Cocobolo is an exotic wood native to Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, and is favored for custom pool cues, fine furniture and cabinetry, inlays, and musical instruments. The wood is very durable and strong, with a fine texture. It is extremely beautiful, ranging in color from dark red to reddish brown, with an irregular grain pattern. Cocobolo has fantastic working characteristics, making it a favorite for turning and carving, and finishes very smoothly.
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. One of today’s most prized lumbers for its outstanding color and figure; yet also one of the most infamous for its difficulty in gluing, and its tendency to cause allergic reactions in woodworkers.
Fine furniture, musical instruments, turnings, and other small specialty objects.
The Wood Database