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Goncalo Alves

Botanical Name: Astronium graveolens Family: Anacardiaceae

Common Name: Goncalo alves, Tigerwood, Zebrawood, Urunday-Para, Mura, Bois De Zebre, Chibatao, Guarita, Aderno, Ron-ron, Jobillo, Zorro.

The Tree: The tree reaches a height of up to 120 feet (37 m), with a trunk diameter of 24 to 40 inches or more above narrow flanged buttresses that are about 4 to 6 feet (1.2 to 1.8 m) high. It develops well formed cylindrical boles that are often clear for about two-thirds or more of the total height of the tree.

Sapwood Color: The sapwood is grayish-white, pinkish-white, or brownish white in color and is very distinct from the heartwood.

Heartwood: The heartwood is initially pinkish-white, or brownish white in color usually richly mottled with dark brown streaks and or spots. The wood becomes brown, red, dark reddish brown with nearly black stripes after prolonged exposure. Weight 53 to 80 lbs. per cu. ft. Turns readily. Finishes smoothly. Takes a high natural polish. The figure is very attractive.

USES - High-class furniture and cabinet making, fancy goods and decorative work. Excellent for turning. Sliced veneers used in architectural paneling and face veneering.

MECHANICAL PROPERTIES - Strong in all categories and is not used in steam bending

WORKING PROPERTIES - Difficult to work. Moderate to severe blunting effect on cutters. Requires reduced angle cutting due to hard and soft layers and irregular grain. Pre-drilling is required for nailing, but holds screws well. Glues easily and finishes with a high natural polish.

Personal Comments ( I personally find Goncalo alves a wonderful wood to work. It's waxy texture makes it a pleasure to machine. It is one of my favorite woods to work with. )
Astronium Fraxinifolium: Don't confuse this species with it's heavily striped cousin. It is lighter weigh and has almost no stripe and also sold under the same name. We only carry Goncalo alves with heavy stripe.


Descriptive Data Source
Chudnoff, M. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook No. 607, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin.

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