Common Names: African Padauk, Vermillion

Scientific Name: Pterocarpus soyauxii

Origin: Central and tropical West Africa

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 2-4 ft (.6-1.2 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 47 lbs/ft3 (745 kg/m3)

 

 

Color & Appearance:

Padauk heartwood colors can range from a pale pink-orange to deep brown-red. Most wood pieces tend to begin red-orange when first cut and darken considerably over time to a red-purplish brown; however, some light colored pieces may change to a gray-brown.

Grain & Texture:

Padauk grain is normally straight, but it may at times be interlocked. This wood has an open, coarse texture and lovely natural luster.

Endgrain:

Padauk is diffuse-porous with large pores in no precise arrangement; it has solitary and radial multiples of 2-3. Paduak occasionally will have mineral deposits. Growth rings are indistinct and rays are not visible without a lens. It is apotracheal parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates banded and paratracheal parenchyma aliform (winged), banded and confluent.

Rot Resistance:

Padauk possesses excellent decay resistance and is ranked durable to very durable. It is noted to be resistant to termites and other insects.

Workability:

Padauk, overall, is easy to work; however, tearout may occur during planing on interlocked or quartersawn grain. Padauk turns, glues, and finishes nicely.

Odor:

Padauk has a mild, pleasant scent while it is being worked.

Allergies & Toxicity:

Even though serious reactions are very uncommon, Padauk has been reported to be a sensitizer. Most common reactions include simple eye, skin, and respiratory irritations.

Pricing & Availability:

Padauk is generally imported as lumber in a range of lengths and thicknesses, in addition to turning and craft blanks. This wood is mostly moderately priced for an import.

Sustainability:

Padauk is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses:

Typical uses for Padauk include: flooring, veneer, turned wooden objects, musical instruments, tool handles, furniture, and small specialty wood pieces.

Comments:

Padauk has a very unique red-orange color, and this wood is often referred to as “Vermillion.” Unfortunately, it’s intense color always darkens to a deep red-brown shade. UV-inhibiting finishes may extend, but not prevent, this gradual color-shift. Padauk is moderately strong, heavy, and stiff, and shows exceptional stability. It is a very popular hardwood among woodworker hobbyists due to the unique color and low cost.  Padauk is one of the most recurrently misspelled and mispronounced wood species; Padouk, Paduk, or Paduakare are common misspellings. The most common pronunciation is pah-DUKE, but this species is sometimes mispronounced as Paducah.

Size 1-200 Bft 201-300 Bft 301-500 Bft 501+ Bft
4/4  10.55 8.65 6.45  5.75
5/4
6/4
8/4  10.60  8.70 6.50  5.80