"Nato is a South American hard wood, similar to mahogany. It's the current "budget" wood. That doesn't mean that it is a bad or cheap wood. At one time, mahogany was considered the cheap alternative, and nobody knew how well it would do in the long run. Now mahogony is considered a 'fine' wood. Could Nato be the next mahogany? Only time will tell. The Nato tree is usually 100 to 120 ft high and 2 to 3 ft in diameter, with clear boles 60 ft and more above very large buttresses that may extend 15 ft up the trunk. Nato trees of 160 to 200 ft high and 4 ft in diameter are reported. The Wood's General Characteristics: Heartwood yellowish red brown, reddish brown or dark red with paler streaks, sapwood 2 to 6 in. wide, distinct, yellowish to pale brown. Texture moderately fine to rather coarse, rather harsh to the feel; luster medium to high; grain is straight to commonly interlocked, very variable; astringent taste and slightly sour odor. Weight: Basic specific gravity (oven-dry weight/green volume) 0.76 to 0.84; air-dry density 59 to 65 pcf. Other Common Names: Nato, Nato rojo (Colombia), Mora de Guyana (Venezuela), Marobukea, Mora (Guyana), Mora Moraboekea (Surinam), Pracuuba (Brazil). Distribution: M. excelsa: Widely distributed in the Guianas and less so in the Orinoco Delta of Venezuela; dominant on river levees and flood plains forming dense stands. M. gonggrijpii: Restricted to Guyana and Surinam, a dominant species best adapted to hillsides on heavy clay soils."
"Nato wood, also known as Eastern Mahogany, is a relieble, strong wood used on guitar necks. It is a value-priced wood used more in the lower cost instruments. However, Nato still embodies all of the properties of more commonly used.... and more expensive mahogany. Not a bad wood at all for most ukes.... except the finest ones."