Common Names: Pau Ferro, Morado, Bolivian Rosewood, Santos Rosewood
Scientific Names: Machaerium spp. (Machaerium scleroxylon)
Why we use for Bokken: Beautiful Rosewood
Appearance: Color can be highly varied, ranging from reddish/orange to a dark violet/brown, usually with contrasting darker black streaks. Narrow sapwood is a pale yellow and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood.
Grain: Grain is typically straight, though sometimes slightly irregular or interlocked depending on the species. Fine, even texture and a naturally high lusteróthough depending on the particular species, the wood can have a coarser, more fibrous texture.
Durablility: Rated as very durable, though quite susceptible to insect attack, and not recommended in direct ground contact.
Scent: Depending on the species, the wood can have a characteristic though mild scent.
Safety: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Pau Ferro has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is a high rate of reaction among woodworkers, and the wood contains the very same sensitizing substances as those found in rosewoods
Availability: Pau Ferro is in the medium price range for exotic imported hardwoods, and is likely to be much more affordable than some of the scarcer true rosewoods, (Dalbergia genus), of which this wood is often used as substitute.
Other Comments: Pau Ferro is a wood of many names, and is sometimes called Morado: and because the wood is so similar in appearance and working properties to rosewood, it is also sometimes referred to as Bolivian or Santos Rosewood.