veneers for some things, including to coat things that you think should look different.
This can also be a solution for those who want wenge, but can’t afford it because it’s expensive. The quality of this wood is unquestionable because it’s good.
However, we think buying ready-made veneers is better than making them yourself. Because of its status as difficult to work with, it can be a significant problem and make it long and difficult to work.
Wenge wood for paneling
It’s also a common wood used as paneling. You can make this wood a single material or use several kinds of wood.
It looks like it would be great, but we thought not to use it as a single material. Don’t forget to opt for a nice look if you can do that. Because we think some wenge wood may have a different look.
This wood’s resistance to rot and termite attack is also unquestionable, and it seems to be good for that too. We hope you can use it well, including finding the most appropriate part for wenge paneling.
Wenge wood for furniture
You can use wenge wood for good quality furniture with a beautiful appearance. However, it looks like it would require more wenge, and could cost more money.
If you have sufficient capital, it seems that making a set of wenge wood furniture is the right choice. It will be durable furniture and may last for decades.
It seems that the price of wenge furniture can also increase to be more expensive if its availability continues to reduction.
We didn’t expect that to happen, because this is a beautiful wood that is very good for decorating the house interior.
Wenge wood for turned objects
It’s great to make decorations, toys, or other wooden items out of wenge wood. If you want to do that, it seems like doing the turnings to make turned objects is a good choice.
It can produce high art items with a gorgeous appearance. Here you need to have good skills and more experience to get quality turned objects.
If many people like the goods you produce, it seems that sell your turned objects is the right choice. However, it appears that other woods besides wenge, such as Figured Maple and Walnut, can be used for this.
Wenge wood for musical instruments
Wenge wood is also a wood that is commonly used as a musical instrument. However, we are not sure about what musical instruments can be made from wenge wood.
We also don’t know if this is just for additives or the main material. But we found information that wenge wood can be used for guitars.
Although we think this is not the wood used as the primary material. Wenge guitar looks beautiful.
The dark color looks different than other guitars, and that’s an advantage and maybe makes it more valuable.