<% Response.CacheControl = "no-cache" %> <% Response.AddHeader "Pragma", "no-cache" %> <% Response.Expires = -1 %> African blackwood from Griffin Exotic Wood  

Griffin Exotic Wood

Click here for more photos of bare wood
African Blackwood
(dalbergia melanoxylon)

African Blackwood grows in Africa, and most of our stock comes from Tanzania where it is called Mpingo.  It mostly grows as a small bush, making harvest of good pieces very difficult.  Sometimes it does grow in a tree form.  It is a true rosewood.  It is the classic wood of choice for bagpipes, clarinets and other musical instruments.  The wood has a natural resistance to saliva (which ebony does not) and the grain is very fine.  It is one of the world's finest turning woods and takes the finest details, making it also one of the best for ornamental turning.  The specific gravity is between 1.0 and 1.2, with a dry weight around 78 pounds per cubic foot.  African blackwood is not really black, but ranges from dark violet to brownish.  If you need a very black wood, please select AA grade ebony. Note that the grading system is not about color but how free of defects the wood is.  If you have very specific expectations, be certain to call us for detailed information.
Environmental Note: for those like us who are concerned about environmental impact of wood use:    Consider making a gift to the African Blackwood Project which is working to plant more of these trees.  Click here to visit that website.
Environmental News: We buy this wood legally from an above board government permitted plantation with controlled cutting. Note that Chinese traders in Tanzania and Mozambique have been paying off poor locals to break into this plantation and others to cut down trees during the night and give them to the Chinese. Please do not buy this wood from any source that came from/through China or a Chinese company as you would otherwise be supporting this illegal forest destruction. In Mozambique, some of the poachers have been convicted and jailed. Buying legal wood is a way to support companies that play by environmental rules.

Grading system:  Click here to see sample photo of bare wood in different grades
IQ=Instrument quality. The wood has no visible defects of any kind and is at least partially air dried (PAD).  Grain that is not straight may be present but no knots/round swirls .  Color varies.
IQ2= 2nd instrument quality.  These pieces didn't make IQ grade, due to a minor defect such as a small sapwood area, and/or a few pin holes or some figure or tiny knot.
TG=Turning grade (usually not marked).   This wood may have knots,   sapwood, etc.   Small holes and tiny hairline checks as well as internal defects possible--if you need a perfect piece, please get a higher grade.
Logs: All African blackwood logs have some checks and other defects.  Expect to cut around or use them as design elements. Sizes stated in maximum dimensions.
Please note that grades are based on external appearances only.   We do not have wood xraying capability and cannot guarantee the quality on the inside, though usually it is same as outside.
Dowels: New! Any of the square pieces below can be made into a dowel. Go to the custom cutting page to order a dowel made from most any square on our site.

Note: As of the beginning of 2014, supply interruptions are possible, there is regional conflict near the mill. We suggest stocking up if you need this wood, we do not know how serious this problem will be. As of Jan. 2014, stocks are good, but the IQ grade stock may soon be depleted.

unless specified otherwise.



unless specified otherwise.
Exotic Wood Chart

Biblical woods

Why Buy from us??

Exotic Wood Newsletter
Email us
African Blackwood pen blank 7/8 x 7/8 x 6 inches

Price: $3.50

African Blackwood 1 x 1 x 5 inches Turning Grade
New Size !
Price: $2.90

African Blackwood 1 x 1 x 12 inches IQ2
Price: $12.50

African Blackwood 1.25 to 1 3/8 diameter by 12" DOWEL IQ2
Round dowels can  vary by up to 1/4" in diameter, but 1.25 will be the minimum sent.
1.25 inch minimum in this case, but usually closer to 1 3/8 inch )
Price: $34.50

African Blackwood 1.5 x 1.5 x 12 inches IQ2
Price: $27.50

African Blackwood 1.5 x 1.5 x 15 inches IQ2
Price: $41.50

African Blackwood 1 5/8 x 1 5/8 x 5 inches IQ
Price: $39.50

African Blackwood 1 5/8 x 1 5/8 x 4 5/8 inches IQ
Price: $36.50

African Blackwood 1 5/8 x 1 5/8 x 6.5 inches IQ
Price: $55.50

sample photo

African blackwood 2 1/16 x 2 1/16 x 12.25 inches IQ
Price: $126.50

Note: As of the beginning of 2014, supply interruptions are possible, the main mill we use has been closed for now due to local war. We are still able to get some supplies from another source (in the 1.5 squares only).

Order online, or call us Monday through Friday 970-241-2827
International callers and questions: Email us

Note that everything on this page (photos too!) are copyrighted and may not be used
without written permission.  Copyright 2006, 2013, 2015 by James Griffin.  If you are a customer
and desire to use some of our photos on your website, call us with your request.