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Boring
Comments
Common Names
Common Uses
Countries of Distribution
Cutting Resistance
Distribution Overview
Drying Defects
Ease of Drying
Environmental Profile
Family Name
Gluing
Grain
Heartwood Color
Kiln Schedules
Luster
Movement in Service
Nailing
Natural Durability
Numerical Data
Odor
Planing
Polishing
Product Sources
References
Regions of Distribution
Resistance to Impregnation
Resistance to Splitting
Response to Hand Tools
Routing & Recessing
Sanding
Sapwood Color
Scientific Name
Screwing
Staining
Strength Properties
Synonyms
Texture
Toxicity
Trade Name
Tree Identification
Tree Size
Turning
Varnishing
Veneering Qualities

Scientific Name
Metopium brownei

Trade Name
Black poisonwood

Family Name
Anacardiaceae

Synonyms
Terebinthus brownei, Amyris toxifera, Metopium linnaei, Metopium toxiferum


Wood Image 1

Common Names
Black poison, Black poisonwood, Boarwood, Bois mulatre, Boxcheche, Bumwood, Burn wood, Cedro prieto, Chachin, Chechem, Chechem negro, Chechen, Cochinilla, Cochinillo, Coral sumach, Cotinillo, Doctor gum, Florida poisontree, Guao, Guao de costa, Guao de peadero, Hog doctor, Hog gum, Hog plum, Honduras walnut, Jamaica sumach, Kabal'chechem, Manceniller, Mountain manchineel, Mulatre, Palo de rosa, Papayo, Papyo, Poison tree, Poison wood, Poisontree

Regions of Distribution
Central America, Latin America, North America, Oceania and S.E. Asia

Countries of Distribution [VIEW MAP]
Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands, Puerto Rico [US], United States

Common Uses
Boxes and crates, Bridge construction, Cabinetmaking, Chairs, Charcoal, Chests, Concealed parts (Furniture), Core Stock, Decorative veneer, Desks, Dining-room furniture, Domestic flooring, Dowell pins, Dowells, Drawer sides, Factory flooring, Figured veneer, Fine furniture, Floor lamps, Flooring, Furniture , Furniture components, Furniture squares or stock, Furniture, Hatracks, Heavy construction, Kitchen cabinets, Living-room suites, Office furniture, Paneling, Parquet flooring, Piling, Plain veneer, Plywood, Posts, Radio - stereo - TV cabinets, Railroad ties, Rustic furniture, Stools, Sub-flooring, Tables , Turnery, Utility furniture, Vehicle parts, Veneer, Veneer: decorative, Wardrobes

Environmental Profile
May be rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery
Globally secure
Data source is Nature Conservancy
Abundant


Distribution Overview
The species occurs in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, northern Guatemala, Belize, and from the Yucatan to Vera Cruz in Mexico. It is often found growing alongside Sapodilla (Manilkara zapota) in calcareous soils.

Heartwood Color
Yellow
Brown
Orange
Red
Brown
Yellow to golden-yellow to orange
Reddish brown
Red
Greenish to greyish
Dark brown
Color variation is significant
Alternating bands of light and dark tissue


Sapwood Color
White
Yellow
Brown
Red
Pink
White to yellow
Well defined
Yellowish brown
Pinkish


Grain
Figure
Straight
Even
Interlocked
Closed
Other (figure)
Growth rings (figure)
Distinct (figure)
Mottle
Wavy
Variable (figure)

Straight
Other figure
Wavy
Variable figure
Mottled or streaked figure sometimes
Interlocked
Generally interlocked
Figure shows attractive grain pattern
Distinct figure
Clear growth rings (figure)


Texture
Coarse
Fine
Uniform
Medium


Luster
Medium
Lustrous
Slightly lustrous
Pronounced
Golden luster


Natural Durability
Durable
Susceptible to insect attack
Resistant to termites
Resistant to powder post beetles
Very durable
Durable
Susceptible to marine borer attack
Moderately durable
Heartwood resistant to decay


Odor
No specific smell or taste


Toxicity
Dermatitic effects
Unspecified toxicity
Sap in bark may be very irritating
Non-toxic


Kiln Schedules
T2 - C2 (4/4 - 6/4) US
Dry at a slow speed


Drying Defects
Splitting
Checking
Severe twisting/warping
Severe surface checking
Severe end splitting
Expect resin/gum exudation


Ease of Drying
Moderately Difficult to Difficult
Difficult


Tree Identification
Bole/stem form is straight
Bole/stem form is not buttressed
Bole/stem form is misshapen


Tree Size
Sapwood width is 10-15 cm
Tree height is 10-20 m
Trunk diameter is 100-150 cm
Tree height is 30-40 m


Sap contained in the thin, reddish brown bark is caustic and should be avoided.

Product Sources
A lesser-known species, Black poisonwood is currently under consideration and exploration by timber merchants as a possible substitute for more exotic and endangered species.

Comments
Careful selection and matching is essential because of wide color variations.

General finishing qualities are rated as good

Wood is attractive, hard, and dense

Boring
Difficult


Cutting Resistance
Easy to saw
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult to saw
Cutting Resistance with green wood is difficult
Cutting Resistance with dry wood is difficult


Gluing
Glues well


Movement in Service
Excellent Stability - Small Movement
Medium


Nailing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results
Possible if prebored
Difficult to nail


Planing
Poor to Very Poor Results


The wood responds well to sharp tools in most machining operations.

Resistance to Impregnation
Permeable sapwood
Resistant heartwood
Resistant sapwood
Resistant
Heartwood is extremely resistant


Resistance to Splitting
Poor


Response to Hand Tools
Easy to Work
Difficult to machine
Easy to machine


Routing & Recessing
Satisfactory routing results


Sanding
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results


Screwing
Possible if prebored


Turning
Good results
Easy to turn


Veneering Qualities
Suitable for slicing
Veneers easily
Veneers moderately easy
Suitable for peeling
Easy to cut


Polishing
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Good results
Satisfactory results
Polishes to a clean surface


Staining
Takes lacquer finishes well, but responds poorly to polyurethane


Varnishing
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Strength Properties
Density (dry weight) = 53-60 lbs/cu. ft.
Shrinkage, Tangential = fairly large
Shrinkage, Radial = fairly large
Resists denting and marring
Hardness (side grain) = medium
Density = very high
Density (dry weight) = 61-67 lbs/cu. ft.


Numerical Data
ItemGreenDryEnglish
Density63lbs/ft3
Hardness941lbs
Specific Gravity0.74
Weight5552lbs/ft3
Radial Shrinkage4%
Tangential Shrinkage7%
Volumetric Shrinkage10%
ItemGreenDryMetric
Density1009kg/m3
Hardness426kg
Specific Gravity0.74
Weight881833kg/m3
Radial Shrinkage4%
Tangential Shrinkage7%

References
Belize,1946,42 Secondary Hardwood Timbers of British Honduras,British Honduras Forest Department Bulletin,No.1

Britton, N.L., Millspaugh, C.F.,1920,The Bahama Flora,Britton & Millspaugh,New York

Flynn Jr., J.H. Metopium brownii - Chechem. In A Guide to Useful Woods of the World. Flynn Jr., J.H., Editor. King Philip Publishing Co., Portland, Maine. 1994. Page 234-235.

Fors, A.J.,1965,Maderas Cubanas,Inst. Nac. Ref. Agraria La Habara

Kribs, D.A.,1950,Commercial and Foreign Woods on the American Market (a manual to their,structure, identification, uses and distribution,U.S.A. Penn. State College, Tropical Woods Laboratory

Little, E.L., Wadsworth, F.H.,1964,Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,U.S.A. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook,No.249

Pennington, T.D., Sarukhan, J.,1968,Manual para la Identificacion de campo de los Principales Arboles,Tropicales de Mexico,Inst. Nac. Inv. For. Mexico

Perpetua Hardwoods. Sea Star Trading Co. - Purveyors of Fine Wood. Newport, Oregon. Personal Communication, 1993.

Record, S.J., Hess, R.W.,1943,Timbers of the New World,Yale University Press

Record, S.J., Mell, C.D.,1924,Timbers of Tropical America,Yale Univ. Press

Record, S.J.,1939,American Woods of the Family Anacardiaceae,Tropical Woods,8(60,pp11-45

Saks, E.V.,1954,Tropical Hardwoods for veneer Production in Mexico,Caribbean Forester,15(3&4, pp112-9

Schiffino, J.,1945,Riqueza Forestal Dominicana (Three volumes,Secretaria de Estado de Agric. Ind. y Trabajo

Swabey, C.,1941,The Principal Timbers of Jamaica,Department of Science and Agriculture Jamaica Bulletin No.29

Tim Mahoney. Handloggers Hardwood Lumber, Larkspur, California. Personal Communication, 1993.

WARP. 1995. Getting to Know LKS: Chechem - Metopium brownei. Published Results of Test Conducted by Students at the Woodworking Centre of Ontario, Conestoga College under the Supervision of Dennis Harlock and John Buss. Understory, Volume 5, Number 1, Fall/Winter 1995. Page 9.

Wood, B., Calnan, D.,1976,Toxic Woods,British Journal of Dermat 94 Suppl. 13








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