It’s mid-August and time for another spotlight on wood!  This month we look at a beautiful luxury wood, often used in turning or veneers, kingwood.  This is actually the densest member of the rosewood family.

HOW DID KINGWOOD GET ITS NAME?

Stories vary on how this rosewood got its royal moniker.  However, it is a fair bet that it was due to its popularity with the French Kings Louis the 14th and 15th  .

Kingwood cabinet

Louis XIV style gilt bronze-mounted kingwood, satinwood and fruitwood marquetry and parquetry side cabinet

WHAT COLOR IS IT?

While colors vary, generally speaking the heartwood is dark brownish-purple with darker streaks throughout.  The sapwood is pale beigey-yellow.

 

Kingwood pen with blend of heart and sapwood

Kingwood pen with blend of heart and sapwood

 

WHERE DOES IT ORIGINATE?

Dalbergia cearensis, aka kingwood, originates in Brazil.

HOW DURABLE IS IT?

Kingwood is the densest of the rosewoods.  It is so hard, it is often known to blunt carving tools.

HOW ABOUT ALLERGIES?

Kingwood is not commonly known to cause allergies, but on occasion some people have felt eye or airway irritation when working with it.   As with any wood, extended time breathing in sawdust is inadvisable. Once finished and sealed, these allergies are unlikely to affect you.

WHAT ARE ITS MAIN USES?

Due to its high cost, kingwood is used on smaller pieces or as inlays and veneers in furniture making, cabinetry or smaller turned pieces.

Calligraphy Pen

Kingwood Fountain Pen

Great sources for more info on all types of woods are:

https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/woods-know-kingwood

http://www.wood-database.com/kingwood/

 

As always our online shop can be found here.  We use all the woods we spotlight in our wood turnings.