Working with Iroko Wood

      It's sometimes called "African Teak," but Iroko is not Teak, and does not act like Teak. May 7, 2007

Question
Does anybody know of a source for African iroko wood? I have to make an island top.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor T:
Try exotichardwoods.com or woodworkerssource.net. They might know where. Also called African teak.



From contributor M:
Iroko is nice stuff - harder than mahogany but stains just as nice (looks nicer natural though). However, be very cautious with this wood; it is more allergenic than mahogany. We made an island top from it a while back and sneezed our brains out when sanding it - while wearing the dust mask. If I had another to make, I'd wear the organic respirator I keep over at the spray booth.


From the original questioner:
Thanks for your replies. Is this stuff very oily, like teak?


From contributor M:
Not in the least. I have no clue why it's called "African teak".

1) Looks nothing like teak.
2) Machines only somewhat similar to teak (due the hardness and densities being similar).
3) Not even distantly related. They are both trees. That's about it.
4) Teak oily. Iroko not.

You can glue Iroko with your standard wood glue (I use Titebond II or III depending on the application). You can finish it with anything without prior solvent cleaning. Looks great with a 2K poly. Takes a lot to fill the grain, but otherwise a very nice wood.



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