View Full Version : Andaman Padauk

Pete Howlett
01-27-2011, 04:41 AM
Just got four lovely tenor sets of this incredibly rare timber. Just like Rio to bend and will make some lovely Negra. Now extinct as an Amdaman specie since the islands were devasted in the hurricane season a couple of years ago - 80% deforested. When my computer comes back from the veteranarian's I'll post some pics - vermillion with black straks, oozes oild when you hand bend.

01-27-2011, 09:21 AM
Sounds scrumptious, Pete. Can't wait to see the pics.

Vic D
01-27-2011, 03:04 PM
It troubles me about the wood going extinct but at the same time it pleases me that some of it will be made into fine instruments by a master Luthier. I do love the tap tone on paduak and I'm betting an instrument made from it sounds brilliant. Unfortunately the one board I've purchased was cracker dry and had spots in it that cracked every time I tried to bend it. Can't wait to see the resulting instruments, I'm drooling already.

Pete Howlett
01-31-2011, 01:31 AM

Andaman is so not like African - it is like a red Brazilian Rosewood. Here, have a look :)


01-31-2011, 02:04 AM
My teacher used Padauk to build a harp guitar last year. I'm not sure what kind of padauk it is, but it is beautiful wood.

Dave Higham
01-31-2011, 10:52 AM
That was some harp-guitar. And he built it for $100 !

01-31-2011, 06:41 PM
That is beautiful wood. The ukes will be stunning. Thanks for posting.

02-01-2011, 04:15 AM
Looks even better in real life, such a rich red colour. The sapling strip on the back looks lovely too :)

Can't wait until it's finished, but it's a few months away :(

02-01-2011, 04:41 AM
I bought some African variety last week... it arrived this morning..I hav'nt decided what to do with it yet :confused:...Maybe I'll make a few uke's for "Manchester United fans"..
Or I could slice it up into a Zillion pieces and sell them as "Pen Blanks" to Wood turners:D.

02-01-2011, 04:45 AM
That is amazing looking wood Ken. Better get busy with it ;)

Pete Howlett
02-01-2011, 04:45 AM
Pen blanks - it's very tough to bend...

02-01-2011, 05:02 AM
:)Hey Pete! you've finished work early today...or are you "out in sympathy" with the Egyptians?.
I'll cut a sample off and see how it bends first...(I'll try tenor size for a start)

02-26-2011, 12:28 AM
I've seen many pics of harp guitars like this-

But never one like the one pictured above in the forums. It looks like two bodies..... i need an explanation please. And yes, I'm serious. ;)

11-03-2012, 02:13 PM
I just spent my afternoon sorting through about 500 bf. of Andaman Padouk. This was from a friend who purchased this from a retired wood broker, the remains of his stash. It was all 'blow down' from right after the hurricane. Sorting through this pile was like being 'a kid in the candy store' .. it is really pretty. The new owner of the pile likes the flatsawn stuff, so I took about 50bf of the QS , ribbony, with some almost, to slightly curly stuff, and a a little really nice curly wood. This is 5/4 lumber. The color is amazing! I never had a taste for the stuff, had worked with African Padouk a little bit, before finishing an uke in Pete's shop made from his Andaman stash. The African Padouk I have worked with is mostly a consistent orange red. This pile I went through today was amazing for the intricate subtleties of the color, and full on chatoyant, curly ribbon grain. Deep red with lots of different shades and tones, highlights. I know this is not the most popular uke wood, but the tenor that Pete just finished in this wood is really nice!, and it is what opened my eyes to this wood. Funny how I heard 'Andaman Padouk', and a big pile of it turns up.. If anyone really wants a set, I am open to trades. Possible trades would be for POC, Adirondack Spruce, German Spruce, anything really fun, some nice Mango, etc. oh, I would really love a set of nice curly Honduras Mahogany........ The boards are up to 11" wide, so there are are a few absolutely amazing guitar sets (curly ribbon QS) None of these boards are outside of 15 degrees off vertical. This is more Padouk than I need, though a couple boards will go to turntables. It is dumping rain right now, or I would shoot a pic. I think the rain will stop sometime early next week, ( though the sun will probably reappear in about 6 months....) When the weather dries out I will post a pic.

Seriously pretty wood... ( the common African Padouk that I have seen in recent years I find pretty boring)

11-03-2012, 06:47 PM
After some research, I think I need to dig a little deeper.. Andaman Padouk seems to be almost impossible to find. The story I heard of this pile sounds correct, and this Padouk looks really, really nice compared to any I have seen. I have a board of African Padouk here too, the grain structure looks different. I see a date on one of the boards, 1995. A friends father is the current pres. of the International Wood Collectors Society, I think a sample will be sent to him. And as well, a speak with the importer of this wood, as I think I can track him down. I think if this is really Andaman, it is pretty special stuff. It is gorgeous, regardless. I see no Andaman for sale anywhere on the net, and very little info available. I see a Beneteau Baritone guitar, supposedly of Andaman. This stuff is nicer than that by a good margin.

At this point... an unconfirmed pile of pretty wood...

Anyone here know anything about Padouk?

Pete Howlett
11-03-2012, 08:35 PM
The grain structure and appearance of Andaman is more like 'rosewood' with its variagations than African. It remains red when exposed to air. 85% of flora on the Island of Andaman was lost in a hurricane raging through the Indian ocean towards the latter end of the last century. There is no more of this stuff available commercially...

11-03-2012, 11:28 PM
Hi Guys,

I did a write up on the pterocarpus family for musical instruments recently, there are differences between Andaman and African Paduak, which is more of a physical and working difference...

more info here:

Profile (http://www.guitarbench.com/2010/11/12/african-padauk-tonewood-profile/)
African (http://www.guitarbench.com/2010/11/12/african-padauk-tonewood-profile/)
Andaman (http://www.guitarbench.com/2010/11/19/andaman-padauk-tonewood-profile/)

Hope this helps!

11-03-2012, 11:54 PM
Tim, turning Manu fans into pen blanks is an excellent idea.

Pete Howlett
11-04-2012, 02:58 AM
Its botanic name is the giveaway....

11-04-2012, 05:39 AM
One of the finest guitars I ever made was padouk/Sitka, an OM. African padouk, no doubt, with a nice ribbon figure. It stayed red under the nitro very nicely. Decades ago I bought several sets of padouk from a dulcimer supplier that was ribbony and almost pink. It made superior instruments. I love padouk. I never hope to work with Andaman, which has been rare for a very long time. We don't get to experience every type of wood, but there is always something new to try. Good job scoring the Andaman, Pete.

11-04-2012, 07:05 AM
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7271/8154575619_a512f46fa1_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51504257@N02/8154575619/)
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8209/8154595746_bc453ce500_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51504257@N02/8154595746/)
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8341/8154596094_907f455d0b_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51504257@N02/8154596094/)

The rain has stopped this morning... So here is the Padouk... I believe it was planed quite a few years back, based on the patina that is visible on portions of the planed wood. The darker patinaed portions remain from when the wood was shipped to the US. There is purple almost bleeding out of the dark patina. I placed a small board of pretty much confirmed African Padouk next to the 5 boards for reference, it has been in my shop for almost 20 years, I selected it from a pile for its color way back when. The patina for this board has gone more to a 'Walnut' brown, where the boarsds i got yesterday have gone more to a purple. Those horizontal ripples on a few of the boards are from small spike knots that go all the way though the boards.

In the past when I have dug through piles of Paduak, I am sorting for color, looking for the deepest colors, then grain. The stack that these 5 boards came from is all very deep red, I did not even look at the color, grain only. 'Black' lines are visible in the end grain, but seem to be mostly 'lost in translation' on the QS boards. On the flatsawn boards that are still in the big stack, there is significant very high contrast variegation. I would not call it black, but very dark brown. Some areas of these boards have some nice subtle curl.

A cut off of one of the ends, compared with a cut of the smaller African Paduak board definitely revealed a difference. This stuff is denser, with the difference in pore structure on the end grain being like the difference between the end grain pore structure of East Indian Rosewood, and Brazilian Rosewood. The Paduak boards I got yesterday have a more widely spaced pore pattern, and fewer pores than the African board in the photo. A difference can be felt in the density, and also the smoothness of the cut. Also the color is deeper, and redder with the new boards, by a lot.

Gonna go get some more today..... :) Whatever kind of Paduak it is, it is very nice stuff.

Pete, it looks every bit as red and awesome as the stuff that tenor was made from, moreso.

In the dark 'brownish' patina, there are 'specs' of intense purple, like really nice purple heart, very purple. It is not as apparant in the pics, as in real life.

11-04-2012, 07:06 AM
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8483/8154568065_70d380845d_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51504257@N02/8154568065/)
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8069/8154594428_b490dc224a_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51504257@N02/8154594428/)

and a couple more...

FYI, the color engine in MS IE displays colors inaccurately, Firefox or any of the Mac browsers are more accurate. My monitors are pretty good, though I did not calibrate them this morning, these colors are accurate.

11-04-2012, 07:15 AM
Hi Guys,

I did a write up on the pterocarpus family for musical instruments recently, there are differences between Andaman and African Paduak, which is more of a physical and working difference...

more info here:

Profile (http://www.guitarbench.com/2010/11/12/african-padauk-tonewood-profile/)
African (http://www.guitarbench.com/2010/11/12/african-padauk-tonewood-profile/)
Andaman (http://www.guitarbench.com/2010/11/19/andaman-padauk-tonewood-profile/)

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the links.. I did find these last night when I was researching... The quotes at the bottom of the 2 pages being the same kinda threw me off. I needed a bit more sensual, qualitative detail from the write-ups for them to have been more use to me. Was glad to have found them though... Cheers..

Pete Howlett
11-04-2012, 09:35 AM
Looka like non-African to me...

11-04-2012, 09:58 AM
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8067/8155278852_4e09ef8485_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51504257@N02/8155278852/)

Detail shot..

11-04-2012, 10:33 PM

11-06-2012, 10:11 AM
That's the color of the Victorian furniture that the TV experts say is Andaman padouk. Its prettier after it fades.

11-06-2012, 10:58 AM
one of the boards in the stack that these boards came from was pink. Not faded orange, but on the way to Pink Ivory, pink.

A phone call is going to be made to the importer of this wood, which should narrow down the options..

At this point, it doesn't really matter what it is.. and maybe I will know someday soon. I just walked it the door with a massive slab of Curly Claro Walnut, and am about to cut it up.... one small piece of it paid for the board, the rest is 'fall off'.... :) Guitar sets here, (no I don't build guitars, but I see guitar sets in the board) and some uke sets too, other assorted pieces. more fun.....

Pete Howlett
11-06-2012, 11:21 AM
Definitely Andaman IMHO... it's the pore structure. And I'll have some of that pink sir!

11-06-2012, 11:37 AM
I think so too.. I was at one of my wood suppliers today, looking through his Paduak... it was nice Paduak, but more orange, and just different, coarser. There was a really nice QS board with tight grin all across a 10" face, totally clear, and ribbony. The ribbon figure was very different.

As for more, there is no more. The person I got it from is a friend, he was super gracious to share what he did with me. He bought the remnants of this retired wood brokers stock. I cannot ask for more, and really, do not even want to, I have way plenty. The pink board was dead flatsawn, so it was probably just inside the sapwood, maybe why it was pink.

This Paduak will be cut in a month or so, when I have time for it. And yes, there is some for you Pete.

Pete Howlett
11-06-2012, 12:14 PM
You really can tell the difference when they are side by side.