Working with Cocobolo wood

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Forum topic by Wayne posted 12-17-2009 03:49 AM 3485 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Wayne's profile


10 posts in 3308 days

12-17-2009 03:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cocobolo wood wood turning finishing

I recently bought two small sticks of this beautiful Central American wood locally. They were both coated in wax when I got them. I thought that was a bit strange, so I asked the salesman why. He said the wood will get darker when exposed to the air. Does anyone know how long this darkening process takes?

-- Wayne, Utah,

4 replies so far

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3917 days

#1 posted 12-17-2009 04:28 AM

dependson how dry the wood is.cocobolo will get dark with a couple of days with out any finish. the wood was waxed because the moisture content is probably still pretty high i would check it before using it.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View lcurrent's profile


125 posts in 4019 days

#2 posted 12-19-2009 02:30 AM

I have used it for knife handles I also found out that I was allergic but it buffs out great will get darker in 3 mo. or less

-- lcurrent ( It's not a mistake till you run out of wood )

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3745 days

#3 posted 12-19-2009 03:21 AM

Yeah, 3 months or less sounds about right. Today, I started to put a finish on a solid cocobolo box I built a couple of months ago. As it has sat in the shop for the past 2 months, I wasn’t aware of it changing color (every time I looked at it, it still looked and felt amazing!) and after reading this post, I was anxious to see what really happened to the wood. So… I sanded it, again, with 150 and noticed it got lighter. Not much, but what I noticed is that the look of the grain color stood out more after sanding. So basically, the lighter color in the grain gets darker, but the darker color stayed the same. At least with the pieces I have. And when I put the first coat of dewaxed shellac (for sealing purposes) the color “came alive” even more. This wood is absolutely amazing and I always love seeing projects built with it. What do you plan on building or making?

-- Childress Woodworks

View stefang's profile


16144 posts in 3538 days

#4 posted 12-20-2009 05:13 PM

Thank you for that comment Blaine. I have a chunk of Cocobolo that I haven’t used yet, and I was aware that many are allergic to it, but wasn’t fully aware of the dangers and how to reduce the risk. You probably saved me a lot of grief since I have asthma.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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