Cocobolo is something of a dream wood. It is beautiful in appearance, it smells good when you cut it, and it is easy to work with for the most part, at least in turning applications. Cocobolo cuts very clean and requires next to no sanding, which is a good thing since the heavy oil content will gum up traditional sandpaper in a second. My solution to this is to use Abranet sanding screens instead of traditional sandpaper since they can be blown out with the air compressor and be as good as new if they get clogged.
I had no trouble applying and buffing the Shellawax finish although I am given to understand that some finishes are problematic because of the high oil content present in Cocobolo.
I greatly enjoyed working with Cocobolo in bowl blank formats and I hope that I have more of the wood in my stocks since it is now CITES protected and no longer available for import and sale.
Cocobolo SmallThis smaller dish measures 4.5″ x 2″. Note that I was able to retain sapwood on both edges, an effect I like a great deal although I know this is not a universally shared opinion.
The larger bowl measures 9″ x 3″.
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 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!