By Jo-Ann Kaiser
By Jo-Ann Kaiser
COMMON NAMES HEIGHT/WEIGHT PROPERTIES It's easy to see how satine earned some of its commercial names, like bloodwood and cardinal wood. Wood from the species Brosimum paraense, Brosimum rubescens and Brosimum lanciferum yields heartwood that varies from a pale orange red to a deep red. Bloodwood is one of the woods that retains its color. If anything, the color deepens as it ages rather than fades.
It's easy to see how satine earned some of its commercial names, like bloodwood and cardinal wood. Wood from the species Brosimum paraense, Brosimum rubescens and Brosimum lanciferum yields heartwood that varies from a pale orange red to a deep red. Bloodwood is one of the woods that retains its color. If anything, the color deepens as it ages rather than fades.
Bloodwood comes from various species of Brosimum and grows in Brazil, Venezuela, Peru and Panama, French Guiana, Colombia, Guyana, and Suriname. It is not one of the most widely used of the exotics in the U.S. market, but those who have experience working with bloodwood appreciate its heartwood for its vibrant color, which remains true or deepens over time, and its golden luster.
The wood's grain ranges from straight to slightly interlocked. Some of the heartwood features ribbon stripes of green or yellow or red. The sapwood of the tree is a pale yellow and clearly demarcated.
Bloodwood, or satine, is also called Brazilwood, which can be confusing, since so many woods share this name, including pau ferro (Guilandina echinata). Another of its commercial names, satinwood, is shared by other species, including Chloroylon swietenia.
The book Tropical Timber Atlas of Latin America lists various trade names for the lumber by country. In France, the wood is called satine and satine urbane; in Germany satinholz; in Italy ferolia and legno satino; in the United Kingdom it is called bloodwood and satinwood. In Brazil it is called muirapiranga, amapa rana, pau rainha, conduru and falso pao Brasil.
Bloodwood is also said to twist when you cut it.
Thayer thinks jatoba is similar in many ways to bloodwood. "They have the same grain characteristics and hardness, but bloodwood's color is better, and it won't oxidize the way jatoba and padauk sometimes do."
Steven King, a vice president at All Righteous Woods, a division of Yankee Pine Corp. in Rowley, MA, says his company has carried bloodwood for 15 years. He describes it as a beautiful wood that finishes well. "The denser woods are, often the higher the shine. It has a great luster when finished. Give it a French polish, and it shines like the facets of a gem."
King says the wood is often used as a contrast wood. "With its deep red color it works well alone or as an accent wood." King says his customers primarily use bloodwood lumber for furniture making.
Multitude of Applications
Bloodwood is also cut into decorative veneers and used as an accent inlay in high-end wood flooring. Bloodwood is also a popular turnery wood. With its attractive color and inherent luster the wood is used to turn all sorts of objects and art pieces.
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