View Full Version : Brazillian cherry
04-04-2007, 12:37 PM
I made a set of block shells out of this wood, which turned out to be easy to work, nice appearance, and tight-grained. Anybody used it much for other applications? I'm interested in its general characteristics. It's quite hard and dense, seems about the same as white oak.
04-04-2007, 01:53 PM
"Brazilian cherry" aka jatoba (Hymenaea courbaril) is the tree from which copal resin (used in varnish making) comes.
I built a couple of cutting boards out of the stuff -- 8/4 x 18 x 30. Construction was biscuits with System Three epoxy. Seemed to take epoxy well and the one I have is still holding up quite well (the others were for charity auctions). None of the joints has opened in the least and it's been through the dishwasher a number of times.
What I noticed with it is that the grain is, or can be rather interlocked and reversing, as well as somewhat fuzzy. It seemed rather prone to tearout, probably due to the grain reversal, when planing, either with a thickness planer or with a hand plane.
Here's the FPL factsheet on H. courbaril (http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/techsheets/Chudnoff/TropAmerican/html_files/hymena1new.html). It looks to beat white oak, live oak, hickory and locust as far as modulus of elasticity goes and it walks away from them in compression loading and bending strength categories.
The FPL notes that in the durability department, "Laboratory evaluations rate the wood very resistant to brown-rot and white-rot fungi; actual field exposure trials also rate the wood as very durable. Heartwood is also rated very resistant to dry-wood termites; little resistance to marine borers."
It supposedly steam-bends about as well as white oak.
It's also stable: "Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 4.5%; tangential 8.5%; volumetric 12.7%". Compare to white oak at 4.4/8.8/12.7 percent.
04-04-2007, 03:50 PM
I was finding that planing, sawing, routing, etc. and other machiningg was one of the nice things about the stuff--easier than many other tropical hardwoods.
04-09-2007, 08:40 AM
I use it for blocks, and most importantly, for making sheaves. After being boiled in linseed oil, they don't split or rot (8 years use so far).
Lovely wood, but the batch I'm still using is hard as rock. Machines like aluminum.
04-09-2007, 08:48 AM
It will split on you easier than some, however. In high-stress applications I'd make sure it was well drifted:
04-09-2007, 11:46 AM
The photos don't show up. Are they showing some wider planks with drifts? Also--is the splitting you refer to due to structural loads across the grain, or checking from moisture and drying--similar to white oak?
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