Botanical Names: Piratinera диіапепзіз, syn. drosimum guianensis

Its markings, which resemble those on snakeskin, give this small, relatively rare timber its name. Found in lim­ited quantities in Guyana and Surinam, it is predomi­nantly used in turned items and carries a certain cachet. A snakewood cane or umbrella, for instance, might be considered a precious possession. Because of its hard­ness, snakewood is very difficult to work.

Other Names: Letterwood, leopardwood, speckled wood. Source: South America.

Characteristics: Straight grain; fine, even texture; deep red to reddish-brown with irregular, horizontal black markings.

Uses: Fine turned goods, violin bows, knife handles, marquetry and veneers.

Workability: Difficult; dulls cutting edges.

Finishing: Accepts finishes well.

Weight: 31 Ib./cu. ft.

Price: Very expensive.

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