Wood description

Letterhout is so called for its characteristic snakeskin patterns. Wood is typically a reddish brown, with contrasting darker brown or black patches. Color tends to darken and homogenize with age and exposure. The grain is straight, with a fine even texture and Letterhout has a high natural luster.


Name                                                  : Letterhout 


Scientific name                              : Piratinere guianensis


Family                                                 : Anacardiacease


Origin                                                  : Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, Venezuela


Other names                                    : Snake Wood, Slangenhout, Amourette


Natural Durability                          : Class 1 with good to very good resistance to termites


Density (12%)                                  : 1250 kg/m³


Bending strength (12%)               : 210 N/mm²


Shrinkage (%)                                  : rad. 4,7%, tang. 6,0%


Drying                                                 : slow; easy to moderately difficult


Working                                             : rather difficult; pre-boring necessary


Finishing                                            : good


Uses                                                     : Inlay, veneer, violin bows, tool handles, and other small                                                                         turned or specialty objects.