Some facts about Amboyna:
Pterocarpus indicus is the botanical name for a tree that has inspired a wide variety of names and has been used in a wide variety of applications. In the United States, the tree is usually called Narra and sometimes further delineated as red Narra or yellow Narra or even orange Narra.The Narra that grows in southern and southeastern Asia is called Solomons Pradauk or Papua New Guinea rosewood. Narra also grows extensively in the Philippines, Borneo, New Guinea, Cagayan, Mindoro, Palawan, Cotabato and the Malay Archipelago. Its Malayan name is angsana. Narra has also been called kiabooco, meaning "twisted wood." The Narra found in African countries is known as "Paduak"
When in the burl form, Narra’s wood is usually referred to as Amboyna burl — that name coming from Amboyna Island, another place the trees can be found. In "Veneers, A Fritz Kohl Handbook," produced by the Fritz Kohl Veneer Mill in Germany, Amboyna burl is described as "one of the rarest and most expensive woods in the world," adding that "the burly part of the log is often very small." The scarcity of burl in the logs translates into rather high prices, as do its demand for use in high-end woodwork. According to the handbook’s authors, Amboyna burl is used for the "highest quality architectural woodwork" and that it was the first burl wood used for dashboards by Rolls Royce.
Ordinary Narra may not be as highly prized as the wood that comes from the burls, but it is still a beautiful wood in its own right that can yield a range of interesting figures. Experts believe these figures are formed from the existence of "terminal parenchyma" and irregularities in the woods. Parenchyma is the wood’s soft tissue that stores and distributes carbohydrates. Narra’s grain can be wavy, interlocked or crossed creating attractive figures such as mottle, fiddleback, ripple and curly.
Working with Amboyna can be a pleasure. The structural integrity of the wood makes it a joy to work. It handles turning well and also lends itself well to carving. Other uses are veneer work, small craft work, and furniture making.