Natural color or other custom stain colors availlable from C&L hardwood factory.
Wenge Hardwood Properties:
Color/Appearance: Heartwood is a very dark brown with black streaks. But unlike most other woods, Wenge is reported to become lighter when exposed to light.
Grain/Pore: Has a straight grain and a coarse texture. Wenge also has very large pores that can present a challenge to fill if a perfectly smooth/leveled finish is desired.
Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; large pores in no specific arrangement; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; brown mineral deposits occasionally present; growth rings distinct; rays not visible without lens; parenchyma vasicentric to confluent, with wide bands of parenchyma typically as thick as the pores.
Durability: Very durable, and resistant to termite attack.
Workability: Can be difficult to work with hand and power tools. Blunts tool edges. Can sand unevenly due to differences in density between light and dark areas. Can easily get splinters when handling this wood, which tend to go septic (see safety information below).
Scent: Wenge has a faint, slightly bitter scent when being worked.
Safety: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, breathing Wenge wood dust has been reported to cause central nervous system effects, irritation of the skin and eyes, and is a sensitizer. Also, Wenge splinters tend to take longer to heal and are more likely to go septic (get infected) than splinters from other woods. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Price/Availability: Tends to be on the high side, close to other exotic tropical hardwoods such as Cocobolo or Zebrawood.
Comments: Wenge has excellent strength and hardness properties, and is commonly used for flooring, tool handles, paneling, and furniture.
Wenge, along with the closely related Panga Panga, are both dark enough to be used as a substitutes for ebony.