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Wenge sapwood is pale white to yellow in color, and clearly demarcated from the heartwood. The heartwood is dark, dark brown, bordering on black. Alternating layers of light and dark wood and white bands marked with black veins create a decorative figure. The texture is somewhat coarse with a fairly straight grain.
Formal Name: Millettia Laurentii
Other Names: Mibotu
Wenge occurs naturally in the forests of Zaire, Gabon and the Cameroon Republic, as well as the southern regions of Tanzania, and Mozambique. It is also found in the Congo.
Wenge is a dense, strong wood. It works fairly easily with both hand and machine tools; however, blunting of cutting edges occurs rapidly. It is difficult to glue, due to resins. It holds nails and screws well, but pre-boring is required. Varnishing and finishing with solvent-based stains can be difficult. It also is difficult to polish, but reasonable results can be achieved.
Wenge is often used in flooring and general construction work. When sliced as decorative veneers, it is used for paneling, cabinets and marquetry.