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Rosewood

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Rosewood is a hardwood native to South-East Asia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Sabah, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Some trees of the species grow very highly figured burrs, which are given the name 'Ambonya wood' from the Indonesian island of Ambon, and in veneer form are used in the making of furniture. Other uses of the wood include turnery, paneling, guitar-making, and knife handles.

The heartwood of rosewood can be either golden brown or a dark blood-red, while the sapwood is pale yellow and up to 60mm wide. The wood is of medium texture and the grain is variable. Freshly cut, the wood has a fragrant odour and is often highly figured: burrs are highly prized in furniture-making.

The timber is susceptible to lyctid borer, but is termite resistant. In its sawn form it is easily worked with hand and machine tools. The heartwood is hard to stain, but polishes to a lustrous finish. Rosewood is imported in small quantities.

Appearance

The sapwood of rosewood is up to 60mm wide and of a pale yellow colour, while the heartwood can be either golden brown or a dark blood-red. The grain is variable and the texture is medium. The burrs, which gets its name 'Amboyna wood' from the Indonesian island of Ambon, are highly prized in furniture-making.

Common Applications

The attractive appearance of rosewood has made it highly prized for furniture, veneer, turnery, and paneling. It is also used for knife handles and guitar-making. Some trees produce very highly figured burrs, which are used in the European furniture trade under the name 'Ambonya wood'.

Common Form

Sawn

Workability

In sawn form rosewood is easily worked with hand and machine tools. It polishes well, but the heartwood is hard to stain.

Origin of Timber

Asia

Availability - Further Information

Rosewood is listed as a vulnerable species, and small quantities are sometimes imported.

Availability - Further Information

Native Forest

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

2.00%

Radial:

1.00%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.32%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.19%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

Structural
No. 1
Structural
No. 2
Structural
No. 3
Structural
No. 4
Structural
No. 5

Unseasoned:

F14

F11

F8

F7

F5

Seasoned:

F17

F14

F11

F8

F7

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

593kg/m3

Unseasoned:

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky
   

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:

73

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

92

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

10

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

12

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

37

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

59

Impact - Unseasoned:

Impact - Seasoned:

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Low - up to 15 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:

4.3

Hardness - Seasoned:

4.3

Durability

Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)

In-Ground:

(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Resistant

Fire Properties

1 - non-combustible 2 - reasonably non-combustible 3 - slightly combustible 4 - combustible

Fire Properties Group
Number:

Average Specific Extinction Area:

<250

Bushfire Resistance:

BAL 12.5 and 19 – Door and window joinery only

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