#98: Burmese Blackwood

Bird number: 131
Date: December 18, 2012
Wood: Burmese Blackwood (Dalbergia cultrata)
Source: Woodcraft

Burmese Blackwood is a member of the genus Dalbergia, commonly called the Rosewoods. Two other birds in this collection, Yucatan Rosewood and Cocobolo are also Rosewoods, and I strongly suspect that my Mystery wood is, as well.

I’m somewhat surprised at how little information I’ve been able to find about this species. The Wood Database has an entry for Burmese Rosewood, but that’s a much different looking wood. From what little I’ve read about it the few pictures I’ve seen, this is indeed Dalbergia cultrata. I just don’t understand why I can’t find much information about it online.

This carved like the other Rosewoods I’ve worked with. The wood is hard, but cuts well and carves nicely with the Foredom. Sanding was not a problem. All told, the wood was a pleasure to work with.

Burmese Blackwood is native to Southeast Asia. Like many Rosewoods, it is highly sought after for use in furniture, musical instruments, turned objects, and flooring. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the tree as “near threatened,” mostly due to over exploitation of the timber. However, the wood is not CITES listed. I don’t know enough about the IUCN to say whether they’re reliable, but I would expect the wood from a threatened species to be somewhat more expensive than what I paid for this piece. I will, however, do a bit more research before I buy any more.

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