Pau Ferro

(Machaerium scleroxylon)

Pau Ferro; being so similar in appearance and working properties to Rosewood; has been used in various capacities as a substitute for the endangered Brazilian Rosewood for decades.

Due to its close resemblance to Rosewood, Pau Ferro also goes by the name Bolivian or Santos Rosewood.

Pau Ferro has been one of our most in-demand offerings as it is a very well managed CITES-free substitute to rosewood – almost exclusively available from Bolivia. We offer Pau Ferro Fretboards, Back & Sides, Drop Tops, Neck Blanks, Headplates and Veneers. Available 100% FSC certified upon request.

Brands we supply

...Our main focus was first and foremost on guaranteeing the best possible sound and feel. The reason that Pau Ferro was one of the best (Fingerboard) options is that we’ve had experience with it for a long time.... It’s got a very similar hardness and oil content to rosewood. We know it’s got a good tone to it. And it’s got a nice dark color.

Mike Born - Fender Director of Wood Technology

Scientific name: Machaerium scleroxylon
Alternative Names:  Morado, Bolivian Rosewood, Santos Rosewood
Region of Origin: South America
Average Dried Weight: 55 LB/cubic foot
Janka Hardness Rating: 1960
Specific Gravity: .87
IUCN Red List: no
CITES wood: no

Common uses of Pau Ferro:

  • Guitar Fingerboards
  • Guitar Necks
  • Guitar Back and Sides
  • Instrument Tonewoods
  • Exotic gun grips
  • Wood knife grips
  • Furniture
  • Flooring
  • Wood turning
  • Pen turning
  • Box making
  • Architectural Millwork

Side by Side comparison of Pau Ferro and East Indian Rosewood

Pau Ferro

Indian Rosewood

Wood GenusMachaerium scleroxylonDalbergia latifolia
Weight per Board Foot (KD)4.4 Lbs4.5 Lbs
Average Tree Diameter48 Inches36 Inches
Average Tree Length6.0 Meters4.5 Meters
Specific Gravity.87.85
Janka Rating19602440
On CITES?NoYes
IUCN Red List ClassificationLeast ConcernVulnerable
RemarksNote that visually, both woods are very similar. However, East Indian Rosewood is slightly darker in color; while Pau Ferro has a slightly reddish/brown color tone. Additionally, the contrast between heartwood and sapwood in Pau Ferro is more pronounced than in Indian Rosewood.
Pau Ferro Fretboard Set

Pau Ferro Fretboards

  • Our Pau Ferro fingerboard production is the heart of our Bolivian operation.
  • Currently producing 40,000 – 60,000 Fingerboards per month for the global MI Industry.
  • All our Pau Ferro fretboards are custom sliced per our client needs.
  • 100% FSC Certified fingerboards are available on request.


Specs:

Quarter Sawn, Air Dried, 100% Heartwood, Clear of defects 1 face or 2 face.

Commonly stocked size:
9mm x 70mm x 530mm (0.35” x 2.75” x 21”)

Pau Ferro Guitar Back / Sides

  • Our Guitar Back and Side bookmatched sets are processed with laser accuracy using our state of the art MZ Projects Liner Band Saw.
  • Each Set is Kiln Dried to 8 – 10% moisture content in our Dehumidifier Kilns.
  • We also provide individual topographic photos of each set for your review prior to bundling and dispatch.
  • 100% FSC Certified back and sides are available on request.


Specs:

Quarter or Rift Sawn, Kiln Dried, Clear of defects 1 face.

Commonly stocked sizes:

Each Back Piece: 5mm x 220mm x 550mm (0.20” x 8.5” x 21.75”)

Each Side Piece: 5mm x 140mm x 865mm (0.20” x 5.5” x 34”)

Pau Ferro Guitar Back and Side Set
Pau Ferro Solid Guitar Top

Pau Ferro Guitar Tops

  • Our Electric Guitar bookmatched Tops are processed with laser accuracy using our state of the art MZ Projects Liner Band Saw.
  • Each Set is Kiln Dried to 8 – 10% moisture content in our dehumidifier Kilns
  • We provide individual topographic photos of each set for your review prior to bundling and dispatch.
  • 100% FSC Certified guitar tops are available on request.


Specs:

Quarter or Rift Sawn, Kiln Dried, Clear of defects 1 face.

Commonly stocked size:

Each Top Piece: 7mm x 185mm x 500mm (0.30” x 7.25” x 20”)

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