BOTANICAL NAME: Lonchocarpus spp., especially Lonchocarpus castilloi, but also L. hedyosmus, L. sericeus, and L. rugosus all of the family Fabaceae (syn Leguminosae) the legume, pea, or bean family

COMMON NAMES: balche (mexico), barbasco (peru), black cabbage bark, cabbage bark, chaperno (guatemala), guaimaro, haiari (guyana), imbira de sapo, macaratu (colombia), marajagua (venezuela), mayan walnut, sindajapl, sindjaple (surinam), sindjaple, timbo (brazil)

TYPE: hardwood

COLOR: The heartwood is yellowish brown to dark reddish brown, frequently striped with rather fine uniform parenchyma laminations of lighter color. The thick and sharply demarcated sapwood is a generally unattractive yellowish brown.

GRAIN: straight to irregular, or interlocked.

TEXTURE: medium coarse texture with a low to medium luster

PROPERTIES / WORKABILITY: a fairly hard, heavy, dense, and strong wood, it works well with both hand and machine tools, saws, nails and glues well, takes screws well, good for carving, sands well. OK for routing and mortising, bores well, planes well, turns well, sands well. Sometimes natural resins may make turning and planing a bit of a problem. Some reports recommend pre-boring for nails and screws. Interlocked grain can sometimes cause difficulty in planing.

DURABILITY: Performance against attack by decay fungi is reported to be determined by the amount of resin in the wood. Heartwood resistance is rated as generally moderate, and could last up to 15 years in contact with the ground without any chemical protection, but this reportedly varies considerably with species, with L. castilloi reported to be very resistant to fungus and insect attack, L. hedyosmus moderately resistant, and L. sericeus susceptible to attack.

Most reports say that most species in the genus are rather difficult to treat with wood preservatives, some say the heartwood has moderate response to preservative penetration but sapwood is to be highly permeable to preservatives.

FINISH: takes finishes well --- one report says "except polyurethane", but that has not been my experience. One report says that finishing highlights irregularities in the grain to make the normally dull wood rather attractive. I've been able to bring it to a fairly strong natural shine, and I've had no problems with polyurethane finish.

STABILITY: medium movement in service

BENDING: high bending strength

ODOR: no characteristic odor or taste.

SOURCES: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela

USES: axles, bent parts, boat building (general), bridge construction, building construction, building materials, cabin construction, cabinetmaking, chairs, chests, common uses, construction, crossties, desks, dining-room furniture, domestic flooring, drawer sides, factory construction, factory flooring, fine furniture, flooring, furniture, furniture components, furniture squares or stock, hatracks, heavy construction, kitchen cabinets, light construction, living-room suites, mine timbers, office furniture, parquet flooring, poles, radio - stereo - tv cabinets, railroad ties, rustic furniture, stereo, stools, sub-flooring, tool handles, turnery, uses: heavy construction, utility furniture, vehicle parts, wardrobes, wheel spokes, wheels,

TREE: heights of up to 100 feet with trunk diameters of 16 to 40 inches, low buttressed with clear boles to 60 ft., grows on open hillsides and dry plains at lowlands or at medium elevations. The tree is also reported to be localized in high forests and marsh forests on alluvial flats in Surinam.

WEIGHT: 46 to 60 pounds per cubic foot

DRYING: generally reported to dry satisfactorily although one report says it is moderately difficult to dry. The rate varies from slow to rapid, depends upon the species. Distortion and shrinkage are reported to be minimal if the material is dried slowly, otherwise there can be splitting



web quotes:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Compression wood is reported to be common.

Some material (lumber and veneer) produced from this species are reported to be available from a salvaged, recycle, or a sustainable managed source.

The sapwood is prone to blue-stain

Like pink ivory, maichi chi can only be harvested after a natural disaster and is quite hard to come by