Bird number: 128
Date: December 17, 2012
Wood: Amazakoue (Guibourtia ehie)
I’ve become jaded. By any reasonable measure, this is a beautiful wood and I should be wowed by it. But I was actually disappointed when I finished sanding it, I think because I’ve been working with so many beautiful woods recently. The last ten or twelve woods I’ve worked with are, in my opinion, more striking than this one.
Amazakoue is hard enough that I wouldn’t want to try carving it with a knife. I didn’t have any problems carving with the Foredom, but I had a surprisingly and frustratingly difficult time sanding the silly thing. For reasons I don’t understand, getting a smooth finish on this figure was exceptionally hard.
The tree is native to tropical West Africa. The wood is used for flooring, fine furniture, cabinet work, veneer, turned objects, and musical instruments. It’s often used as a less expensive alternative to Indian Rosewood. I’ve seen a few references that describe Amazakoue as “a walnut-like wood,” although none of them say how it’s like walnut. My experience is limited to black walnut, which this doesn’t resemble at all.
It really is a beautiful wood, and I’ll get over being jaded pretty soon. I hope.