Wenge Timber Merchants

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What is West African Wenge?

West African Wenge timber is very dark brown with close 'black' veins alternating with 'pale' bands and is therefore favoured by furniture makers. It is also used for turnery and joinery (for interior and exterior use) and can be used for flooring due to natural resistance to abrasion. Sizes stocked at present are 26mm, 40mm and 52mm. Widths mainly 100 - 200mm and lengths 2m - 3m. Subject to availability at time of order. Zebrano available to order, minimum 1m3 per thickness.

Latin name Millettia laurentii, Millettia stuhlmannii

Also known as panga panga, palissandre du Congo, dikela (Zaire)

Environmental The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species classifies M.laurentii as EN – Endangered: at very high risk of extinction.
Not listed in CITES. Available from well-managed sources.

Distribution Mainly found in Zaire, but an associated species, Millettia stuhlmannii occurs in East Africa. It is known as panga panga, and its general appearance and characteristics closely resemble wenge.


West African Wenge Properties

The Tree Medium-sized tree, 15m to 18m in height with a diameter up to 1.0m.

Wenge The Timber Sapwood whitish, heartwood dark brown with fine, close blackish veining, giving the wood a handsome appearance. A very hard and heavy wood, it weighs about 880 kg/m³ when dried (panga panga is slightly lighter in weight at 800 kg/m³). Straight grained, it has a rather coarse texture.

Drying Dries slowly and requires care if surface checking is to be avoided.

Strength The wood is stated to have good resistance to bending and to shock

Working Qualities Good - Reported to be easy to work, but difficult to polish.

Durability Durable. Heartwood is rated as very durable and resistant to termite attack. Heartwood extremely resistant to impregnation; sapwood moderately resistant to permeable.

Wenge Treatability Extremely difficult

Moisture Movement Small

Density (mean, Kg/m³) 880 (density may vary by 20% or more)

Physical Properties High Strength, stiffness and weight properties, Moderate hardness, Good bending properties.

Texture Coarse

Wenge Availability Limited availability


Working with West African Wenge

Wenge Use(s) Joinery - Exterior, Joinery - Interior, Flooring. General construction work. Panelling.

Wenge Colour(s) Dark brown/black (with fine black veining)

What is FAS Grade

The FAS grade, which derives from an original grade "First And Seconds", will provide the user with long, clear cuttings - best suited for high quality furniture, interior joinery and solid wood mouldings. Minimum board size is 6" (152mm) and wider and 8' (2.44m) and longer. The FAS grade includes a range of boards that yield from 83.3% (10⁄12ths) to 100% clear-wood cuttings over the entire surface of the board. The clear cuttings must be a minimum size of 3" (76mm) wide by 7' (2.13m) long or 4" (102mm) wide by 5' (1.52m) long. The number of these cuttings permitted depends on the size of the board with most boards permitting one to two. The minimum width and length will vary, depending on species and whether the board is green or kiln dried. Both faces of the board must meet the minimum requirement for FAS.

Timbersource are a leading online hardwood timber merchant in the UK, supplying Wenge timber to the joinery, carpentry, construction and building trade at competitive prices. To Contact Us click HERE

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Timbersource Ltd.

Quarry Way, Waterlip,
Shepton Mallet, Somerset,
United Kingdom