Common Names
Scientific Name
Melia azedarach
Southern Asia, Australia and Oceania
Color can range from a light pinkish orange to a deeper reddish brown. Color becomes darker upon prolonged exposure to light. Well-defined sapwood is a lighter yellow. Grain is usually straight, though occasionally interlocked. Texture is coarse and uneven, though with a pronounced natural luster. Endgrain: Ring-porous (or sometimes semi-ring-porous); 2-4 rows of large earlywood pores, small to medium latewood pores in tangential, diagonal, or clustered arrangement; reddish brown heartwood deposits present in earlywood; rays may be just barely visible without lens; parenchyma vasicentric, confluent, and banded (marginal).
Avg. Dried Weight
38 lbs/ft3 (610 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness
990 lbf
Modulus of Rupture
14,100 lbf/in2 (97.2 MPa)
Elastic Modulus
1,300,000 lbf/in2 (8.97 MPa)
Crushing Strength
8,100 lbf/in2 (55.9 MPa)
Radial: 5.0%, Tangential: 8.5%, Volumetric: 13.6%, T/R Ratio: 1.7
There are many conflicting reports on Chinaberry’s durability. The heartwood is generally considered at least moderately durable, and somewhat resistant to insect attack.
Due to it’s moderate density and generally straight grain, Chinaberry is quite easy to work: it cuts, planes, sands, and glues well. Perhaps the only difficulty is in its large pores, which tend to give a very open and grainy finished appearance, which may need to be filled, particularly if a smooth glossy surface is desired. (Though if left as-is, it serves well in applications where a rustic look is desired.)

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