Limba, Black (Terminalia, superba)
Trade Names: Black Limba, Black Ofram, Frake
Range: West and Central Africa, tropical rain forest along the coast from Guinea to Angola. Black Limba is the dark heart of the Limba tree. The black heartwood rarely exceeds 30% of the diameter of the tree. Sold as normal Limba if the dark wood is less than 15% of the diameter concerned. If 1/3 or more of the diameter shows as this dark heart, the wood is marketed as Black Limba. This special form of figure rarely develops though and is much sought after.
Uses: For all purposes in exclusive interior architectural woodwork, only in those countries where wood in figured form is popular. The black heart of a Limba tree is used domestically in Africa mainly for inferior products of lumber and plywood.
Properties: The black heartwood of a limba tree is more often than not riddled with wormholes and minerals, making it a low valued specie in Africa. Ocassionally, good healthy stands can be found and find there way into the American market used for high end panels as well as guitar bodies.
Machining: Presents no problem. Wood can be moulded, planed, screwed and nailed well.
Seasoning: Good and fast. Dark heart leads to longer drying time.Finishing: No problems and the wood takes well to stains and varnishes.