Santos Rosewood



During the 1980s when the Brazilian rosewood was in its peak of popularity, its population slowly began decreasing and this wood became harder and harder to find. As this wood was difficult to find whatever available wood was sold at remarkably high prices. Making it unavailable to certain sections of the society. This is where the Santos rosewood or the Pu Ferro came to the rescue. The Santos Rosewood has been since then used as a substitute for many Rosewoods.

Pau Ferro maybe a wood of the many names, and therefore is usually known as Morado: and since the wood is so similar in look and dealing properties to rosewood, it's additionally typically spoken as Bolivian or metropolis Rosewood. The wood has been utilized in numerous capacities as a substitute for the vulnerable jacaranda. Though the wood isn't technically within the Dalbergia genus, it’s in an exceedingly closely-related genus (Machaerium) and contains constant sensitizing compounds found in rosewoods—about as getting ready to a real rosewood as wood will get while not truly being a Dalbergia species.


Rated as very dense, tough, compact, and most importantly durable, though quite susceptible to insect and pest attack. This wood is not recommended for works that involve it to have direct contact with the ground. The Santos rosewood displays a variety of colors ranging from pale yellow to dark brown and all the colors in between. This array of colors gives this wood an outstanding contrast. 

The Santos Rosewood is said to have a fair workability index because of its slightly irregular to interlocking grains. But this wood does have the ability to blunt the cutting tools and has a tendency to cause tear out during machining operations. This wood has a very high lustrous property and tends to finish well. This wood does take its own sweet time to dry and may crack under pressure. 

Sonically the Santos Rosewood has similar properties to the Indian Rosewood. It is said to be warmer, stable, and more brilliant than Ebony. Many people in the music industry have readily admitted that Santos Rosewood is the perfect combination of the Ebony and the Indian Rosewood.

Like many exotic kinds of wood severe reactions are quite uncommon, although Pau Ferro has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually, most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is a high rate of reaction among woodworkers, and the wood contains the very same sensitizing substances as those found in rosewoods (Dalbergia genus). Hence proper certification and clearance should be availed from the government to start such industries dealing with this kind of wood. Along with certification, the workers should be provided with proper types of equipment, vacuum systems, and ventilation systems to prevent and health hazards to the workers.



Common name

This wood is known by Pau Ferro in Brazil, Morado in Bolivia, Bolivian Rosewood, and Santos Rosewood.


Scientific name

Machaerium spp. (Machaerium scleroxylon)

As the name of the wood contains Rosewood this wood has no similarity in any way to the Dalbergia spp. 



The Santos Rosewood is native to tropical South America (mainly Brazil and Bolivia). Presently more common in Bolivia than Brazil.


Tree size

This tree can reach up to a height of 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, with a trunk diameter of 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m).


Dried weight

The average dried weight of this tree is about 54 lbs/ft3 (865 kg/m3).



The color will be extremely varied, starting from reddish/orange to a dark violet/brown, typically with contrastive darker black streaks. This variation in colors gives this wood an advantage of contrast. Narrow sapwood may be a pale yellow and might be easily distinguished from the heartwood. The colors of the wood tend to deepen with age as with most of the exotic woods.


Texture or Grain

The grain is often straight, although typically slightly irregular or interlocked depending on the different species. This wood without a doubt has fine, even texture and a naturally high luster—though counting on the actual species, the wood will tend to have a coarser, additional fibrous texture. Diffuse-porous; medium pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; mineral deposits sometimes present; parenchyma banded, diffuse-in-aggregates, vasicentric; slim rays, spacing shut.



Pau Ferro is taken into account overall to be of truthful workability, because it will blunt the cutting edges of tools, and any irregular grain contains a tendency to tearout throughout machining operations. Also, several of constant challenges in gluing rosewoods square measure common to Pau Ferro furthermore. Pau Ferro turns and finishes well. As this wood already has a fine luster finishing it would pose much of a challenge. It holds polishes and stains well.



Depending on the species, the wood will have a characteristic scent.



Pau Ferro is within the medium value vary for exotic foreign hardwoods and is probably going to be far cheaper than a number of the scarcer true rosewoods, (Dalbergia genus), of that this wood is usually used as a substitute. This wood species has not been listed in the CITES Appendices and plenty of of the species inside the Machaerium genus are rumored by the IUCN as being of least concern. One exception is Machaerium villosum from Brazil, which is rumored as vulnerable all thanks to deforestation and overharvesting.


Common Uses:

Common uses of this wood include veneer, cabinetry, flooring, interior trim, turning, and different tiny specialty wood objects. 

Since Santos Rosewood has the good sonic qualities of both the Ebony and the Indian Rosewood it has been in great demand in the musical industry. Guitar tops, backs, fingerboards, head plates, bridges, and many wind instruments are such applications of this wood.


Frequently asked questions


What is Santos rosewood?

Santos rosewood may be a very dense, tough, compact, and, most of all, durable wood. However, it is additionally soft to the bit. Its look has nice beauty, due to its big choice of colors which varies from light and golden brown to dark brown, with yellow and purple touches. All this selection offers outstanding contrasts to this wood.

In short, Santos Rosewood may be a robust and resistant wood, that doesn’t require any extra finishing. So, Santos Rosewood sides from Maderas Barber are an excellent choice to finish off the sounding board.


Where does Santos Rosewood come from?

Santos Rosewood was originally a specie found within the Santos area of Brazil thus its name however currently little or no may be found within the area of Santos and is currently more usually found in Bolivia.

Santos Rosewood is best called Pau Ferro in (Brazil) and Morado in (Bolivia).