English name: Verawood
Latin name: Bulnesia sarmientoi
Other name(s): Argentine Lignum Vitae
Features: Heartwood color can range from a pale yellowish olive, to a deeper forest green or dark brown to almost black. The color tends to darken with age, especially upon exposure to light . Pale yellow sapwood is clearly demarcated from heartwood. Quartersawn grain has a unique feathered pattern when viewed up close.
Trees and distribution: Large trees, up to 12m, more than 0.3m in diameter, distributed in Central America and northern South America.
Material: Grain is straight to spiraled or slightly interlocked. Fine even texture with very high natural luster. Verawood is reported to be very durable for outdoor use and is said to last almost indefinitely in direct ground contact; Verawood is also resistant to insect attack. Verawood has a tendency to skip over-top jointer cutters on account of its extremely high density, and very light passes are recommended. Verawood will also dull cutters, and overall it’s considered quite difficult to work. Also, due to its high oil content and hardness, it is very difficult to get a strong and reliable glue joint. However, Verawood is an exceptional wood for turning on the lathe, and finishes well. Verawood has a distinct, perfume-like fragrance that lingers even after it has been machined.
Applications: Tool handles, mallet heads, bearings, bushings, boatbuilding, pulley wheels, heavy construction, and turned objects.