Iroko, Kambala, African Teak
West, Central and East Africa
West and Central Africa, e.g. in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon etc.. Here, trees are partly growing in the tropical lower rain forests. Most frequently, however, Iroko is native to the tropical, semi-deciduous rain forests and tropical, humid, rain-green forests.
In its countries of origin, Iroko is used as construction wood in boatbuilding and for furniture. Due to its abundance, Iroko rather ranks among the low-priced veneers and is consequently used and demanded more often in price-sensitive countries. Rather insignificant as veneer in Europe. Nevertheless, it is often used for parquet flooring and outdoor terraces because of its durability.
The consistently yellowish brown wood is not very decorative, however, has good dimensions and widths. Very resistant to pest-infestation, however, as opposed to real teak, not entirely. The saw dust of Iroko is considered to be deleterious, in England even as carcinogenic.
This wood species can be worked well. Due to mineral inclusions in the pores, carbide tipped tools have to be used, otherwise tools become dull quickly. Iroko can, however, be sliced, grinded and planed easily. Moreover, it is well-suited for turning. Pre-drilling of screw and nail joints is recommended.
Iroko can be kiln-dried without difficulty. Nonetheless, same should be carried out carefully. The wood shows an excellent stability and only a slight tendency to check and warp.
Surface treatment with lacquers is complicated. Repeatedly, varnish irregularities occur. Therefore, it is recommended to pre-clean the surface with nitro thinner and to possibly apply barrier layers.
Gluing is partly difficult as there are thyloses and inclusions in the wood and, therefore, glue cannot be absorbed properly. Preferably, synthetic adhesives are to be used.