Woodwork and lumber in Nicaragua

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Forum topic by Mykos posted 01-19-2015 04:32 PM 1971 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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102 posts in 1215 days

01-19-2015 04:32 PM

I’m currently on holiday in Nicaragua. Today while walking around Masaya I got some pictures that I thought might be interesting to fellow woodworkers.

Some typical furniture for sale. It’s all held together with nailed butt joints, but it’s all made of Bocote.

These guys are cleaning up a pile of offcuts that would fetch a king’s ransom back home in Canada.

Here’s a local lumberyard I walked by. The guy I asked about the woods said there was Jatoba, Bocote and Guanacaste mostly. I tried to ask how much it was but my Spanish isn’t good enough to work out how much wood he was quoting me. I think he was giving me the price for a whole lift of lumber.

Walking by our place in Granada I saw two men fitting and staining an arched door in an alcove. The wood was again bocote and he told me the stain was a type of oil but it didn’t sound familiar to me. Might have been a local plant product ? It looked very red. The joinery on the doors and furniture in the colonial downtown in Granada is much better on average than the furniture you see in markets. Door rails and stiles are held together with drawbored mortise and tenon joints in some instances.

I’ll try and add more neat wood photos as I come across things.

5 replies so far

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3261 posts in 1107 days

#1 posted 01-19-2015 04:38 PM

Very interesting. Thanks for the post, and keep the pics coming.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works

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293 posts in 653 days

#2 posted 01-19-2015 04:45 PM

About 10 years ago I went to Costa Rica on vacation. I hadn’t gotten into woodworking yet, but I do remember seeing some of those same sights around town. I remember being pretty impressed when I saw some wooden joints being fit together with nothing but mortises/tenons and wedges (which I then thought of as slots, pegs, and scraps).

In fact… that may have been when I developed that subconscious yearning to make sawdust.

-- This is not the signature line you are looking for.

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4028 posts in 1619 days

#3 posted 01-19-2015 04:57 PM

Having spent a good bit of time in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua, I’ve seen some very creative woodworking techniques and amazing native lumber. We had a dairy farm in CR and had some local guys make a fairly detailed parquet floor out of a few different native species that came out amazing.. all done by hand, no power tools involved. Of course, Nicaragua (and Costa Rica many years ago.. not so much now) being a very, very poor country makes the local craftsman find ways to get things done by hand that most of us in the US/Canada/Europe would never even consider.


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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10 posts in 644 days

#4 posted 01-19-2015 05:33 PM

I too am from Canada, it can be tough to source quality lumber at prices that aren’t extreme. I wonder how much it would cost to ship a whole stack.

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102 posts in 1215 days

#5 posted 01-21-2015 08:26 PM

Here’s the table saw at a different lumber yard. The table is not at all flat; in fact some of the boards it is made of are cupped almost 1/8”. I almost wanted to buy a half sheet of plywood just so I could see them use it.

These are some more enviable lumber racks. Lots of cedero in those flat boards.

This bed was just sitting in a parking lot. Not sure why.

I’ve been into half a dozen hardware stores (Ferreteria en espanol), and they all have hand braces for sale. None of them have had auger bits yet. I’m not sure what they use the braces to turn.

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