Katalox, or Mexican Royal Ebony, is a dense Central American hardwood - Swartzia cubensis. It is listed in several USDA publications as a suitable substitute for African Gabon Ebony in stringed instruments (usually fingerboards and bridges). Trees are typically 40-75' tall with diameters of 12" to 20" and prefer soils that drain well; they do not grow well in areas with water saturated soil. Similar to a true Ebony, only about 20-30% of any log produces the dark heartwood. The dark purple/black color accents well with the creamy/golden sapwood to create contrast that can be well utilized for a unique look in your projects. Every board is different and one of a kind! The wood turns well and takes a nice finish. Common uses are fine boxes, musical instruments, flooring, and other fine woodworking projects.
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