- Scientific Name
- Swartzia cubensis
- Common Name(s)
- Katalox, Mexican ebony
- Southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America
- Average Dried Weight
- 72 lbs/ft3 (1,150 kg/m3)
- Specific Gravity
- Basic: 0.94, 12% MC: 1.15
- Janka Hardness
- 3,660 lbf (16,260 N)
- Modulus of Rupture
- 28,010 lbf/in2 (193.2 MPa)
- Elastic Modulus
- 3,715,000 lbf/in2 (25.62 GPa)
- Crushing Strength
- 15,240 lbf/in2 (105.1 MPa)
- Radial: 3.9%, Tangential: 7.6%,
- Heartwood is dark reddish brown to nearly black, sometimes with a strong purple hue. Sapwood is sharply demarcated and is pale yellowish white. Pieces with curly or wavy grain are not uncommon.
- Grain is usually straight, but can also be irregular or interlocked. With a fine even texture and good natural luster.
- Rot Resistance
- Varies depending upon species, but generally very durable. Heartwood is usually considered to have a high resistance to decay and termites; though it is susceptible to marine borers.
- Katalox is typically considered difficult to work on account of its high density. The wood has a moderate to high blunting effect on cutters, and if there is interlocked grain present, tearout can occur during planing. Can be troublesome to glue because of its high density and natural oils present.
- Katalox has a very faint odor when being worked.
- Katalox has been reported to cause respiratory irritation in some individuals.
- Usually available in turning squares or as figured lumber (generally with a large amount of sapwood present). Expect prices to be in the mid to upper range for an imported tropical hardwood.
- This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- Common Uses
- Inlays, fine furniture and cabinetry, parquet flooring, guitars, turnings, and other small specialty items.
- Katalox has exceptional strength properties, and is among the very stiffest and strongest woods available worldwide. Its dark color makes it a popular substitute for ebony, and the wood is sometimes called Mexican Royal Ebony, though it is not a true ebony in the Diospyros genus.
Katalox Turning Blank Prices
$11.99Call to Order
$29.99Call to Order
$26.92Call to Order
$51.59Call to Order
$6.28Call to Order
$1.26Call to Order