I purchased a "tamboti" pen blank at Rocklers and really like the way it turned out. But now I find different name for what may be the same wood. Is it tamboti or tambuti? Are they two different woods? Please advise.
Can't answer this with any authority.. but I did a websearch.
It could be that they are the same wood.. with different common name spellings. Both appear to be from S. Africa. There is readable info on Tamboti in English.. however, most info I saw on Tambuti was in German. I saw one reference that Tambuti was a protected wood.
There were a lot of references to both for Lodges, etc.. not many for the wood. Both names appear to be an area or 'town' in the region.
That was about what I found out when I searched the web. Even found a tambotie listed as African Sandalwood (Spirostachys africanus). I like the wood as it cuts faily easily but man does it load up the sandpaper. There is no sanding dust at all. I have to cut extremely close to the final shape and then throw away the sandpaper I use. The wood is very gummy in that regard and I did not like the finish I normally use on pens. I plan on making another blank and try some new wipe on polyeurethane I recently bought.
Frequently with very gummy woods you can remove the surface "gum" with acetone or paint thinner before sanding. Just be sure to have lots of ventilation and no sparks or flames around. Apply a liberal coat with a rag, and wipe off before it dries. You want to soften the gum and wipe it off with the rag. It may take a couple coats, but once the surface is clean and the thinner has dried, most finishes will work as expected.