Common Names
Cocobolo (many variant spellings, such as cocabola or cocobola)
Scientific Name
Dalbergia retusa
Central America
Cocobolo can be seen in a kaleidoscope of different colors, ranging from yellow, orange, red, and shades of brown with streaks of black or purple. Sapwood is typically a very pale yellow. Colors are lighter when freshly sanded/cut, and darken with age; for more information, see the article on preventing color changes in exotic woods. Grain is straight to interlocked, with a fine, even texture. Good natural luster.
Avg. Dried Weight
69 lbs/ft3 (1,095 kg/m3)
Janka Hardness
2960 lbf
Modulus of Rupture
22,910 lbf/in2 (158 MPa)*
Elastic Modulus
2,712,000 lbf/in2 (18.7 GPa)*
Crushing Strength
11,790 lbf/in2 (81.3 MPa)* *values from tentative strength group assessment per South American Timbers
Radial: 2.7%, Tangential: 4.3%
Rated as very durable, and also resistant to insect attack. Its natural oils are reported to give it good resistance to degrade from wet/dry cycles.
Due to the high oil content found in this wood, it can occasionally cause problems with gluing. Also, the wood’s color can bleed into surrounding wood when applying a finish, so care must be taken on the initial seal coats not to smear the wood’s color/oils into surrounding areas. Tearout can occur during planing if interlocked grain is present; the wood also has a moderate blunting effect on cutting edges/tools due to its high density. Cocobolo has excellent turning properties.

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