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Terminalia Ivorensis of the family Combretaceae, related to limba, a deciduous tree, native to various areas in Africa (Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone) and now grown in several other tropical regions (Fiji, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe) as well as other tropical regions. Also goes by (among over 70 other common names) the names black afara and framire (this is a French name but seems to be used a fair amount in English-speaking countries). Neither of these common names appears to be shared by any other species.
Because it grows in both seasonal tropical forests and tropical rainforests a given plank may or may not show what appear to be growth rings, with the equivalent of "late growth" dense areas during the portion of the season (in the seasonal tropical forests) when rainfall is scarce.
sample plank of idigbo / Terminalia ivorensis --- the wood is slightly more grainy than what shows up in these pics.
end grain and HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP
NOTE: From here down, these are "mine" only in that they were contributed to the site. They were sent to me by John Fuher who sent a few in the hope that I could help him ID the wood. I was unable to help but John himself, in poking around the site later found idigbo and was sure this was the wood. He then went to a local dealer in England who had samples of idigbo and confirmed that this is the correct ID. He also clarified my confusion on what I had referred to in the web images section below as being "odd striations" and "weird stripes". These are simply a very smooth section of late growth that stand out against the much grainier early growth areas. Since we have been corresponding, John has now sent some additional pics. ALL of the pics is this section are from John.
I have discussed these pics with John and I believe they are quite accurate. The Danish oil added quite a bit of color to the plank it was applied to.
John tells me that although the planks are not strongly yellow, the dust from sanding is. I have often found that on very grainy woods such as this, the dust has a much stronger color than the planks because the open pores absorb light in a way that reduces the colorfulness of the planks. That's one reason why adding finishing agents to wood often greatly enhances the color.
4" wide plank photographed with no finish and in natural light.
a 10" wide 15" long plank, planed and wiped with clear Danish oil to show the grain and photographed with a flash
face grain, side grain, and end grain closeup of another plank (these pics are also by John and this plank is 3" thick thus the extensive side grain) These pics were taken in daylight but not direct sunlight.
face grain, side grain and end grain closeup of another 3" thick plank photographed by John. In this set of pics you can clearly see the correlation of the appearance of the same growth rings in the 3 views (both the face grain and end grain shots start at the left side of the plank --- the scale is slightly different, so you have to pay a little attention to get the correlation exactly right, but it's there. These pics were also done in daylight but not direct sunlight.
the end of one of the planks above (plank "B") extreme enlargement are present
the end of the other of the planks above (plank "A") extreme enlargement are present
NOTE: because of misleading cross-use of common names,
it is possible that some of these are actually limba
(Terminalia superba) not idigbo (Terminalia Ivorensis)
plank with wet and dry areas
plank and end grain closeup listed as framire / Terminalia ivorensis
these two plank pics were found on different sites but are obviously the same pic, just with one of them having the color changed (the brown one is probably the least correct)
these two plank pics were found on different sites but are clearly the same pic, just with one of them changed in size (I'm guessing the on one the right is stretched, but I'm basing that on the fact that the one on the left has an enlargement so was probably the original. Why anyone would feel the need to so drastically change the apparent shape of a board is beyond me but this is the kind of crap you find on the internet)
planks with unlikely color
plank with odd striations that I do not understand [LATER NOTE: refer to the comments in the top section; the stripes are the late-growth portion of the growth rings]
plank with weird strips --- looks to me more like bamboo than idigbo [LATER NOTE: refer to the comments in the top section --- I am now sure this is idigbo except that the color is ridiculous]
listed as limba / Terminalia ivorensis. NOTES: (1) "limba" is in fact a legitimate alternate common name for idigbo but that's very confusing because "limba" in general (and specifically on this site) refers to Terminalia superba which does not look like idgibo. (2) Note that this pic is identical to the one directly above except that this one has a believable color and that one doesn't. Why someone would copy a pic (I'm assuming this is the original) and then make the color ridiculous is itself ridiculous but that's the internet for you.
veneer listed as framire / Terminalia ivorensis
workbench top and one end with clamp, made by John Fuher from the idigbo piece shown at the top of the page with my own samples --- HUGE enlargements are present. John tells me that although it is listed as a light to medium weight wood, his pieces were strong enough for this bench.
solid guitar bodies
wash stand frame
bowl turned and photographed by John Fuher, who also provided many of the pic up in the "my samples" section. John tells me the lemon color of this finished bowl is correct. HUGE enlargements are present.
two views of a bowl
two view of a bowl
bowl turned by Steve Earis, who tells me that it's a 5" diameter bowl, unfinished, turned from rough lumber from the scrap pile where he works and was one of his first efforts at turning, so he's not all that thrilled by it, but I think it looks fine and I stole the pic off the internet (before Steve and I began emailing) because it shows the grain really nicely.