Exotic wood bonding to other woods

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Forum topic by Mokuman13 posted 03-05-2014 05:15 AM 1043 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1605 days

03-05-2014 05:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cocobolo glue bond plywood maple weak joint wood oil question tip help joining veneering

I am working on a project involving cocobolo, curly maple burl, and 1/2” birch plywood. I am using the cocobolo as accent trim to cover the edges of the plywood, and one edge of the maple. My problem is that after a glue up, I use a flush cut saw to trim the cocobolo to the surface, and on the plywood for the most part it holds but has come off in a few places, on the maple however, it almost always comes off and I have to re-glue it and be super careful with cutting it flush as to not pull it away from the maple. Do the oils on the cocobolo keep it from making a good bond with other woods? And if so, is there anyway to help it bond better?


-- Choose to be happy for attitude is everything

5 replies so far

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 1591 days

#1 posted 03-05-2014 05:41 AM

You mention “saw” to trim.

2 things come to mind.

1 are you using a proper finish blade?

2 blue painters tape is a great way to avoid chip out.

I hope I’m reading your initial post right and you are not using a router to flush trim the edges.


View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3334 days

#2 posted 03-05-2014 06:07 AM

I use Cocobolo frequently both glued to itself and to other woods. It is important with any oily wood such as Cocobolo or Teak to rub down the areas to be glued with Acetone since it pulls the oil from the surface of the wood. It will glue very strong with epoxy glue and will not come apart. I have also used Titebond III with very good success. Either way it is very important to clean the areas to be glued with Acetone…you will be surprised how much oil it will pull out of the Cocobolo.

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2556 days

#3 posted 03-05-2014 06:17 AM


As you suspect, it is likely that the oils in the cocobolo are preventing proper glue adhesion. Regardless of your trimming technique, the glue joint should not fail if you have a good glue-up.

For an oily wood like cocobolo, you want to wipe away the oils on the surface just before glue-up using a solvent like acetone. Wipe the surface to be glued with a moderately dampened rag and let the solvent flash off (2-5 minutes). Then proceed with glue-up. Your might even want to wipe off twice with something super oily like cocobolo.

The other possible cause of the issue is if you were gluing the cocobolo to maple end-grain. Gluing to end grain is problematic at best. If you are doing this, you would want to use some kind of spline/biscuit/domino to create a better glue joint.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Mokuman13's profile


5 posts in 1605 days

#4 posted 03-05-2014 07:09 AM

Thanks everyone. The project I am working on is about 5”x3”x15”. The trim pieces of cocobolo are small, and I have not as of yet used acetone, but it does sound like a good idea. As far as what saw I am using, it’s a Marlowe flush cut saw, I’m trying to cut it slowly so as to not rip it away from the other wood. As fat as end grain goes on the maple, I’m gluing it to a narrow (1/4”) side of the piece. No end grain. Thanks for the tip though. I don’t own a router, I know – how can I call myself a woodworker, but that’s the next tool on my list to buy. Thanks for all the help guys

-- Choose to be happy for attitude is everything

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5 posts in 1605 days

#5 posted 03-05-2014 07:10 AM

I meant to say marples flush cut saw

-- Choose to be happy for attitude is everything

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