Zebrawood is an unusual hardwood that is often used for cabinetry, flooring, turnery, and furniture borders. It has high parallel tensile strength, a low volumetric contraction coefficient, and is moderately edgy. Due to its scarcity, zebrawood is moderately priced. Although a unique hardwood, zebrawood can be a challenging wood to work with.
A common species is Microberlinia brazzavillensis, an equatorial legumous tree native to northern and eastern Brazil. The wood has a straight, medium-density grain and is quite strong. According to Wikipedia, the trees grow less than one tree per square kilometre. It is resistant to termites, and fungus. It is also considered to be environmentally friendly.
Unlike other exotic hardwoods, zebrawood is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but it is still a viable wood option for guitar construction. The wood is light, with a reddish-brown tone. It is not difficult to work with, and it's easy to sand and finish. But be sure to check the Janka scale first. Its heartwood is difficult to mill and has a coarse texture.
Because of its unique colouring, zebrawood is considered a rare and valuable wood. This wood is available in lengths ranging from eight feet to 16 feet, with widths ranging from four to 12 inches. However, it is difficult to plane and surface due to the interlocked grain. Moreover, tear out is quite common. But aside from these flaws, Zebrawood is fairly stable when dry.
This rare wood is not widely available in commercial markets, but it's good for guitars. Its rich tone is full-bodied and has a warm overtone, which is rare in electric guitars. It's generally used as the top/veneer and back/sides of hollow body electrics. But because it's too porous for fretboards and too heavy for the main body, it's not the best choice for necks or fretboards.
Like spruce, zebrawood is a dense, hard tonewood that resists damage from water. Its bright tone can be used for electric guitars, as well as acoustic guitars. In acoustic guitars, zebrawood has the same characteristics as spruce, but it's much harder and brittle. It's often used as an acoustic top.
Maple wood is slightly heavier than hickory. At eight per cent MC, it weighs almost 60 pounds per cubic foot and five pounds per board foot. It's usually quartersawn to emphasize the striping and is not prone to checking and warping. It can warp if it's over-dried, and warping can cause buckles in veneer. While it dries slowly, it can still shrink up to 5.4 per cent in tangential and 6.3 per cent in radial directions.