Friday, January 13, 2012

Focus on wood: Bubinga

Bubinga is a hardwood that comes from the Guibourtia family of woods.  While three species come from South America, the majority of Bubinga comes from Africa. You will also see this wood sold as African Rosewood, Essingang, and Akume (among others). When rotary cut, it is sometimes called Kevasingo.
Jewelry box with a Kevasingo (rotary cut bubinga) top
Bubinga has several uses from furniture, to turned items, to veneer (as shown here).  I've most often seen it used as a slab for table tops, when used as solid wood in furniture making.  Coloring which includes browns, reds, pinks, and purples make for a striking element. Wit the color and figuring that is found in this wood, it is no wonder bubinga is used to provide a dramatic accent.  The well rounded sound that it produces also makes this wood desirable for musical instruments.
Bubinga is a hard, heavy wood that can have interlocked or irregular grain and a moderately coarse but even texture.  While it can be worked with relative ease, it does like to blunt tools. Bubinga also glues and finishes well. This wood contains pitch pockets which can cause trouble while machining and contributes to bubinga’s poor bending properties.

Be sure to stop by our website to see what we have built with bubinga, see what other new stuff we have made, or talk to us about what we can make for you.