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Attica, NY 14011
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Wood Profile


Common Names:

Chechen, Chechem, Black Poisonwood, Caribbean Rosewood

Scientific Names:

Metopium brownei

Why we use for Bokken:

Absolutely gorgeous grain and tough as nails. A perfect wood for bokken.


Heartwood color is highly varied, with red, orange, and brown contrasted with darker stripes of blackish brown. Color tends to shift to a darker reddish brown with age. Well defined sapwood is a pale yellow


Grain is usually straight, but may be wild or interlocked. With a uniform medium to fine texture and good natural luster.


Rated as being very durable, and moderately resistant to most insect attacks.


No characteristic odor.


Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Chechen has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation.


Generally available as lumber, though turning blanks and thin craft lumber is also sold. Chechen is touted as a low-cost substitute for more expensive tropical woods, and prices should be moderate for an imported hardwood.

Other Comments:

Its alternate name, Black Poisonwood, comes from its toxic sap, which turns black and causes severe skin reactions similar to poison ivy—and both are classified in the same family: Anacardiaceæ. However, the wood itself is safe to handle, though there are some allergenic reactions associated with the wood dust.

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