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At the South Street Seaport, the historic port in lower Manhattan; the decking woods, made from African Ironwood, developed the characteristic grey patina over about fifty years. Among the hardest woods in the world, its complex molecular structure is not recommended for use in narrower than 5/4″ thickness, making the durable beautiful woods still useful for decks, exterior walkways, and furniture.
Thickness4/4" - 12/4"
Color and Surface
Like the other tropical woods in inventory, both the aged weather surface and it’s freshly milled surface are equally valued, and determined by the design vision of a project and the application. The aged surface is rhino grey with discolorations depending on its installation date in the past, or occasional stains picked up over its use. The bare wood is more often used, possessing a rich dense grain with dark reddish mahogany tones.
Nature and Culture
The dense rot-resistant woods of the African tropical forests, especially this wood species, Ekki (aka African Ironwood) are more common in Europe for heavy marine applications like bridges and boat decks. It’s used on the tracks of the Paris Metro. It’s rare that tropical hardwoods can be used in good conscience as well as carrying historical provenance. Today’s, its listed as a vulnerable tree species due to a population its reduction in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.