A lightweight timber from the African whitewood tree, Triplochiton scleroxylon. Ayous, commonly called obeche, has a cream color wood with a straight to interlocking grain that produces a ribbon figure on the radial surface. Obeche has a medium texture and is easy to work. It is used for furniture.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Triplochiton scleroxylon; obeché; obechi; ayous; African whitewood; samba; wawa; samba (Fr.)
- Slightly toxic by inhalation and moderately toxic by ingestion.
- Finished wood and sawdust may cause skin allergies
Physical and Chemical Properties
- Color: Heartwood is pale yellow; Sapwood is similar; Color darkens with age
- Grain/Texture: Grain is interlocked with medium texture and good natural luster
- Durability: Poor insect resistance; may stain or discolor from fungus if not dried properly
- Density = 24 ppcf
- Easy to work, though the interlocked grain can cause some rough surfaces in some machining operations.
- Carves, stains, glues, and finishes well.
Resources and Citations
- The Wood Database: Obeche
- F. H. Titmuss, Commercial Timbers of the World, The Technical Press Ltd., London, 1965
- Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
- Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
- Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
- Website: www.gilmerwood.com