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Idigbo Wood: A Cost-effective Alternative to Oak and Teak

Timber Knowledge
03 July 2023 min read

Idigbo Wood: A Cost-effective Alternative to Oak and Teak

When it comes to choosing the right wood for your woodworking projects, factors like durability, aesthetics, and cost must be considered. 

Oak and teak are popular for their beautiful appearance and robustness but often have a hefty price tag. This is where idigbo wood comes into play. 

Idigbo is a fantastic solution for those seeking a cost-effective alternative without compromising quality. This article will explore the advantages of using idigbo wood and how it compares to oak and teak.


What is Idigbo Wood?

Idigbo wood, scientifically called Terminalia ivorensis, is a hardwood species originating from West Africa. It has gained popularity recently due to its striking resemblance to oak in appearance and properties. 

The heartwood of idigbo features a light to medium brown colour with a golden hue, while the sapwood is paler in contrast. The wood’s grain pattern is typically straight, resembling common oak species, making it a visually appealing option for furniture-making, joinery, and even flooring.


The Advantages of Using Idigbo Wood

1. Cost-effectiveness

One of the most significant advantages of idigbo is its affordability compared to oak and teak. 

As an imported wood species, idigbo offers excellent value for money, making it an attractive option for both professional woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts. 

To sum up, the wood’s cost-effectiveness allows for more economical projects while achieving a high-quality finish and durability.


2. Durability

Although idigbo wood is softer than oak and teak, it still possesses remarkable durability and strength. It has a Janka hardness rating of 1,070 lbf (pound-force), comparable to other popular hardwoods like ash and maple. 

With proper care and maintenance, idigbo wood can withstand daily wear and tear, making it suitable for various applications, including furniture, cabinetry, and exterior joinery.


3. Ease of use

Idigbo is a great option for woodworkers of all skill levels because it’s easy to work with. The wood has good machining properties, allowing smooth cuts, shaping, and sanding. 

Idigbo also takes well to various finishes, including staining, varnishing, or polishing, enabling you to achieve your project's desired look and feel.


4. Stability

Idigbo wood exhibits relatively good stability, unlike other hardwoods prone to movement and warping. It has a low movement rate when faced with changes in humidity, ensuring your furniture and woodworking projects retain their shape and integrity over time. 

This stability is significant for applications such as flooring, where wood needs to withstand constant foot traffic.


5. Sustainability

Woodshop Direct takes great pride in promoting responsible and sustainable sourcing practices. Idigbo wood is considered an environmentally friendly option due to its relatively quick growth, which allows for more efficient and sustainable harvesting. 

Moreover, reputable suppliers like Woodshop Direct ensure that the wood is legally and ethically sourced, supporting sustainable forestry practices in line with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards.


Idigbo Wood vs Oak and Teak: A Comparison

Now that we have explored the advantages of idigbo wood, let's compare its properties and characteristics with those of oak and teak—two popular wood species known for their exceptional quality and high price.


1. Appearance

Idigbo resembles oak, featuring a light to medium brown colour with golden undertones. Its straight-grain pattern adds to its visual appeal, making it an excellent substitute for oak in terms of aesthetics. Teak, on the other hand, has a darker golden-brown hue and a more pronounced grain pattern.


2. Durability

Oak and teak are known for their exceptional durability, and while idigbo wood may not possess the same level of hardness, it still offers sufficient strength for most applications. 

With proper maintenance and protection, idigbo wood can last many years and withstand everyday use.


3. Price

This is where idigbo wood shines. While oak and teak can be expensive, idigbo offers an affordable alternative without compromising quality. So, choosing idigbo wood allows woodworkers and customers to achieve the same beautiful aesthetic at a fraction of the cost.


4. Sustainability

When comparing the sustainability of these wood species, idigbo stands out for its relatively quick growth and sustainable harvesting practices. Oak and teak, on the other hand, are both slow-growing species, making their sourcing less sustainable in some cases.

To summarise, oak and teak have unique characteristics and advantages, which may make them better suited for specific applications where their particular properties are essential. However, for those seeking a cost-effective alternative without compromising quality, idigbo wood should be strongly considered.


The Versatility of Idigbo Wood

In addition to its cost-effectiveness and resemblance to oak, idigbo offers versatility, expanding its range of applications in woodworking projects.


1. Furniture Making

Idigbo wood's attractive appearance and durability make it an excellent choice for crafting furniture. So, whether you're creating a stunning dining table, a sturdy bookshelf, or elegant chairs, idigbo provides the perfect combination of aesthetics and strength.


2. Joinery and Mouldings

The straight grain and workability of idigbo wood make it ideal for joinery and mouldings. It can be easily shaped, cut, and routed to create intricate designs and details. From door frames to window casings, idigbo adds a touch of elegance to any architectural element.


3. Flooring

Idigbo wood's stability and resistance to warping make it an excellent option for flooring projects. Its golden-brown colour and distinct grain pattern create a warm and inviting atmosphere in any room. Again, whether renovating a residential space or designing a commercial establishment, idigbo flooring is a durable and cost-effective choice.


4. Exterior Applications

Despite not being naturally rot-resistant like teak, idigbo wood can still be used for exterior applications with proper treatment and maintenance. 

When protected with appropriate finishes or coatings, it can withstand exposure to the elements. This makes idigbo an affordable alternative for outdoor furniture, decking, and cladding.


Quality Idigbo Wood at Woodshop Direct

Idigbo wood offers a cost-effective alternative to oak and teak, providing woodworkers various advantages for their projects. Its affordable price, durability, ease of use, stability, sustainability, and striking resemblance to oak make it a fantastic choice for furniture-making, joinery, and other woodworking applications. 

At Woodshop Direct, we understand the importance of finding the right wood for your needs, and we proudly offer quality idigbo wood that meets our customers' high standards. Choose idigbo wood from Woodshop Direct, and you will be satisfied with the results.