High-quality African Blackwood for sale
African blackwood, also commonly called grenadilla wood or mopingo wood, is regarded as one of the world’s finest woods for turning. It’s exceptionally hard and stable, and has a lustrous dark finish.
Subject to restricted supply, we offer African blackwood blocks and scales cut to required dimensions. This includes African blackwood tonewood for musical instruments; African blackwood for bracelets and other jewellery; African blackwood knife scales; and African blackwood pen blanks.
African blackwood characteristics
- Botanical name: Dalbergia melanoxylon
- Alternative names: mpingo wood, grenadilla wood, pau-preto
- Average dry weight: 79 lb/ft3 (imperial); 1,270 kg/m3 (metric)
- African blackwood hardness: 3,670 lbf (16,320 N) on the Janka scale
- Extremely dense, with even grain pattern
African Blackwood musical grade parts we endeavour to keep in stock
|African blackwood clarinet sets||Bells
85/85 x 45/45 x 125
36 x 36 x 320 or 36 x 36 x 285
36 x 36 x 245 or 36 x 36 x 230
51 x 51 x 80 or 47 x 47 x 80 or still 40 x 40 x 80
|African blackwood for bass clarinets||
47 x 47 x 760 and 47 x 47 x 460 or
47 x 47 x 700 and 47 x 47 x 550
|African blackwood alto for clarinets||40 x 40 x 410|
|African blackwood for oboes||Bells
65 x 65 x 150 or 60 X 60 x 140
40 x 40 x 285 or 36 x 36 x 270 or still 32 x 32 x 265
|African blackwood for English horns||Bells
70 x 70 x 140
40 x 40 x 400
|African blackwood for flutes||33 x 33 x 380 or 33 x 33 x 330 or still 33 x 33 x 265
30 x 30 x 510 or 30 x 30 x 410 or still 30 x 30 x 325 and 30 x 30 x 300
28 x 28 x 400 or 28 x 28 x 285 or still 28 x 28 x 270
|African blackwood for piccolos||28 x 28 x 250 + 30 x 30 x 150|
|African blackwood for Highland bagpipes||(HBPs) 14 blanks of 11 different sizes, representing a total of 6.555 dm3
1 X 54 x 54 x 305 + 2 X 51 x 51 x 205 + 1 X 40 x 40 x 385 + 1 X 47 x 47 x 310 + 1 X 47 x 47 x 195 + 2 X 47 x 47 x 160 + 1 X 47 x 47 x 125 + 1 X 47 x 47 x 115 + 1 X 40 x 40 x 310 + 2 X 40 x 40 x 245 + 1 X 40 x 40 x 220
|For the Uilleann pipes (Irish pipes) , English pipes, Gaitas (Spanish pipe), Bombarde (French pipe), the section on Folkloric instruments provides the exact dimensions.|
|African blackwood for stringed instruments|
|Jumbo||Back: 2 X 560 x 210 x 5 + Sides: 2 X 830 x 130 x 4|
|Classic||Back: 2 X 530 x 190 x 5 + Sides: 2 X 760 x 110 x 4|
|Modern||Back: 4 X 530 x 95 x 5 + Sides: 2 X 760 x 110 x 4|
About African Blackwood
|Botanical name||Dalbergia melanoxylon|
|Local names||mpingo, pau preto|
|English name||African blackwood|
|Distribution||The African blackwood tree is widely distributed in a triangle spanning from South Sudan to Angola to the Eastern Cape in South Africa.|
|The tree||It grows as a bush in most places and, in only a few regions, as a sizeable tree – measuring up to 9 meters (30ft.) in height and 30 cm (12 in.) in diameter, or larger. Experts relate this fact to the behaviour of fauna more than to competition from flora.|
|The wood||The heartwood is dark brown with black streaks. This colour usually predominates so that the general effect is nearly black. The narrow sapwood is light yellow and clearly defined. The wood is exceptionally hard and heavy, with a density ab.1.35 t/m3, (79 lb/ft3). The texture is fine and even.|
|Seasoning||It dries very slowly and tends to split during drying, especially in log form. The application of wax or paint on both log ends is advisable to minimise splitting.|
|Workability||It is extremely hard to cut and process. The use of tungsten carbide tools is required.|
|Use||African blackwood is extremely hard and heavy. Makers of woodwind musical instruments prefer it to ebony because of its fine tonal and acoustic features, stability and resistance to saliva. It is also recognised because of its constant density as the best hardwood for ornamentals and turnery of cues, walking sticks, bobbins, butts of sport weapons, cutlery, knives, technical items, pins, spindles, tools and drumsticks.|
Restrictions on African blackwood supply
In 2017, Dalbergia melanoxylon was added to the Convention of International Trade for Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix II. Trade in this wood is now controlled and subject to certification.
We respect and comply with these restrictions. Accordingly, our supply of African blackwood is significantly smaller than in the past.
We expect demand for our stock of dried parts to exceed capacity. Worldwide, scarcity is likely to impact African blackwood prices.
Increasingly, we recommend mopane wood as an outstanding (and sustainable) alternative to African blackwood for musical instruments.
African blackwood vs. ebony
African blackwood is denser than ebony and has slightly higher oil content. It typically has a warmer colour, with more of the grain showing.
Makers of woodwind musical instruments prefer it to ebony because of its fine tonal and acoustic features, stability and resistance to saliva.