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Spotlight on woods: Padauk

Posted by Jason Jones on

Our series on woods continues this month with a popular wood with woodworkers (especially pen makers); padauk.

 

HOW EXACTLY DO YOU SAY PADAUK?

I only put this in here because padauk seems to be one of those words that is like tomato – there are several ways to say it, but one that seems prevalent.  I personally say it: PAH-DOOK.  However if dictionary.com is to be believed it is actually supposed to be pronounced: PAH-DOUK (like saying “ow”).  So, to each their own, but I am sticking with PAH-DOOK – it rolls off the tongue!

WHAT COLOR IS IT?

I always think of padauk as a red wood.  However, technically it comes in several colors ranging from pale pinkish orange to deep brownish red.  As with many woods the color may darken over time and with use.

padauk wood
Color of Padauk (Sealed)

WHERE DOES IT ORIGINATE?

All padauk wood originates in either Africa or Asia.  Padauk wood is obtained from several species of Pterocarpus.

padauk log
Cut Padauk tree

HOW DURABLE IS IT?

One of the great benefits of padauk is its durability. It is also resistant to termites and other insects.  It also is very resistant to decay.

HOW ABOUT ALLERGIES?

As with any wood, extended time breathing in sawdust is inadvisable.  Paduak is not commonly known to cause many allergies, but on occasion some have felt eye or airway irritation when working with it.  Once finished and sealed, these allergies are unlikely to affect you.

WHAT ARE ITS MAIN USES?

Specialty items (like pens or other turned pieces) and veneers are popular uses for padauk.

padauk pen set


Handcrafted Padauk and Copper Pen and Pencil Set

Great sources for more info on all types of woods are:

http://www.wood-database.com/padauk

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pterocarpus

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/padauk

Thanks for reading, Jess!

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