High-quality mopane wood for sale
Mopane is a durable, very high-density African hardwood with exceptional musical tonal qualities.
ProSono Hardwoods is a leading supplier of mopane for clarinets, oboes, flutes and other woodwind instruments. We also offer mopane guitar backs and sides.
Mopane is a particularly good alternative to African blackwood for woodwind instruments.
See tables below for details of the mopane parts we endeavour to keep in stock.
- Botanical name: Colophospermum mopane
- Alternative names: mopanie, mopani, gumane
- Average dry weight: 77 lb/ft3 (imperial), 1.3 kg/dm3 (metric)
- Mopane hardness: 3,390 lbf (15,060 N) on the Janka scale
- Even grain pattern
“I have made three sets of mopane bagpipes and I agree it does produce a very mellow sound. When turning, I notice that very few or no flaws are produced; the wood remains very stable. I would say that the stability is actually better than the ABW [African blackwood].”
~ John Walker
Mopane parts we endeavour to keep in stock
|For mopane woodwinds|
85/85 x 45/45 x 130
40 x 40 x 320 or 40 x 40 x 285
40 x 40 x 245 or 40 x 40 x 230
51 x 51 x 80 or 43 x 43 x 80 or still 40 x 40 x 80
40 x 40 x 780 ; 40 x 40 x 760 ; 40 x 40 x 720
51 x 51 x 700 and 51 x 51 x 550
|Alto Clarinets||40 x 40 x 460 or 40 x 40 x 410|
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
70 x 70 x 140
40 x 40 x 410
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 410 or 28 x 28 x 325
or still 28 x 28 x 270
|Piccolos||28 x 28 x 250 + 30 x 30 x 150|
|Highland bagpipes||(HBPs) 14 mopane blanks of 11 different sizes, representing a total of 6.755 dm3.
1 X 54 x 54 x 305 + 2 X 51 x 51 x 225 + 1 X 43 x 43 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 mopane for Uilleann pipes (Irish pipes), English pipes, gaitas (Spanish pipes) and bombarde (French pipes), our page on pipes and folkloric instruments provides exact dimensions.|
|For stringed mopane instruments|
Back: 2 x 560 x 210 x 5
Sides: 2 x 830 x 130 x 4
Back: 2 x 530 x 190 x 5
Sides: 2 x 760 x 110 x 4
Back: 4 x 530 x 95 x 5
Sides: 2 x 760 x 110 x 4
|Botanical name||Colophospermum mopane|
|Distribution||Northern Province of South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.|
|The tree||In more humid regions, the mopane tree grows up to 30 meters in height and 90 cm in diameter. In dry regions, it grows to about half this size.|
|The wood||Mopane heartwood is brown to reddish-brown, with darker streaks. Mopane sapwood is yellow to light brown. The wood is very hard and heavy, and is termite resistant. Mopane wood’s air dry density is 1.3 t/m3 (77 lb/ft3).|
|Seasoning||With slow drying, mopane doesn’t split or slit easily. The light oily content of the wood might explain this valuable characteristic.|
|Workability||Mopane is very dense but works well with the appropriate tools. It also glues well.|
|Use||Mopane has been used for many years for flutes, piccolos and other woodwind instruments. Its high density and good workability make it an attractive alternative to blackwood, especially in very dry or humid countries, where blackwood has a tendency to slit.
It is also used for high-quality mopane furniture and inlays in light-coloured wood.
More about mopane wood
Mopane for flutes and other woodwind instruments
Mopane has been known for decades as an ideal wood for flutes.
The tone of mopane is as rich and powerful, and a little bit warmer, than that of African blackwood. Flute makers identify its tone as similar to cocuswood (once a preferred wood for flute making but now almost unobtainable).
Increasingly, mopane is also being recognised as an ideal hardwood for clarinets, oboes, bass-clarinets, bagpipes and other woodwind instruments.
Well-known clarinet makers describe it as having a sweet tonality, typical to the clarinets made by Schreiber, a German leader in musical instruments.
For interest, a link to a mopane flute performance, on a flute made by Windward Flutes (one of our customers): https://bit.ly/MopaneFlute-WayfarinStranger
Our quality process as a supplier of musical-grade mopane wood
ProSono’s strict quality process doesn’t start only at the entrance of our saw mill. Instead, it begins during forestry operations.
Our presence on the spot, with continuous supervision by knowledgeable, trained and motivated personnel, is the only way to achieve consistency of results in African field conditions.
In our factory, operations are planned and monitored for the best results and quality. All parts are checked at the time of storage and again before packing.
Our prices depend on the number of parts and make-up of each order. We always factor in the recovery percentage that can be achieved. As a result, we are the most competitive when small, medium and large blanks are ordered simultaneously.
An alternative to African blackwood
Our research and customer feedback have identified mopane as an ideal alternative to African blackwood for woodwind instruments.
Compared to African blackwood, mopane offers:
- wider availability; unlike African blackwood, it is not listed as an *endangered species
- excellent musical tone
- a warm, attractive aesthetic quality
- better workability; it is significantly less prone to cracks and slits.
* African blackwood is listed as endangered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Its availability is increasingly limited. For instrument makers, concerns also surround movement of the wood (and instruments made of it) across borders.
Four leading clarinet makers and three oboe makers have been buying increasing volumes of mopane sets from ProSono – one of them for over five years.
We believe those who availed themselves of the opportunity to use mopane are ahead of the competition.