BOTANICAL NAME: mostly Carapa guianensis and C. procer of the Family Meliaceae but also at least C. molluccensi. Synonyms include C. latifolia and C. nicaraguensis.

COMMON NAMES: aboridan, acari, african crabwood, agogo, alla, andiroba, andiroba (peru), andiroba aruba, andiroba saruba, andirobeira, andirobeira branca, andirobeira vermelha, asorowa, bastard mahogany, bateo (panama), bete, bois caille, bois rouge carapet, borowa, british guiana mahogany, bukulo, cabirma de gui, cachipou, cam, camacari (brazil), caobilla, carapa (guiana), carapa (venezuela), carapa guianensis, carapote (guadeloupe), cedro bateo, cedro macho, cedro macho (costa rica), cedro marcha, chu-nay-dor-kohn, crabwood, crappo, demerara mahogany, denerara., ditondondo, dona, empire andiroba, engang, engany, family: meliaceae, figueroa (ecuador), gobi, guiana crabwood, iandivora, ibbegogo, jandirova, karaba, karapa-yek, karapai, kowi, kraa-bise, krapa (surinam), krappa (suriname), krupi, krupia, kundu, kwaku-bise, masabalo (columbia), mbukuli, mbula-ndobi, mebukulo, molonkoto, monkey cola, mujogo, mukasa-kumbi, munangu, mutongana, najasi, najesi, nandiroba, nandirova, okoto, para-mahogany, saba karaba, sua-bise, tangare (ecuador), tangaré, tangere, toon-kor-dah, toon-kor-doh, uganda crabwood, west indian crabwood

TYPE: hardwood

COLOR: Heartwood is a light salmon to reddish brown when fresh, becoming darker brown when dry, color very variable; sapwood is pinkish turning pale brown or grayish, reports vary as to whether or not the sapwood is clearly demarcated from heartwood. Sapwood reportedy makes up more of the tree than the heartwood.

GRAIN: usually straight but sometimes interlocked and roey; can have an attractive stripe and parallel, irregular rays when quartersawn.

TEXTURE: many reports say fine to medium, some say medium to coarse. My experience is medium to coarse. Reportedly polishes to a smooth finish. Reports on luster range from low to high

PROPERTIES / WORKABILITY: Compression parallel to grain is in the high range. Strength properties, especially stiffness, are rated as higher than those of Honduras mahogany. Hardness is rated as medium. It resists denting and marring about as well as white oak or birch. High resistance to crushing and bending. It is a heavy wood with high density. The wood closely resembles the mahoganies (Swietenia and Khaya ), but is less attractive.

It can be worked with machine or hand tools although presence of interlocked grain may make planing difficult, and some report that the wood is harder to machine than mahogany. It has a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges. Experts recommend a reduced cutting angle when planing quartered material. Wood may split when nailed; pre-boring is recommended for both nailing and screwing. Holds screws well, glues well. Stains and finishes well but material may need filling.

Mortises, moulds, and routes moderately well, turns and sands very well (turning characteristics have been compared to cherry and sugar maple) but may need filler. Bores easily and carves moderately easily

Reports on veneering vary widely, some saying that it peels well for veneer, others that veneering is difficult, with a slight to moderate drying degrade and the potential for buckles and splits.

DURABILITY: Reports vary widely on durablity and resistance to insects and fungii, and part of the reason may be the fact that the wood is usually straight-grained but can be interlocked, and its texture can vary from coarse to fine, depending on log and country of origin. The heartwood is reported to be resistant to impregnation by preservatives in both pressure and non-pressure treatments. The sapwood is somewhat resistant.

FINISH: takes stains, varnish, and paints well, polishes well

STABILITY: movement in service is small

BENDING: good to excellent results for steam bending

ODOR: No distinctive odor or taste

SOURCES: It grows in South America, Central America, Latin America, Oceania and South East Asia.

Specific countries mentioned include: Angola, Belize, Brazil, Cameroon, Cape Verde Islands, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, French Guiana, Ghana, Guadelope, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone, Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, Venezuela, Zaire

USES: agricultural implements, architectural paneling, balusters, beams, bedroom suites, boat building, boat decking, boxes and crates, building construction, building materials, cabin construction, cabinet work, cabinetmaking, cabinets, canoes, carvings, ceiling, chairs, chests, concealed parts (furniture), concrete formwork, construction, core stock, decks, decorative plywood, decorative veneer, decorative veneers, desks, dining-room furniture, dockwork, domestic flooring, dowell pins, dowells, drawer sides, excelsior, factory construction, factory flooring, figured veneer, fine furniture, floor lamps, flooring, food containers, form work, foundation posts, frame construction, framing, fuelwood, furniture, furniture components, furniture squares or stock, harbor work, hatracks, heavy construction, interior construction, interior trim, joinery, joists, kitchen cabinets, lifeboats, light construction, living-room suites, millwork, mine timbers, moldings, musical instruments, office furniture, paneling, parquet flooring, particleboard, piling, plain veneer, plywood, plywoodfurniture, poles, porch columns, posts, pulp/paper products, radio, railroad ties, rough construction, rustic furniture, shingles, shipbuilding, ship’s decking., sporting goods, stair rails, stairworks, stereo, stools, stringers, structural plywood, sub-flooring, tables, turnery, tv cabinets, utility furniture, utility plywood, vehicle parts, veneer, veneer: decorative, wainscotting, wardrobes, windowframes

TREE: Commonly 60 to 100 ft in height with diameters 2 to 3 ft; sometimes attain diameters up to 6 ft and heights of 170 ft. Buttresses are low, leaving a clear bole length of 50 ft or more; main stems are straight and of good form.

WEIGHT: reports vary ENORMOUSLY, from 31 to 67 lbs/cu. ft. but most reports are in the 38 to 45 lb range. The one plank I have owned was 49 lbs/cu. ft.

DRYING: reports on air drying range from rapid to slow, but there is agreement that kild drying should be slow and that there is a tendency to split, twist, check, and collapse but without serious bowing or cupping. Natural Growth Defects sometimes include gum and mineral deposits.

Shrinkage: radial 3% to 4% tangential 8%, volumetric 10% to 12%



web quotes:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Andiroba is the term that seems to dominate the U.S. market. However, "because of the variation in the character of the wood it has been suggested that the name andiroba should be used for the finer-textured, denser material and the name crabwood for the coarser-textured wood of medium density," according to "World Timbers."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The species is reported to be generally secure within its natural habitat in most areas in its range, including French Guiana, Guyana, and Surinam, but it occurs in very small quantities within its range in Panama and is classified as Vulnerable. Its status in the wild is currently reported to be unknown because of insufficient information in the Caribbean Islands, Cuba, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela (Source - World Conservation Monitoring Center - 1992).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Crabwood oil, also known as Andiroba, has long been used in many ways. As a homeopathic remedy, the oil is used fro dandruff, rashes and as a laxative. It is also used for various skin care uses such as an insect repellent and moisturizer.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Cam Gantz, sales manager for Interwood Forest Products Inc. in Shelbyville, KY, says he’s seen andiroba veneer that resembles quartered African khaya in color, although the grain and pores also resembled makore. "I think andiroba offers an alternative to a customer looking at khaya mahogany," Gantz says. He adds that andiroba offers a variety of figures, including an attractive crossfire. He has seen several requests for the veneer in the last six months.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Andiroba may dull tools and sandpaper, according to reports from customers, says Jim Dumas of Certainly Wood of East Aurora, NY. "It is a coarse wood that isn’t terribly dense, but there is something about it that makes woodworking slightly tougher than mahogany," he says. "For our purposes, the highly figured material can be slightly harder to roll and put in packages because it can be a tiny bit brittle."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The wood closely resembles the mahoganies (Swietenia and Khaya ), but is less attractive.

The wood is so similar to Honduras mahogany that they are often confused with each other.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The timber is more abundant in supplies than Honduras mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla). Although it is not as available through hardwood suppliers in the U.S. and Europe as the true mahoganies (Swietenia and Khaya), the timber is less expensive, when available. It is more apt to be found growing in pure stands, and stills occur in enough numbers to be used for construction in some areas within its natural range

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -