Back to Species Guide

Goncalo Alves ranges in color from light golden-brown to reddish-brown with blackish-brown streaks, which gives it the familiar name of tigerwood. It I is richly mottled and similar in appearance rosewood. A hard, heavy wood, it has a medium to fine texture and tight, irregular, interlocked grain with alternating layers of hard and soft wood. Goncalo Alves is very durable and will take a glass-like finish.

Formal Name: Astronium graveolens

Other Names: Tigerwood

Region

Goncalo Alves grows throughout tropical South America in areas including Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Working Properties

A durable, hard wood, Goncalo Alves is difficult to work. The density of Goncalo Alves causes a moderate to severe blunting effect on tools. Power tools with carbide-tipped blades are recommended. Pre-drilling is required for nailing. It screws well when screws are lubricated and glues easily, after preparation. It’s recommended that the wood surface be pre-treated with a solvent prior to gluing. Goncalo Alves finishes well with a high natural polish.

Main Uses

Goncalo Alves is a popular wood for high-class furniture, cabinetmaking, flooring and decorative work. It’s also used for billiard-cue butts, jewelry boxes, bows and paneling. Its durability and density make it an excellent choice for interior flooring and exterior decking. Sliced veneers are used in architectural paneling and face veneering.