Santos Mahogany (Calophyllum brasiliense)

The wood is fairly easy to work and generally yields smooth surfaces on straight-grained material.

Family: Guttiferae

Other Common Names: Barf, Leche de Maria (Mexico), Calaba (Panama), Aceite maria (Colombia), Edaballi, Kurahara (Guayana), Balsamaria (Bolivia), Guanandi, Jacareuba (Brazil).

Uses: Widely used in the tropics for general construction, flooring, furniture, boat construction; a favored general utility timber.

Thicknesses: Available in 4/4, and 5/4 Air-Dried and Kiln-Dried.

Grades: F1F & Better, Quarter Sawn, #1 Common & Better, #2 Common & Better, Select & Better

Distribution: Grows throughout the West Indies and from Mexico southward through Central America and into northern South America.  It is found on all types of soils – from wet, humid to very dry sites.

The Tree: When conditions are favorable, the tree attains a height of 100 to 150ft with a long straight clear bole 3 to 6ft in diameter; unbuttressed.

The Wood

General Characteristics: Heartwood varies in color from pink to yellowish pink, to brick red or rich reddish brown; sapwood 1 to 2 in. wide, lighter in color and not always clearly differentiated from heartwood.  Texture medium and fairly uniform; grain generally interlocked; luster rather low to medium; odor and taste not distinctive.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (oven-dry weight/green volume) 0.51; air-dry density 39 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (First set of values based on 2-in. standard, second set of values based on 2-cm standard.) Janka side hardness 890lb for green wood and 1,150lb for dry.  Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 180 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: The wood is moderately difficult to air-season, drying rate varies considerably, surface checking is slight.  Kiln schedule T2-D4 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T2-D3 for 8/4.  Shrinkage from green to oven-dry:  radial 4.6%; tangential 8.0%; volumetric 13.6%.  Movement in service is rate as medium.

Working Properties: The wood is fairly easy to work and generally yields smooth surfaces on straight-grained material.

Durability: The heartwood is generally rated as durable to moderately durable with respect to decay resistance; rated as very susceptible to attack by dry-wood termites; not resistant to marine borers.

Preservation: Heartwood is very resistant to impregnation by nonpressure and pressure systems.  Sapwood has good permeablility if incised.

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