Jatoba is a dense exotic wood from Central America, Mexico, South America and the West Indies that because of its stiffness delivers a strong sharp tone.
Known as Brazilian Cherry and Brazilian Teak, Jatoba holds no relation to those woods - yet it remains among the very toughest of all timbers worldwide.
Bone Rattling Facts
Jatoba is well suited for hand-held musical instruments because it is exceptionally stiff, strong, hard and durable. Jatoba enjoys a place among the very toughest of all timbers worldwide and is naturally resistant to insects and decay.
Figures below are approximate (but pretty darn close)
Although Jatoba is an imported timber it is surprisingly inexpensive.
The bark contains a resin used in special varnishes and cements.
Common uses for Jatoba include railroad ties, tool handles and lifeboats.
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Pie de venado
Rode rode locus
West indian locust
The grain is wavy and interlocked.
The texture is medium to coarse with large pores in the end grain.
Luster is described as dull to fairly lustrous.
(Cinnamon Fudge Stripe)
The color varies from salmon-red to orange-brown and becomes darker with age. Some segments display dark grayish brown streaks and curly figuring.
Wide sapwood areas are white, gray, or pinkish and clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Might look similar to Maple.
The U.S. Forest Service reports that some species are without odor or taste. Other species emit a distinctive aroma and sometimes a perceptive taste.
Severe reactions are uncommon, although Jatoba has been reported to cause skin irritation.
Jatoba is difficult to work with because of its high density and hardness. However, it is easy to sand, glue, stain and finish. Polishing creates a wonderful luster.
Some material from this species is reported to be available from environmentally responsible or sustainably managed sources. The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) reports that Jatoba is an important source of timber for export.
Jatoba is found in Central America, southern Mexico, northern South America and the West Indies. It also reportedly grows in Oceania and S.E. Asia.
The tree grows from around 100 (30 m) to 130 feet (40 m) feet. Trunk diameter averages around 2 to 4 feet (60 to 122 cm).