Fife Woods and Materials

Grenadilla, (Dalbergia melanoxylon)

This extremely hard and stable wood is also known as African Blackwood, Congowood, Mozambique ebony, Mpingo, Banbanus, Ebene, Mufunjo, and Senegal ebony, Grenadilla has an extensive range on the African continent. It can be found from the savanna regions of the Sudan southward to Mozambique, then westward to Angola and northward to Nigeria and Senegal.

Grenadilla is mostly straight grained with fine texture, dull luster, and its slightly oily nature makes hard to apply some more common types of finishes. It is dark purplish brown to black in color with black streaks. The grain is mostly straight with a fine texture. It is an extremely heavy and hardwood and rates high in strength, stiffness, shock resistance. This is a hard and heavy wood with a weight of 82 lb/ft 3 (1,314 kg/m 3 ). The density is such that it will not float in water. Because of the hardness and density of Grenadilla, It is best turned and worked with metal cutting tools instead of the more conventional wood usually associated with woodturning.

Grenadilla is often used for woodwind instruments such as fifes, flutes, piccolos, oboes, clarinets, recorders, bagpipes Other uses for this beautiful wood are: knife handles, chess pieces, bearings, pulley blocks, walking sticks, inlay, and carving.