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NOTE: there is rarely any "standard" or "typical" look for a wood so take what's in this table with a grain of salt
the REST of the pictures on this page will give you a better overall feel for this wood

Brazilian rosewood / Dalbergia nigra

4" x 4" flat cut, 4" x 4" quartersawn, 1" wide end grain, and a 1/4" x 1/4" end grain closeup.

Diffuse porous with large, sparse, randomly spaced pores, with fairly thick vasicentric parenchyma (which can appear aliform on rare occasions), occasional radial pore multiples, rays barely visible at 10X. There is plentiful banded parenchyma that is sometimes very clear at 10X, sometimes hard to see and likewise for diffuse-in-aggregates parenchyma. Growth rings are indistinct



THE ROSEWOODS, REAL and OTHERWISE


my samples:


both sides of a small thin plank of Brazilian rosewood / Dalbergia nigra that was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. I processed this into a single, laminated, IWCS-sized formal sample which is shown directly after this set of pics. The right hand side of the first face is sanded to 240 grit and shows much better fine grain detail in the enlargements than does the left side or the 2nd face both of which show clear (but tiny) planer gouges.


the plank directly above was too thin to get a decent end grain shot but I did take this face grain closeup of part of the fine sanded area. There is a good end grain shot of the laminated sample (that I made from this) below.


both sides of a sample plank of Brazilian rosewood / Dalbergia nigra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was created from the plank directly above. The first face is sanded to 240 grit and the other side is sanded to 100 grit


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Brazilian rosewood/ Dalbergia nigra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Brazilian rosewood / Dalbergia nigra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This piece, unlike my veneer pieces below and the web pics, shows clearly why this was named Dalbergia nigra (nigra means black). You can see that it's really dark purple but it is VERY dark.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Brazilian rosewood / Dalbergia nigra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The first side has been fine sanded and so shows a slightly richer color and better end grain details in the enlargements. This is a crotch, or at least a crotch-like, area and a has more swirly grain pattern than is normal.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Brazilian rosewood / Dalbergia nigra --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The poor quality of this sample was acceptable because it was tossed in free along with a large batch of samples.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE of both ends of the piece directly above. Note that both pics were left lighter than the wood really is so that the pores/grain would show up



The pics in this section are all from a 6.5" long piece off of the small end of a 3' long piece owned by Mark Peet. Because he has this good-sized chunk, Mark asked me to be particularly careful in identifying it since when he sells pieces of it he would not want to represent the wood as Dalbergia nigra unless it really is. I sent a sample off the research scientist Mihaly Czako along with several other Dalbergia's I was examining to see if I could get identification of some that I was not sure about and verification of the ones I felt I was sure about. Mihaly says this one is Dalbergia nigra. Independently of Mihay, I did my own analysis, comparing the macro details, the fine sanded face grain and fine sanded end grain details all to both my other samples of Dalbergia nigra and to all of my other various rosewoods just to be sure. All of my analysis led me to conclude that it definitely is Dalbergia nigra.


both sides of the chunk. The dark side has been exposed for 40+ years and the other side I sliced off some of one edge so as to get a good look at the fresh color and freshly exposed face grain.


a couple of angled shots to show the general shape of the piece and why one face grain pic is so much taller than the other.


end grain and end END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


face grain closeup from the freshly cut face showing the typical open grain caused by the large pores. If you go to the second enlargement on this you'll also see what looks like very fine planer scoops running up/down in the pics. These are actually the parenchyma lines that are part of the Dalbergia nigra anatomy. You can see the same lines in the enlargement of the end grain update, running at an angle from upper left to lower right. The size of these and the degree to which they are visible in both the end grain and face grain is one of the identifying characteristics of this species vs other Dalbergia spp.

After I had processed the piece I returned it to Mark and he cut out a book-matched pair of IWCS-sized formal samples, which are shown here


Both sides of the pair. The dark surface is one that spent at least a large part of its 40+ years exposed to light and air.


end grain of each


face grain closeup




both these pics are of veneer from the same lot. The second shot has been carefully color corrected and is quite accurate. This is a very attractive wood, as you can see, and frequently has more red to the color than these pieces.


a couple of really crappy out-of-focus shots of a nice sheet --- I tossed out the enlargements of these since they're just too blury. See the next two shots down from here.


a couple of pieces from the same flitch as the one directly above, but these are nice in-focus pics and I've provided both levels of enlargement because the focus is so good and I've done a better job with the color correction --- this veneer really IS this pretty. Both these pieces and the ones directly below were sold to me in about 1980 and I have never since seen any pieces this colorful.


veneer from the same lot as above


really ugly veneer, all from the same lot --- color is accurate


veneer and a bookmatched veneer pair from the same flitch


veneer sheet and closeup


veneer sheets from a large mixed lot --- I spent a lot of time on color-correcting these, so they are quite accurate --- the orange tint on some of them is correct


veneer sheet and closeup. This sheet was contributed by Alfredo Nava --- thanks Freddy!


fully finished and bookmatched veneer from the front of a guitar pic that I was given


both sides of a couple of pieces of engineered wood laminated with Brazilian rosewood veneer. These were left-overs from a very nice cabinet for which the new owner wanted to figure out what the wood was so he sent them to me for ID. HUGE enlargements are present.

web pics:


two views of a log section


planks


both sides of a plank


curly planks --- 3 shots of the same bookmatched set


bookmatched flat cut veneer, all from the same vendor


turning sticks


bookmatched flat cut veneer with some sapwood


flat cut veneer


misc veneer, almost all flat cut


veneer pieces, all from the same vendor


veneer pieces all from the same vendor


veneer with sapwood. Listed as "contrasty" veneer. The actual wood might have a little red in it, but possibly not.


veneer, all from the same vendor


veneer sheet closeups with both levels of enlargement available --- these are from the same vendor as the set directly above


veneer with some sapwood


guitar kits


guitar kit and closeup


guitar kit and closeup


guitar sets




guitar backs and sides