Monkey pod trees typically grow in tropical and subtropical regions of the US, particularly in Florida and Hawaii. The wood is very similar in appearance to koa, and is often sold as a lower-cost alternative. The heartwood contains a variety of medium to dark brown colors, and the sapwood is a sharply contrasting off-white color.
Monkey pod, monkeypod, saman, rain tree
850 lbft - Moderately soft
Turns very easily while green, but has a tendency to tear out across end grain portions due to the softness of the wood.
Dries well, with slight to moderate warping and very little tendency to crack during drying.
Sands well, but requires care for the best results. For removing tool marks, 80 grit sandpaper is recommended. Will sand to a medium high luster, requiring grits of around 400-600 to achieve excellent results. Since this wood is somewhat soft, it is highly recommended that all tool marks be removed during the initial sanding with heavy grit paper. Make sure to remove all sanding scratches from prior grits of sandpaper when moving to a finer grit, and wipe the surface of the wood to remove any loose bits of leftover grit which may be embedded in the wood's surface.
Finishing: Readily accepts nearly any type of finish or stain, although stains are not typically used due to the wood's naturally pleasing colors.
Although relatively uncommon, this wood can cause slight to moderate irritation to the eyes.