Skittle Pins and Balls
Lignum Vitae is regarded by most to be both the heaviest and hardest wood in the world, measuring 4,500lbf (pounds force) on the Janka Hardness Scale. Its durability in submerged or ground-contact applications is also exceptional. As well as Skittle Balls Lignum Vitae has been used for propeller shaft bearings on ships, and its natural oils provide self-lubrication that gives the wood excellent wear resistance. As a result Lignum Vitae will easily sink in water, it is very durable for outdoor use and is also very resistant to insect attack.
The name Lignum Vitae is Latin, and means tree of life, or wood of life, which is derived from the tree’s many medicinal uses.
Unfortunately Lignum Vitae has been exploited to the brink of extinction, and is now an endangered species with trade of the timber being restricted. Lignum Vitae is listed on the CITES Appendix II (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Faurna and Flora) of endangered species and the IUCN Red List (International Union for the Conservation of Nature); as a result it is becoming harder to source; subsequently the price is very high and the quality, when available, is not as good as older sources (reference Wikipedia).
Verawood is a related species with similar working properties and commonly used as a substitute, it is sometimes called Argentine Lignum Vitae. Yet even this species (Bulnesia sarmientoi) has been included in CITES Appendix III, though it is not as restrictive as Appendix II where Lignum Vitae is found. Though Verawood is in a different Genus than Lignum Vitae , (Bulnesia and Guaiacum, respectively) both genera are biologically classified in the same Family: Zygophyllaceae. Both woods are extremely hard, heavy, oily, and have a feathered grain pattern with a distinct brownish olive colour.
Our supplies are limited, however we have managed to source stocks through one of our Specialist Timber Merchants; however it is likely to be 2-3 years before any more might arrive in the UK. Unfortunately these matters are beyond our control, therefore we advise ordering new sets now before our stocks are exhausted. If you are unsure about this we can only advise to look at Phenolic Resin (Composite) or Rubber Skittle Balls.
For further information, or a general enquiry regarding Skittle Balls and Skittle Pins please contact us by telephone, or email .