I originally posted about Jacaranda and my limited experience with this wood in February of 2015.
I have recently had the opportunity to work more extensively with Jacaranda by making a small dish from the wood, obtained from an ornamental specimen removed in Florida and sold to me by the vendor, Wood Turning Blanks 4 U. While this vendor still has limited stocks of Jacaranda for sale, apparently as little as one small bowl blank, I would exercise caution in buying. The blanks I purchased, and I purchased over a dozen of various species, were all in relatively poor condition with heavy growths of mold. What waxing had been done to preserve these green blanks was minimal and of poor quality. This vendor does sell some unique species, but I would strongly suggest trying a small order before making a large commitment. It seems that storage conditions are less than ideal, perhaps simply left outdoors. The comparative quality I am familiar with from other vendors is not favorable.
That said, the prices were extremely reasonable!
The following commentary sums up my additional experiences in working with this unusual wood:
The blank had dried significantly from when it was purchased and it had experienced a fair degree of movement although it was certainly not as bad as some other woods in this regard. The wood is quite soft and not dense at all, although it is botanically speaking a “hardwood” it certainly is not hard in the sense that most people would think of that term and it would be a poor choice for making an item that required strength or durability.
As is often true of less dense woods, Jacaranda cut easily but roughly, however, as is also true of lighter woods, it sanded quickly and easily to a very smooth finish. I was quite pleased with the readily evident figure as well as with the distinct black lines which are streaked throughout the wood. The finished piece is quite lightweight and most closely reminds me of the feel of balsa wood although the appearance is quite different.
I did not note any specific odor although the exterior of the blank had some mold, present when it arrived from Florida where I suspect it was not properly stored, and that mold, naturally, does have some degree of scent which was discernable when working in the initial stages of turning.
I had a decent experience working with the Jacaranda wood and wouldn’t be reluctant to work with it again, although limited availability serves to make further experimentation unlikely. However, if a wood turner has a source of the wood, I certainly wouldn’t discourage experimentation, and if someone wanted to give me pieces, I would accept them gladly. Experimenting with new woods is always fun and informative!