Does anyone else use Jatoba?

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Forum topic by MadMark posted 12-22-2015 04:42 AM 612 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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968 posts in 874 days

12-22-2015 04:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question cherry finishing shaping jatoba

I find jatoba (aka Brazillian Cherry) one of the best working and beautiful woods there is. I’m redoing the kitchen and have done the drawers and the raised panel doors. Now moving on to carcase building. The jatoba is incredible to work with and is only about 1/3 more than oak.

Drawer front and raised panel door in jatoba. The orange and ruby red colors shift as you walk past making the grain come alive.

This shows the consecutive drawer fronts and a pair of doors temporarily mounted on the old cabs.

Jatoba is so dense it cannot be nailed but it can be drilled & tapped with maching tool threads.



-- Madmark -

11 replies so far

View Andre's profile


992 posts in 1227 days

#1 posted 12-22-2015 07:02 AM

I was given a lot of flooring scraps and bullnoses of Jatoba, did a number on my planer blades trying to clean it up.
Have been using small pieces as runner on sleds, great to plane but wicked to sand! do not forget to wipe down with DNA or Acetone before gluing.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1057 posts in 1952 days

#2 posted 12-22-2015 07:26 AM

I like using jatoba, as well. It looks good and is hard to beat for toughness. The drawback is that it is heavy, prohibitively so for something large like a dining room table.

For about the same money, sapele has similar coloration, grain and figure. Still pretty hard, but not nearly as heavy.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View MisterBill's profile


411 posts in 1673 days

#3 posted 12-22-2015 12:08 PM

The first time that I cut Jatoba I thought that I had hit a buried nail and that was using my Powermatic PM66 tables with a Forest Woodworker II blade.

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 597 days

#4 posted 12-22-2015 01:40 PM

It does look like a beautiful wood. I don’t recall seeing it at any local wood suppliers but I will keep an eye out for it.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View helluvawreck's profile


22682 posts in 2288 days

#5 posted 12-22-2015 01:45 PM

It is very beautiful wood and looks ver nice on what your building.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1772 days

#6 posted 12-22-2015 01:55 PM

I love it. I found a small piece in my lumber suppliers bargain bin and incorporated into a cutting board, just to see how it worked and looks. I will be wanting to get some larger quantities of it for future projects.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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19140 posts in 2096 days

#7 posted 12-22-2015 02:27 PM

I was able to pick up about 25 bdft of jatoba, for $4.00 a bdft, off of Craigslist.
The seller had a boat load of the stuff. He used it for stairs, balusters and all the trim in the house he built.
The house was stunning!!!
Had I the room (& money), I could have gotten 2” x 16” boards running 16’ to 20’ long.
I settled for a few shorter pieces.

So far, I have only made an end grain cutting board.
Click for details

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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2119 posts in 902 days

#8 posted 12-22-2015 10:48 PM

Mark that is incredible looking wood and the fact is works easy, well, now you’ve got me looking to buy some.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View MadMark's profile


968 posts in 874 days

#9 posted 12-22-2015 11:15 PM

I never said it was easy to work. Its tough as nails and has silica sparkles in the grain. No point in using HSS cutters, they won’t last the first project! It is IMPOSSIBLE to nail and at 5 to 5.5 lbs per bd ft a 10’ 2×12 is more than one guy can handle.

What I love about how it works is the grain is so even that it cuts perfectly and has very little movement. Jatoba is TOUGH! The results are well worth it!



-- Madmark -

View bearkatwood's profile


1172 posts in 433 days

#10 posted 12-22-2015 11:32 PM

I have a couple pieces up in the vault, you have me thinking I should climb up there and find something to do with it. Thanks

-- Brian Noel

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2111 days

#11 posted 12-23-2015 01:38 AM

I have built a lot of Jatoba projects and it is one of my favorite woods. I have never seen any cathedral grained Jatoba like the panels you show. My stash may all be quarter sawn. It does have the shimmery/ribbon grain. My favorite aspect of Jatoba is how well it finishes. If you want a “piano quality” finish, fill the pores with TimberMate before applying topcoat.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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