Uses & applications
 Katalox, fresh
 Katalox curly
Katalox Kunstmesser
Katalox as knife handle (Fa.Nesmuk)

Names and distribution: Botanically Katalox (Swartzia cubensis) belongs to the leguminosae. The species is related to Wamara (p. leiocalycina and S. tomentosa, South America) and Pau Rosa (p. fistuloides, East Africa). Katalox has a very limited distribution area in which the species occurs only sporadically.

Appearance: Sapwood cream to eggshell white, distinct from heartwood. In some trees, the heartwood formation begins only after decades, ie a mature tree does not contain (colored) heartwood. The fresh heartwood itself shows various colours, from pink to red-brown to purple. Over the years, darkening to blue-black to brown-black. The wood is homogeneous and finely pored. Interlocked structures and bars are found sporadically. Decorative to very decorative.

Properties: The spec. weight at a moisture content of u = 12% is specified as 0.95 to 1.05 t/m3 , the tangential shrinkage as 8%, the radial as 4.5%. The drying must be done slowly and carefully, as like other woods of this density Katalox tends to crack. Katalox is easy to work with carbide tipped tools. The dust of Katalox can irritate mucous membranes. Easy to polish, smooth surfaces are created. Katalox is extremely hard and resistant to abrasion. The Brinell hardness is about 55 N/mm2. Katalox is similar to olive or Lapacho. The species is very durable (used for the pyramids of the Mayans).

Use: Due to the low availability only as special wood, for components of plucked string instruments, bows, billiard cues, turners goods, etc.

Replaces: Ebony, Rosewood, etc.

Reference objects: 
Concert guitar, Stevens Custom Guitars, Munich
Trop. Forestry Pap.No.20 (1990) Mex.& Belizian Timbers, OFI-Oxford

Note: according to the latest findings, but without any warranty
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