As it turns out, Granadillo is a term of some confusion and debate in the exotic wood world. My go to source for all things wood says that Granadillo can refer to dozens of different species with the most common genus designation being Platymiscium. Many exotic wood dealers claim a very specific identification of Platymiscium yucatanum, which, unlike some claimed species, is scientifically agreed to actually exist, being native to southern Mexico and one province in Guatemala. To keep it simple, I will refer to Granadillo from now on.
I’ve covered the usual details for Platymiscium in articles on Hormigo and Orange Agate, so I won’t repeat that information here.
Pricing and Availability:
Granadillo is in the medium price range for exotic imported hardwoods and is likely to be much more affordable than some of the scarcer true rosewoods, (Dalbergia genus), for which Bolivian Rosewood is often used as substitute.
In this blog, I almost always recommend several vendors with whom I have done considerable business and in whom I have great confidence. These vendors are: West Penn Hardwoods, Bell Forest Products, NC Wood, WoodTurningz, Amazon Exotic Hardwoods, Griffin Exotic Wood, Exotic Woods USA, Got Wood?, and Wood Turning Blanks 4U.
West Penn Hardwoods, Bell Forest Products, WoodTurningz, and Exotic Woods USA all sell Granadillo in turning blank sizes. A 6″ x 6″ x 2″ runs about $13 to $25 each. Exotic Woods USA has the widest selection of sizes.
My Personal Experience:
Granadillo is not my favorite wood to work with although my experience was varied.
The two smaller bowls, both 6″ x 2″ were relatively easy to work and they were similar enough in appearance that I could easily believe they were the same species.
The other two deeper bowls, 5.5″ x 3″ were each very different in coloration with one being chocolate brown and the other distinctly reddish.
Both were splintery and both were a bear to sand out but when just looking at them I would never think they were the same wood. But Granadillo is known to have a great range of variation in color to I suppose it isn’t too surprising after all.
All major cuts were made using the Easy Wood Tool system on my Robust American Beauty lathe, although I do use Robert Sorby bowl gouges for light final passes before sanding. Forward chucking was in a Nova Chuck, while reverse chucking was done using a Nova Chuck with Cole Jaws. Sanding was with Gold and Green Wave sanding discs as well as Abranet screens from Packard Woodworks. Final finish is Shellawax.
As always, I wish all my readers a great experience in whatever your wood working interests happen to be and to those who like working with lathes especially, do a good turn today!