Introduction to Monkey Pod Wood

Also known as Rain Tree, is a dense tropical hardwood that is widely in-demand because of its usability, durability and easy workability.

Origin and Common Uses

The Monkey Pod tree or also sometimes known as Rain Tree, is a hardwood specie that is native to Central and South America, its range extends from Mexico to Brazil. The tree was reportedly introduced to Hawaii around the late 1840s and were believed to be first planted in Honolulu and Oahu. Monkey Pod is a dense tropical hardwood that is widely in-demand because of its usability, durability and easy workability. Being a fast growing wood specie compared to other hardwoods is one of its desirable traits, which makes this wood an eco-friendly choice or substitute for rare hardwoods. The many uses of Monkey Pod wood includes furniture, cabinetry, veneer, plywood, carving, millwork, and a number of souvenirs and other gift items. It is also typically used as a tonewood by many luthiers, for the construction of ukuleles, electric and acoustic guitars. Mostly for guitar tops, backs and sides, where its characteristics are being compared to Mahogany and Walnut tonewood.

Pricing, Colors and Wood Grain

The prices of Monkey Pod wood are less expensive compared to Koa and Cuban Mahogany due to the fact that it's more commercially available as lumber and craft wood. However pieces with beautiful and figured grain patterns are the expensive ones. Monkey Pod as a hardwood is very durable and versatile, with a noted density level of 38 pounds per cubic foot (low to medium). Since the Monkey Pod tree is suited for tropical climate conditions, it has been noted to resist decay and moisture very well. When it comes to colors and appearance, the heartwood varies from golden to dark brown and with occasional dark streaks, whereas the sapwood is typically thin and has a ranging color of yellow to white. As for the wood grain pattern, it is usually straight but can also be curly or wavy, with occasional wild grain patterns throughout. Texture is from medium to coarse with small to large open pores.

Tonal Properties and Comparisons

The tonal characteristics of Monkey Pod has been said to fall between Mahogany and Walnut or Koa and Mahogany, thus it is considered as a good tonewood of choice when building acoustic guitars. According to GuitarBench Magazine, "it has more clarity than Walnut but provides more fundamental than Mahogany". The tone of Monkey Pod is also being described to fall between Koa and Mahogany because it produces a warm and woody tone which means it resonates well acoustically. In addition to the description of its tonal properties, Monkey Pod has rich harmonics, it exhibits a mellow and balanced tone but not very loud, good presence in the bass, well balanced trebles but it has below-average sustain.

Note: In our research for this article, we used references from different sites that explained the origin and tonal properties of Monkey Pod. Clicking on the links below will send readers to their sites for more information. This article is for informational/educational purposes only. Any infringement of copyright is entirely unintentional. Any copyright concerns should be address to us directly, send us an email and we will try to resolve the concerns as quickly as possible. Thank you.

Wikipedia Samanea Saman
Maui Web Cameras Maui Plant of the Month: Monkeypod
Home Trends & Design Monkey pod wood live edge furniture
The Wood Database Monkey Pod
Guitar Bench Magazine Monkey Pod Tonewood Profile
Monkey Pod Asia All About Monkey Pod Wood
Tonewood Data Source Tonewood Details
My New Microphone: Is Monkeypod A Good Guitar Tonewood?

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