High-quality elegant leadwood for sale
Leadwood is a strong, heavy and low porosity African hardwood.
It has been successfully tested for the manufacture of woodwind instruments, including clarinets, oboes and flutes.
We renamed it “The elegant wood”. Indeed, this correspond to its applications and colour.
ProSono supplies seasoned leadwood sets for woodwind instruments, for clarinets, oboes, English horns and, more recently, Highland bagpipes. We also supply individual blanks for bass clarinets and flutes.
Because leadwood is very hard, it is sawn in two separate stages. However, it turns well, has a fine grain and provides a beautiful glossy finish.
When thoroughly sanded leadwood parts become black brown, the colour typical of the African blackwood.
The sound is also very good, clear response and a powerful tone. Also in this respect comparable to granadilla.
- Botanical name: Combretum imberbe
- Alternative names: leadwood
- Average dry weight: 76 lb/ft3 (imperial); 1220 kg/m3 (metric)
- Leadwood hardness: 3,570 lbf (15,880 N) on the Janka scale
- Variegated with figured grain pattern
“The processing of the elegant wood works well, good machinability, can also be drilled well. Due to the hardness, exact edges can be produced well, and fits are easy to achieve. After the second oiling, the surface remains smooth and beautiful. I am convinced that this wood is not too porous and is very suitable for making woodwind. I find the appearance of an elegant wood instrument very beautiful and appealing.”
~ Peter Aschenbrenner
|Botanical name||Combretum imberbe|
|Distribution||From Tanzania in the north to KwaZulu-Natal in the south|
|The tree||Semi-deciduous, the leadwood tree grows to a height from 7 to 15 metres, sometimes in shrub. It grows in open woodland of all types. Leadwood bark is pale grey and cracked in rectangular shapes. Leadwood is a protected species in South Africa. Leadwood harvesting is subject to permits.|
|The wood||Leadwood is hard, heavy and greyish to black. The sapwood is yellow. Leadwood density is 1.2 t/m3 when air-dried.|
|Seasoning||The wood dries fairly quickly – if stacked properly, in approximately four months.|
African leadwood is stable. Because it is hard to saw, it is cut in stages. First it is broken down into slabs using a band saw with a flexible thin blade. Then it is cut into parts with tungsten-tipped blades.
Leadwood turns well. It is fine grained and when polished, has a glossy, darkish black colour. After oiling, the surface remains smooth.
Our elegant wood is popular with instrument makers, who are increasingly aware that the supply of African blackwood (granadilla) is finite. Currently, supply of African blackwood is especially constrained because its endemic region is in a state of war – and the legality of supply cannot be ascertained, even if it is subject to CITES2.
Our leadwood is also popular with turners and knife makers. It is used for making items like knife handles, smoking pipes, salad bowls, pepper mills and ornaments.
It turns, drills well and provides excellent stability. It has a fine grain and provides a beautiful glossy finish.