Jatoba (Hymenaea courbaril)

The wood has high density and, when planing, it can be machined to a smooth surface. The wood is easy to glue, and finish satisfactory; steam-bending properties comparable to white oak. Tool handles and other applications where good shock resistance is needed, flooring, furniture and cabinet work, and other specialty items.

Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: Brazilian Cherry, Cuapinol, Guapinol (Mexico), Guapinol (Central America), Locust, Kawanari (Guyana), Rode lokus (Surinam), Algarrobo (Spanish America), Jatahy.

Thicknesses: Available in 4/4 Air-Dried and Kiln-Dried.

Grades: F1F & Better, Quarter Sawn, #1 Common & Better, #2 Common & Better, Select & Better

Distribution: Southern Mexico, throughout Central America and the West Indies to northern Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru. The tree’s best development is on ridges or slopes, and high riverbanks.

The Tree: May grow to a height of 130ft with trunk diameters of 5 to 6ft; usually less than 100ft high with diameters of 2 to 4ft. Boles are well formed, often clear for 40 to 80ft, and basally swollen or buttressed in large trees.

The Wood

General Characteristics: Heartwood is salmon red to orange brown when fresh, becoming russet to reddish brown when seasoned; often marked with dark streaks. Sapwood is usually wide; white, gray, or pinkish. Texture is medium to rather coarse; grain mostly interlocked; golden luster; without distinctive odor or taste.

Weight: Basic specific gravity (oven-dry weight/green volume) 0.71 to 0.82; air-dry density 52 to 61 pcf.

Mechanical Properties: (First set of data based on the 2-in. standard; the second on the 1-in. standard.) Janka side hardness at 12% moisture content 2,350 to 3,290lb. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry material is 230 in.-lb (5/8-in. specimen).

Drying and Shrinkage: The wood is rated as slightly difficult to air-dry; it seasons at a fast to a moderate rate with only slight checking and warp. Kiln schedule T3-C2 is suggested for 4/4 stock and T3-C1 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to oven-dry: radial 4.5%; tangential 8.5%; volumetric 12.7% – values are low for a wood of this density.

Working Properties: The wood has high density; when in planing it can be machined to a smooth surface.

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