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Species – Bubinga

Species Information - Bubinga

Species Information

The Bubinga tree (Guibourtia) is an extremely large tree, which can grow upwards of 150 feet in height, with long, clear trucks with 3 to 6 feet in diameter. These unique trees allow for potentially enormous slabs of lumber, with prices that at times exceed several thousand of dollars for a single board (think of those tables you might find in a corporate conference room).

The Bubinga, which is found in Central Africa, is extremely strong, exceeding nearly every other species, making it near resistant to splitting. When put to constructional use, then, there’s little worry that the wood will dent, split, or break.

Bubinga is the most widely known timber to come from the Guibourtia tree, with Ovangkoi – or Guibourtia ehie – being another popular species. It’s often used for harps and other instruments, including bass guitars, and as drum shells. Due to its hardness and figure, Bubinga is often used for both acoustic and electric guitars.

Bubinga is also used in high-end furniture and for high-end manual woodworking tools, thanks to its sheer toughness. It comes in a variety of grain patterns, with rare patterns being the most expensive.

Scientific Names

The scientific name for Bubinga is Guibourtia demeusei, also known as kevazingo.

Other scientific names include Guibourtia pellegriniana and Guibourtia tessmannii.

Origin

Bubinga is found in Central Africa, although a few other species of the Guibourtia genus can be found in South America. They prefer to grow in swampy or periodically inundated forests, as well as near rivers or on lakeshores.

Crossover Names

Bubinga is named many other things, including:

Janka Rating

Bubinga has a Janka hardness of 1,980, making it nearly twice as hard as teak, and more than 50% harder than hard maple.

Bubina Janka Scale Rating 1,980

*The Janka rating measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. Click Here for more info.

Appearance

Bubinga is a beautiful, dense hardwood with a lustrous appearance. It consists of a rose-colored background with dark purple striping. It’s typically uniform in graining and color, with an even and fine texture. The figure of Bubinga can show considerable “flame” when quarter-sawn, and an attractive rosewood graining when flat-sawn. It can also feature other stunning grain figures including pommele and waterfall.

Overall, Bubinga closely resembles rosewood, and is oftentimes used in place of more expensive wood.

Workability

Bubinga works easily with hand and power tools, but can cause some issues with glue because of gum pockets (Bubinga has a high density and natural oils). It’s recommended that you pre-drill holes for nailing.

Bubinga stains easily and has excellent finishing properties. When sanding this wood, however, take the proper precautions, as contact with the wood dust has been known to cause mild cases of dermatitis.

On pieces with figured or interlocking grain, tearout can occur during planning.

CLICK HERE to view all of our hardwood flooring.

Click below for a detailed discription of the different species of hardwood.

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