Products / Lumber / Cocobolo
Print
Share
Request

for orders, quotes and samples

Request
Print
Share

Cocobolo

Common Name(s): Cocobolo, Cocobola, Cocabola


One of today’s most prized lumbers for its outstanding colour and figure; yet also one of the most infamous for its difficulty in gluing, and its tendency to cause allergic reactions in woodworkers.

Thicknesses

Tree Size: 45-60 ft (14-18 m) tall, 1.5-2 ft (50-60 cm) trunk diameter

Distribution

Central America

Scientific Name

Dalbergia retusa

Specific Gravity: Basic 

0.89

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

1.10

Janka Hardness

2,960 lbf (14,140 N)

Colour/Appearance

Cocobolo can be seen in a kaleidoscope of different colours, ranging from yellow, orange, red, and shades of brown with streaks of black or purple. Sapwood is typically a very pale yellow. Colours are lighter when freshly sanded/cut, and darken with age; for more information, see the article on preventing colour changes in exotic woods.

Grain/Texture

Grain is straight to interlocked, with a fine even texture. Good natural luster.

Rot Resistance

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.

Workability

Due to the high oil content found in this wood, it can occasionally cause problems with gluing. Also, the wood’s colour 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 colour/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.

Odor

Cocobolo has a distinct spice-like scent when being worked, which some find unpleasant: though it has been used in at least one women's perfume.

Allergies/Toxicity

Notoriously allergenic. Reported as a sensitizer; can cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritation, as well as nausea, pink-eye, and asthma-like symptoms.

Pricing/Availability

Cocobolo is in limited supply, and is also in relatively high demand, (for ornamental purposes), and is likely to be quite expensive. Prices should compare similarly to other rosewoods in the Dalbergia genus.

Sustainability

Cocobolo is listed on CITES appendix II under the genus-wide restriction on all Dalbergia species—which also includes finished products made of the wood. It is also listed on the IUCN Red List as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.
Powered by Innovasium