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Wood Profile

Chechen

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.

Appearance:

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:

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

Durablility:

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

Scent:

No characteristic odor.

Safety:

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

Availability:

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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