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Understanding How to Use Air Dried Jatoba

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Forum topic by CharlesA posted 11-23-2014 09:54 PM 927 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CharlesA

3018 posts in 1258 days


11-23-2014 09:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question jatoba milling

A friend offered me a deal on three Brazilian Cherry boards, 9’x15”x1”. I’ve read up a bit and it is supposed to be hard as heck, but pretty easy to glue up and finish. I’ve seen furniture made with it, and I really like the look.

However, now that I have it, I have a few questions. The first is the identification of the wood in general. I know that Jatoba, like all woods, has some variation in color, but I thought it was generally similar to aged black cherry or mahogany, medium to darker brown with a red tint. The boards I have are purple in color. I’ve seen a couple of pics of Jatoba that lean this direction, but this seems pretty far on the purple spectrum.

This wood has been aging for a long time. I have no idea if it was kiln-dried originally, but if it was, my guess it was over a decade ago. It has been sitting under a tarp and roof outside for at least a couple of years. I checked it with my cheapy HF moisture meter, tried it multiple times on each board. 9 was lowest, 11 highest. So let’s just say 10%. How might I best prepare this for use? Mill it, let it sit 24 hours, mill it again and go for it? Let it sit for __ days in my shop before milling it? Something else?

Since the grain is fairly regular and the color very uniform, I’m thinking I’ll eventually cut it into 6” max boards to go on my jointer in milling. No need to keep the wide boards wide.

Any other advice?

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson


15 replies so far

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1648 days


#1 posted 11-23-2014 10:00 PM

Wow! That’s a lot of wood! How many zeroes is a brazillion? (Sorry, I’ve been waiting to use that for like 5 years.)

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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Tony_S

605 posts in 2543 days


#2 posted 11-24-2014 01:28 AM

I’ve seen Jatoba in every shade of brown you can imagine, some with a red tint when freshly milled, most not. It quite often patinas a red color though. That said….I’ve never seen Jatoba in any shade of purple, aged or otherwise.
Also, if U.S. Import laws are anything like Canadian Import laws(I suspect they are) Your Imported lumber would all have to be kiln dried.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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ElChe

630 posts in 797 days


#3 posted 11-24-2014 01:36 AM

I’ve only used jatoba as an accent piece on a box so my experience is limited. It was really dense and moderately difficult to machine because it burned a bit. A hand plane cleaned up the burning. Careful milling is essential to get a good glue joint. Yellow glue didn’t work for me. I went with a PUR adhesive and for my purpose it worked well. Because it is resiny, I cleaned the joint with acetone and glued it. I also milled it and quickly glued it because my research showed it tends to move a bit especially if it has too much moisture. My recollection is 7-8% moisture content is optimal? Sticker it for a bit in your shop (a couple of weeks depending on the dimensions?) and have at it. It does brown with oxidation but it is beautiful as an accent wood. In wider glue ups I read it moved too much if it had too much moisture. Sharp blades is a must. It dulled my hand plane iron after several passes. Oh, I didn’t have any reaction to working with it but I’ve read some folks can get allergic reaction to natona dust. Good luck.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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summerfi

3315 posts in 1147 days


#4 posted 11-24-2014 01:54 AM

Are you sure that isn’t purpleheart? The color sure looks like it. I just finished making a couple of saw handles out of jatoba. The color of the wood I used is a red-orange.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works http://www.rmsaws.com/p/about-us.html

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jap

1251 posts in 1514 days


#5 posted 11-24-2014 01:57 AM

It looks like purpleheart to me.

-- Joel

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CharlesA

3018 posts in 1258 days


#6 posted 11-24-2014 01:57 AM

I wondered about Purpleheart—I guess I never pictured it coming in such large boards since I only see it sold in smaller pieces. I also wonder about Brazilian Rosewood: http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/brazilian-rosewood/

I wonder how to figure this out . . .

I wouldn’t care that much except that I don’t want to get into the middle of something and figure out that I’m not milling/gluing/finishing it correctly.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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CharlesA

3018 posts in 1258 days


#7 posted 11-24-2014 02:00 AM

Okay—apparently purpleheart trees grow quite large—my ignorance.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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CharlesA

3018 posts in 1258 days


#8 posted 11-24-2014 02:12 AM

Gosh. What in the fool am I going to do with 30bf of purpleheart? This is not good news.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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summerfi

3315 posts in 1147 days


#9 posted 11-24-2014 02:41 AM

You could always sell some if you don’t have a use for it.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works http://www.rmsaws.com/p/about-us.html

View BikerDad's profile

BikerDad

284 posts in 3061 days


#10 posted 11-24-2014 03:07 AM


Gosh. What in the fool am I going to do with 30bf of purpleheart? This is not good news.

- CharlesA


It’s great news. Anything you may have wanted to do with the Jatoba you can do with Purpleheart. They are similar in working characteristics, but there are no complications with gluing the purpleheart. Purpleheart will eventually go brown, but it takes years and some serious UV to do it under finish.

Purpleheart and Maple is a fantastic combination.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

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CharlesA

3018 posts in 1258 days


#11 posted 11-27-2014 05:41 PM

Solved my problem. I looked up purpleheart furniture, and I don’t like the look of it in large quantities. Put it on CL, and I sold 3/4 of it for what I paid for it. I have 5bf or so to use on picture frames,etc., and now I can buy some wood I like for furniture.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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bobro

308 posts in 771 days


#12 posted 11-27-2014 05:56 PM

Woods vary in color. I picked up a couple of boards of pau ferro (morado) industrial flooring leftovers for peanuts- it is a dark rich purple finer than any purpleheart I’ve ever seen, and that’s the color it oxidizes to. Freshly sawn it looks like your regular honey kind of color pau ferro. Maybe jatoba has such variation, too.

By the way, purpleheart ages to various very noble and luxurious shades of brown, honey maroon, and so on, not garish purple. This bugs people who prefer the straightforward purple but I prefer the aged colors.

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.

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CharlesA

3018 posts in 1258 days


#13 posted 11-27-2014 06:08 PM

Could be, but it am making a coat rack for,the living room, and I don’t want it to be purple. I like the dark tone of 10’year old purpleheart, but I’m not that patient.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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bobro

308 posts in 771 days


#14 posted 11-27-2014 06:11 PM

Yeah I get what you’re saying. Well somebody scored some wood they love, and you have some left for small stuff, so it’s win all the way around!

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.

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CharlesA

3018 posts in 1258 days


#15 posted 11-27-2014 07:26 PM

Yup. I’m happy. He’s going to use it for the transom on a boat. Good all around c

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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