Materials Used in Ornamental Turning
African Blackwood

Blackwood, African

Picture courtesy John Edwards

Ornamentally Turned Objects

This is an excellent wood for ornamental turning, and gets used often. It is fairly rare and expensive, so there are alternative options. Katalox is one good and less expensive alternative to blackwood. Gilmer (and others) often have blackwood oboe bell blank “rejects” for a better price than logs or turning blanks.

It is quite hard (Janka hardness = 16,320 N), so expect to resharpen often. That hardness enables it to hold shapes very well, and the relative plain-ness of the wood allows for the ornamental turning cuts to show well.

African Blackwood can be confused with ebony as the color and look are similar; however ebony is not as hard (13,700 N Janka hardness).

Ornamental Turning Notes

(no notes at this time)


Properly cut, no finishing should be needed.


More information is in The Wood Database.

About this site
Disclaimer : eMail comments to me at OTBookOfKnowledge @ The process of woodturning involves the use of tools, machinery and materials which could cause injury or be a health hazard unless proper precautions are taken, including the wearing of appropriate protective equipment.