The wood commonly known as Louro Preto is known to botanists and other scientists as Cordia spp. (C. megalantha, C. glabrata). Cordia is native to the tropical Americas, being harvested as far south as Brazil.
For the sake of simplicity and common understanding, I will refer to Cordia as Louro Preto from here forward.
The heartwood of Louro Preto tends toward a medium brown with a reddish cast or sometimes an olive-colored cast. Darker brown streaks are commonly seen in Louro Preto. The heartwood of Louro Preto is sharply demarcated from the pale sapwood. As is true of many strongly colored tropical woods, the color will darken with age.
The grain of Louro Preto can be either straight or irregular.
Louro Preto presents with a fine to medium texture and a good natural luster.
Louro Preto is rated as very durable in terms of rot resistance.
On the whole, Louro Preto is easily worked and machined with good results.
Although it has a fairly high amount of natural oils present, Louro Preto usually glues with no problems.
Louro Preto turns and finishes well.
Some Cordia species may contain silica that will dull cutters. Frequent sharpening will be rewarded.
Louro Preto can have a pleasant and characteristic scent when freshly cut.
Pricing and Availability:
Louro Preto prices are likely to be high for an imported hardwood. Given how similar in appearance Louro Preto is to Bocote, Bocote makes a more readily available and economical alternative.
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.
None of my favored wood vendors are currently offering Louro Preto in any format.
Woodfinder is an excellent website that is dedicated to advertising wood dealers. In your search for Louro Preto this can be an invaluable resource provided you use multiple search terms to capture all the possible listings. I can’t speak to the quality of any of the listed dealers, but Woodfinder does have the advantage of allowing searches to be performed based on location which might allow an interested buyer to visit a listed wood dealer in person to hand pick pieces at a comfortable price.
A significant problem with using Woodfinder is that many vendors are listed for woods that, upon further investigation, they do not offer. I don’t know if perhaps once they did and they didn’t update their listings or if some vendors use a standardized list of woods that include most everything conceivable with the idea that once you land on their page you will find something you want to buy even if you didn’t know it beforehand. It happens to me all the time!
Louro Preto is commonly used to make furniture, cabinetry, veneer, and turned objects.
Louro Preto is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
To the best of my knowledge, the United States government does not place any restrictions on Louro Preto.
I realize that inherent in working with wood is the killing of a part of the natural world that may be slow to return and if I become deeply concerned about this fact, I will have to find a new hobby. I hope that such a time does not come to pass or at least not any time soon. In part because I am concerned about legally and responsibly obtained wood, I am reluctant to buy from sellers outside of well-established and known vendors. I am highly unlikely, for example, to purchase any wood from auction sites, such as Ebay, because of uncertain sourcing and documentation, as well as the potential, even likelihood, of material being misidentified in order to achieve a higher selling price.