Piratinera guianensis, Snakewood, is also known as Letter wood, Speckled wood, and Leopard wood. Its Latin name literally means Guiana sea pirate. Considered by experts to be the World's rarest commercially available species. The wood is difficult to work and dry wood can still check if it is heated while sanding.
Expect to have 50% or less wood usable from any piece of wood available. Despite its difficultly in working, it is a beautiful wood that has reds and blacks in a traditional Viper pattern. This is undoubtedly where it acquired the name Snakewood. The tree is small, slender, and grows up to a foot in diameter and 40-60' tall. There is a varying amount of figure in each tree so each log can produce very different grades of lumber.
Uses include: violin bows, parasols, canes, pens, bottle stoppers, umbrella handles, pool cues, and fishing pole butts. Primarily found in Suriname. End split on live edge is 27" long. Widest milled face has a heart defect down the center of the board about one half of the boards length and an 8" end split and knot. Best face has a 7" check almost at one end on the edge. Live edges.
For Snakewood this is an exceptionally large billet that has relatively few defects. Expect 50% usable with this species or less depending on your application. The narrow best figured face can produce guitar fingerboards that are up to 28" long x 3-1/2" down to 3" wide.
A rare billet! Bone dry 2007 inventory!