Turners - Prosono international


Our 10 year close co-operation with importers and distributors in the USA, UK, Germany, Japan and Spain has enabled the selection of 12 hardwood species for turners’ work.

Concerning European, Asian and Australasian markets, we are open to additional partners, capable of introducing and promoting these precious and rare hardwoods with the numerous craftsmen, turners, carvers, joiners, artists, designers and companies of relevance.

Our offer for pen blanks, turning squares, spindles and bowl blanks includes the following specie:

  1. Red or pink ivory / Berchimia zeyheri,
  2. Wild or African olive / Olea europea, sub-specie Africana,
  3. Tambotie or African cocobolo / Spirostachys Africana.
  4. African Blackwood / Dalbergia melanoxylon
  5. Mopane / Colophospermum mopane,
  6. Black chacate or Small bastard mopane / Guibourtia conjugata
  7. Leadwood / Combretum imberbe
  8. Camel Thorn / Acacia erioloba,

The investigation of new species is a slow and staged process which must take into account several limitative factors, namely:

  • The availability of cutting permits from the relevant authorities,
  • The qualitatively and quantitatively sufficient availability,
  • The positive opinion expressed by our leading partners, regarding the potential of these species in their national markets.

At present under investigation are:

  1. Snake bean / Bobgunnia Madagascariensis
  2. Matumi / Breonadia salicina
  3. Red bushwillow / Combretum apicolatum
  4. Jackal berry / Diospyros mespiliformis


Our range of rare exotic woods enables colour combination, an added advantage. South African residents can visit our show-room, where a wide range of exotic woods are displayed as turnery squares, spindles and bowl blanks.


From left to right : Camel thorn, Lead wood, Matumi, Snake bean

Features and uses of our exotic and rare woods

Turnery Pink Ivory bowl blanks

Pink ivory, also know as Red ivory, offers distinctive shades of red colour that are liked and sought after by turners the world over, as it opens many business opportunities in decoration, jewellery, inlays and marquetry, pens and fountain pens, luxury holders, walking sticks, golf putters, billiard cues, jewellery boxes, music and cigar boxes, decorative fruits, salad bowls, pepper mills, knife handles, etc.


Wild olive, also called African olive, is characterised by its dark, strongly marked and tortuous grain. It is an ideal wood for modern and antique carvings, the turning of pen and fountain pens blanks, paper cutters, candle sticks, smoking pipes, coasters for bottle and water jars, jewellery and cigar boxes and grand-father’s clock faces..

Turnery - African cocobolo - Tambotie - bowl and salt box

The Tambotie, also called African cocobolo, has a very distinctive darkish brown colour, and a lasting pleasant smell. It is appreciated for its glossy finish after polishing. This wood is used for small furniture, painting and picture frames, knife handles and decorative fruits.

Top of the log of African Blackwood as bowl blank _1

The African Blackwood is extremely stable, dense and rigid, even in extreme climatic conditions. It is free of porosity and perfectly black after polishing. It is successfully used for billiard cues, walking stick, door knobs and handles, cutlery handles, pistol grip and gunstock and tips, inlays and marquetry work, rosaries and church items, carvings and sculptures, components of musical instruments and wind-organs, etc.

Turnery Mopane bowl blanks

Mopane is available in large spindles and bowl blanks. It has an outstanding stability and high density, which make it very suitable for table feet, balustrades, Shepard walking sticks, vessels, dishes and decorative fruits.

black chacate knife handle blocks

Black chacate or Small bastard mopane is available in large spindles and bowl blanks. It has been used successfully used for large bells for woodwind instruments and for flutes. It is also used for impressive guitar back and sides. The slightly greenish and streaked wood is attractive for turning work. It reminds some of our customers to the Paolo Santo (Lignum vitae) from Southern America.


Leadwood is available in large spindles and bowl blanks. Its high density, stability, distinctive grey and glossy finish makes it suitable for table feet, balustrade, dishes, knife handles, smoking pipes and cutlery handles.


Camel thorn is a beautiful wood. The distinctive light red colour is appreciated for bowl blanks, knife handles, pens and fountain pens as well as jewellery boxes.


Snake bean turns and glue well. It is used for widely in turners’ and joinery work. It can be high gloss varnished.


Matumi slightly lighter wood than the previous mentioned species. It is available in large blanks and spindles. Its primary use is in making furniture and tools.


The following table should be of interest to importer-wholesalers and teachers of turnery. Highlighted therein are the most popular sizes and uses thereof.

On request, a pricing Excel worksheet simulates our customers order by species, dimensions, volumes, prices and values.

Turning squares in mm in dm3 Common Turnery items
3/4 x 3/4 x 6 20 x 20 x 152 0.062 Fountain pens, pegs violin, viola, furniture inlays
1 x 1 x 6 26 x 26 x 150 0.098 Chess figures
1 x 1 x 12 26 x 26 x 305 0.197 Rulers, Inlays, Weaving needles
11/2 x 11/2 x 3 38 x 38 x 75 0.108 Solid cutlery handle, pegs for viola and cello, chess pawn
11/2 x 11/2 x 6 38 x 38 x 150 0.217 Candle sticks
11/2 x 11/2 x 12 38 x 38 x 310 0.442 Church Candle holders
11/2 x 11/2 x 15 38 x 38 x 385 0.556 *Chanters
11/2 x 11/2 x 16 38 x 38 x 410 0.590 Lamp foot
11/2 x 11/2 x 18 38 x 38 x 457 0.660 US billiard cues
11/2 x 11/2 x 24 38 x 38 x 610 0.881 Russian billiard cues, picture frames
2 x 2 x 4 51 x 51 x 100 0.262 Door knobs, serviette rings, pegs double bass
2 x 2 x 6 51 x 51 x 150 0.393 Door handles, Mid size pepper mills
2 x 2 x 8 51 x 51 x 205 0.513 Chess figures
2 x 2 x 12 51 x 51 x 310 0.775 Lamp stands
2 x 2 x 18 51 x 51 x 457 1.143 Lamp stands
3 x 3 x 12 76 x 76 x 300 1.770 Stool legs
3 x 3 x 18 76 x 76 x 457 2.640 Table legs, pepper mills.
4 x 4 x 12 100 x 100 x 300 3.150 Large pepper mills
4 x 4 x 18 100 x 100 x 457 4.57 Table legs
Bowl blanks
4 x 4 x 2 100 x 100 x 50 0.500 Coasters
5 x 5 x 2 125 x 125 x 50 0.819 Coasters
5 x 5 x 3 125 x 125 x 75 1.229 Salad bowls
6 x 6 x 2 150 x 150 x 50 1.180 Salad bowls, lamp foot
6 x 6 x 3 150 x 150 x 76 1.770 Salad bowls, Smoking pipes
8 x 8 x 2 200 x 200 x 50 2.098 Jewellery boxes, Cigar boxes
8 x 8 x 3 200 x 200 x 76 3.146 Music boxes, fruit bowls
10 x 10 x 2 250 x 250 x 50 3.125 Clock faces, fruit bowls

*Our company clearly distinguishes between turnery grade parts and musical grade parts! Our turnery parts may have bird eye knots and sapwood which are excluded from musical grade parts that are seasoned for a minimum of twelve months. We know that some of our turnery wood has been used as musical grade part. This is a demonstration of the quality of our turnery parts however they are not seasoned and are not free of sapwood and bird eye knots and therefore priced at a significant discount versus musical grade parts.