Indian Rosewood

Common Name(s): East Indian Rosewood, Indian Rosewood, sonokeling 

Scientific Name: Dalbergia latifolia

Distribution: India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia

Tree Size: 100 ft (30 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 52 lbs/ft3 (830 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .70, .83

Janka Hardness: 2,440 lbf (10,870 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 16,590 lbf/in2 (114.4 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,668,000 lbf/in2 (11.50 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 8,660 lbf/in2 (59.7 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 2.7%, Tangential: 5.9%, Volumetric: 8.5%, T/R Ratio: 2.2

Color/Appearance: Heartwood of East Indian Rosewood can vary from a golden brown to a deep purplish brown, with darker brown streaks. The wood darkens with age, usually becoming a deep brown.

Grain/Texture: Has a medium texture and fairly small pores. The grain is usually narrowly interlocked.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, very few to few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; heartwood deposits (dark brown) occasionally present; narrow rays not visible without lens, normal to fairly close spacing; parenchyma banded, vasicentric, lozenge, winged, and confluent.

Rot Resistance: Rated as very durable and resistant to termite attack.

Workability: East Indian Rosewood can be difficult to work with tools because of its interlocked grain and density. The wood can sometimes contain chalky deposits that will rapidly dull cutting edges. Glues and finishes well, though color from the wood’s natural resins can inadvertently bleed onto surrounding surfaces when applying a finish, so care must be taken on the initial seal coats.

Odor: Has a distinct, rose-like scent when being worked; some find its scent less pleasant than other Dalbergia rosewoods.

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are somewhat uncommon, East Indian Rosewood has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually the most common reaction is skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

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