Mexican Royal Ebony

Mexican Royal Ebony/Katalox

Introduction

 

Katalox, or Mexican Royal Ebony, could be a dense Central American hardwood. Its dark color makes it a well-liked substitute for ebony, and therefore the wood is typically known as Mexican Royal Ebony, although it is not true ebony within the Diospyros genus. It is listed in many USDA publications as an acceptable substitute for African Gabon Ebony in stringed instruments typically for fingerboards and bridges. Trees are usually 40-75' tall with diameters of 12" to 20" and like soils that drain well; they do not grow well in areas with water-saturated soil. This wood is native Southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.

The Mexican Royal Ebony is incredibly kind of like a real Ebony, solely regarding 20-30% of any log produces the dark wood. The dark purple/black color accents well with the creamy/golden sapwood to make a contrast that may be utilized for a novel look in your projects. each board is completely different and one of a kind! The wood turns well and takes a pleasant finish. The Mexican Royal Ebony is most ordinarily utilized in making inlays, fine pieces of furniture and carpentry, parquet flooring, guitars, turnings, different tiny specialty things, fine boxes, musical instruments, flooring, and different fine woodwork projects.

Other than the common problems reported while operating with any other exotic wood dust the Katalox has also been reported to cause respiratory irritation in some people. so proper kinds of equipment and a properly ventilated place ought to be provided to the employees to confirm their safety.

Katalox has exceptional strength properties and is among the terribly stiffest and strongest woods on the market worldwide. the sturdiness of this wood varies relying upon species and therefore the conditions that these were grown in, however usually, they are very sturdy. The heartwood of this tree is typically thought of to own a high resistance to decay and termites. However, generally, it is reported to be vulnerable to marine borers. Its heartwood is among the foremost sturdy of all the exotics within the world, however, the sapwood is often vulnerable to bug holes.

Although not a real diospyros ebony species, Katalox earned its “Royal Mexican Ebony” nickname thanks to its great density (which truly supersedes all true ebonies, in that regard) and also the indisputable fact that, as it ages, it turns significantly darker than once it is at the first cut and dried. It is famous to be usually terribly sturdy, creating the wood ideal for a range of applications — though it can be terribly tough to resaw (density) and glue, thanks to its usually high natural oil content. The grains are often straight, irregular, or interlocked; its texture ranges from fine to medium, with a pleasant natural luster.

Katalox is one of the foremost dense woods within the world. Despite its somewhat uncooperative operating characteristics, its stability and handsome look create the wood a well-liked selection with guitar luthiers and fine furniture craftsmen, alike.

 

Specification

 

Common Name

This tree is also known as Katalox, and Mexican Royal Ebony.

 

Scientific Name

Swartzia spp. (S. cubensis)

 

Distribution

This wood is native Southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. These trees tend to prefer soils that drain well; they do not grow well in areas with water saturated soil.

 

Tree Size

The tree will grow up to a height of 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall with a trunk diameter of about 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m).

 

Average Dried Weight

The average dried weight of this wood is about 72 lbs/ft3 (1,150 kg/m3).

 

Color and Appearance

The heartwood of this tree is dark reddish-brown to just about black, typically with a robust purple hue. There is pale yellowish-white sapwood that is sharply demarcated from the heartwood. There are items with curly or wavy grain that are not uncommon to the current wood. Some have a sapwood corner edge which will simply turn away or may be used for an amazing contrast. The larger bowl blanks have developed a deep wealthy black color. Any pieces that seem lighter purple in color however can turn to the wealthy purple/black within 2 months.

 

Grain and Texture

The grain is typically straight, however it may also be irregular or interlocked. With a fine even texture and sensible natural luster. Diffuse-porous; medium to giant pores, only a few to few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; mineral/gum deposits often present; parenchyma winged, confluent, and banded; slender rays, fairly shut spacing.

 

Workability:

Katalox is often thought-about to be troublesome to figure on account of its high density. The wood features a moderate to high blunting result on cutters and tools. If there is interlocked grain present, tearout will occur during planning therefore care should be taken working with these woods. This wood will create a challenge to glue owing to its high density and also the natural oils present in them.

 

Odor:

Katalox features a very faint odor once being worked. However, it doesn't turn out any characteristic odor while being harvested.

 

Availability

Usually, this wood is out there in turning squares or as patterned lumber and most ordinarily with an oversized amount of sapwood present. the costs are expected to be within the middle to the higher range for an imported tropical hardwood. This wood species is not listed within the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of vulnerable species. However, its supply has been impacted by recent epidemic poaching and over exploitation across Central America (in specific, Mexico).

 

Common Uses

The Mexican Royal Ebony is most ordinarily utilized in making inlays, fine pieces of furniture and carpentry, parquet flooring, guitars, turnings, and different tiny specialty things. This wood is additionally an appropriate substitute for African Gabon Ebony in creating stringed instruments typically for the fingerboards and bridges. Its stability and handsome look create the wood a preferred alternative with stringed instrument luthiers and fine furniture craftsmen, alike.

 

References

https://www.cookwoods.com/blogs/articles/mexican-royal-ebony-katalox

https://www.wood-database.com/katalox/

https://www.cookwoods.com/collections/katalox/products/mexican-royal-ebony-w91569

https://www.rarewoodsusa.com/product/katalox/

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