Exotic Hardwood Spotlight: Cocobolo

Once budding woodworkers get the carpentry bug, they’re always on the lookout for new types of specialty wood to manipulate. If you’re looking for a new type of tropical hardwood with which to create beautiful works of art, you should consider cocobolo.

Cocobolo comes from a tree called dalbergia retusa, which can be found in Central America. Cocobolo is popular because of its dark color and oily look, which makes it a fine choice for small, artistic woodworking projects. Since cocobolo has distinctive oil that can irritate the eyes and lungs, experts recommend wearing goggles, a respirator, and using a dust collection system when working with it. Cocobolo is very hard and dense, and ideal for use in instruments, pool cues, gun grips, knife handles, and other items that could use a hard, decorative accent.


For a closer look at cocobolo and other specialty woods, come by Southern Lumber. We’ve been providing woodworkers throughout the San Jose area with specialty woods for over 100 years. Call us at (408) 297-9663 or visit our website to learn more about our products and services.


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