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Padauk (aka Vermillion)
Padauk [pah-DOWK] is a very durable exotic wood from central and tropical west Africa that delivers a highly resonant medium tone.

Padauk is a heavy dense wood that resists dents well and is very resistant to termites.

Bone Rattling Facts
Padauk offers excellent acoustical properties for musical instruments. It is well suited for hand-held musical instruments due to its exceptional resonance and dimensional stability.

Indeed, a Wikipedia entry says Padauk "is valued for making drums in Africa due to its tonal resonance." It goes on to explain that Padauk is favored for stringed instruments because of its "tonal attributes and durability."

And the international not-for-profit group, PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa), confirms that "the wood has a high resonance quality as its damping of vibrations is low." The group explains that Padauk was used in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon for large telegraph slit drums, war drums and xylophones.


Cool Facts
  • Padauk leaves contain large amounts of vitamin C and are eaten as a cooked vegetable.
  • Padauk was used as a dye and sizing agent to produce the traditional red printed bandanas popular in 19th century England.
  • It is the source of "true barwood dye" which colors the red tail-like raffia ornaments worn on the backs of Bulu women in Cameroon.
  • The wood is used in ritual ceremonies for circumcision, initiation, and marriage.
  • Powdered Padauk wood baked with a slice of lime treats wounds in Gabon.
  • Other medicinal applications include a salve to ward off skin parasites; an enema to treat dysentery; an analgesic for toothache and gonorrhea; and a treatment for dysentery and hemorrhoids.
Figures below are approximate (but pretty darn close)

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Half-Round Padauk Bones, narrow Half-Round Padauk Bones, narrow

Half-round design, exotic wood...closeout price.

List Price $22.00 pair
Closeout Price: $10.99 pair
You save $11.01!
39 in stock!
Half-Round Padauk Bones, regular Half-Round Padauk Bones, regular

Half-round design, exotic wood...closeout price.

List Price $30.00 pair
Closeout Price: $14.99 pair
You save $15.01!
27 in stock!
Half-Round Padauk Bones, wide Half-Round Padauk Bones, wide

Half-round design, exotic wood...closeout price.

List Price $32.00 pair
Closeout Price: $15.99 pair
You save $16.01!
10 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Padauk Bones, narrow Pea Patch Minstrel-style Padauk Bones, narrow

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $21.97 pair
4 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Padauk Bones, regular Pea Patch Minstrel-style Padauk Bones, regular

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $29.99 pair
10 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Padauk Bones, wide Pea Patch Minstrel-style Padauk Bones, wide

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $31.99 pair
3 in stock!
Pea Patch Flat Padauk Bones Pea Patch Flat Padauk Bones

Slim easy-grip "soft-tone" design fits comfortably between fingers. Nice quality bones...budget price.

Only $17.97 pair
1 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Duo-tone" Boxwood-Padauk Bones, narrow Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Duo-tone" Boxwood-Padauk Bones, narrow

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $28.97 pair
4 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Duo-tone" Boxwood-Padauk Bones, regular Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Duo-tone" Boxwood-Padauk Bones, regular

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $31.97 pair
6 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Duo-tone" Boxwood-Padauk Bones, wide Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Duo-tone" Boxwood-Padauk Bones, wide

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $33.97 pair
4 in stock!
Pea Patch Laminated "Duo-tone" Padauk-Boxwood Bones, narrow Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Duo-tone" Padauk-Boxwood Bones, narrow

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $28.97 pair
9 in stock!
Pea Patch Laminated "Duo-tone" Padauk-Boxwood Bones, regular Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Duo-tone" Padauk-Boxwood Bones, regular

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $31.97 pair
1 in stock!
Pea Patch Laminated "Duo-tone" Padauk-Boxwood Bones, wide Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Duo-tone" Padauk-Boxwood Bones, wide

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $33.97 pair
6 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Boxwood-Ebony-Padauk Bones, narrow Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Boxwood-Ebony-Padauk Bones, narrow

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $31.97 pair
12 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Boxwood-Ebony-Padauk Bones, regular Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Boxwood-Ebony-Padauk Bones, regular

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $34.97 pair
15 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Boxwood-Ebony-Padauk Bones, wide Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Boxwood-Ebony-Padauk Bones, wide

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $36.97 pair
1 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Ebony-Boxwood-Padauk Bones, narrow Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Ebony-Boxwood-Padauk Bones, narrow

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $31.97 pair
7 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Ebony-Boxwood-Padauk Bones, regular Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Ebony-Boxwood-Padauk Bones, regular

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $34.97 pair
18 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Ebony-Boxwood-Padauk Bones, wide Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Ebony-Boxwood-Padauk Bones, wide

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $36.97 pair
2 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Ebony-Padauk-Boxwood Bones, narrow Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Ebony-Padauk-Boxwood Bones, narrow

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $31.97 pair
13 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Ebony-Padauk-Boxwood Bones, regular Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Ebony-Padauk-Boxwood Bones, regular

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $34.97 pair
14 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Ebony-Padauk-Boxwood Bones, wide Pea Patch Minstrel-style Laminated "Tri-tone" Ebony-Padauk-Boxwood Bones, wide

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $36.97 pair
2 in stock!
Whamdiddle Padauk Bones Whamdiddle Padauk Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

Whamdiddle Padauk Bones w/floral inlay Whamdiddle Padauk Bones w/Swiss Style Floral Inlay

Handcrafted bones with traditional chip carved Chrysocolla floral inlay.

Only $35.97 pair
3 in stock!
   
 
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Padauk Facts
Scientific Name
Pterocarpus soyauxii (aka: Pterocarpus delevoyi, Pterocarpus osun, Pterocarpus tinctorius)

Other Names

Padauk is known by more than 65 common names.
Africaans padoek
African coral wood
African padauk
Afrik padouk
Afrikanisches korallenholz
Afrikanisches padoik
Akume
Arapka
Ba
Barrwood
Barwood
Bo
Bois corail
Bois de rose
Bois rouge
Bois ulu
Boko
Boku
Bosulu
Bou
Camwood
Corail
Ebeu
Epein
Epion
Escio
Ezigo
Gula
Kisese (Congo)
Kisesi
Koula
M'bio
Mbe
Mbel (Cameroon)
Mbeu
Mbie
Mbil
Mbili
Mohingue
Mongola
Muenge
Mukula
Mututi
N'gola
N'gula (Zaire)
N'kula
Ndimbo
Ngula
Nve
Osun
Ozigo
Padouk
Padouk d'Afrique
Palorojo
Red santal
Redwood
Santal rouge
Tacula (Angola)
Takula
Tizeze
Uhie
Uhile
Ukpa
Vermillion
Wele
Yomo


Lookalike Woods
Vermillion (aka Andaman Padauk "Pterocarpus dalbergioides")

Grain
The grain is usually straight and often interlocked.

Texture
Texture varies from fine to medium to coarse.

Luster
The surface gives a natural sheen.

Heartwood Color
Reddish brown (Smoked Salmon)
The freshly milled heartwood ranges in shades of brilliant crimson or brick red to reddish-purple streaks to bright-orange. Color variation between logs is slight. The color darkens over time to dark reddish-brown.


Sapwood Color
The sapwood is white when freshly cut, but turns brownish yellow or gray with exposure to sunlight.

Aroma
Freshly cut Padauk emits a faint aromatic scent.

Toxicity
Sawdust from Padauk wood might cause respiratory and dermatological problems in some people.

Woodworking
Works well with hand and machine tools. Excellent turning wood. Glues easily and holds nails and screws well. Pre-drilling fastener holes is advised. Polishes very well and finishes nicely without a stain. The sawdust is fine and easily becomes airborne. Dust mask is advised.

Environmental Profile
Pterocarpus soyauxii is among the 10 most important export timbers in Gabon. The species occurs scattered or in small groups in evergreen and deciduous forests from sea-level to 500 meters where it prefers the moist but well-drained deep soil.

The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) declares that this species is a frequent source of timber which is exported in low quantities and only occasionally. PROTA reports that "Pterocarpus soyauxii is rather widespread in Central Africa and current exploitation rates do not seem to endanger the species." This is substantiated by the World Conservation Monitoring Center which reports that Padauk is "Generally widespread, secure, and abundant within most of its range."


Distribution
Padauk is native to central and tropical west Africa. It often grows in small groups and is common in dense equatorial rain forests.

Tree Data
The tree grows from 100 to 130 feet (30 to 40 m) tall. The trunk diameter averages 24 to 48 inches (60 to 120 cm) but can reach 60 inches (150 cm). Trunks are usually straight and cylindrical. They are clear of branches to about 70 feet (21 m).