Jatoba Lumber
Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba)

Botanical Name: Hymenaea courbaril

Family: Leguminosae

Other Common Names: Cuapinol, Guapinol (Mexico), Guapinol (Central America), Locust, Kawanari (Guyana), Rode Lokus (Surinam), Algarrobo (Spanish America), Jatahy, Courbaril (Brazil).

Uses: Tool handle and other applications where good shock resistance is needed, steam bent parts, flooring, turnery, furniture and cabinet work, railroad crossties, tree-nails, gear cogs, wheel rims, and other specialty items.

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Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba)

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.

General Characteristics: Trees may grow to a height of 130 ft with the trunk diameters of 5 to 6 ft; usually less than 100 ft high with diameters of 2 to 4 ft. Boles are well formed, often clear to 40 to 80 ft, and a basally swollen or buttressed in large trees. 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 is mostly interlocked; golden luster; without distinctive odor or taste.

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

Working Properties: The wood is moderately difficult to saw and machine largely because of its high density, but except in planning it can be machined to a smooth surface. The wood is somewhat difficult to plane because of the interlocked grain. It is easy to glue and finish satisfactorily; steam-bending properties comparable to white oak.

Durability: Laboratory evaluations rate the wood very resistant to brown-rot and white-rot fungi; actual field exposure trials also rate the wood as very durable. Heartwood is also rated very resistant to dry-wood termites; little resistance to marine borers.

Preservation: Heartwood is not treatable using open-tank or pressure-vacuum systems. Sapwood, however, is responsive.

Mechanical Properties

(first set of data based on the 2-in. standard; the second on the 1-in. standard)

Bending Strength:

Green (74): 12,940 psi
12%: 19,400 psi
12% (24): 25,100 psi

Modules of Elasticity:

Green (74): 1,840 @ 1,000 psi
12%: 2,160 @ 1,000 psi
12% (24): 2,870 @ 1,000 psi

Maximum Crushing Strength:

Green (74): 5,800 psi
12%: 9,510 psi
12% (24): 14,200 psi

Janka side hardness at 12% moisture content 2,350 to 3,290 lb. Forest Products Laboratory toughness average for green and dry materials 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 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 ovendry: radial 4.5%; tangential 8.5%; volumetric 12.7% - values are low for a wood of this density.

Bailey Wood Products Kiln Dried Hardwoods

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