View Full Version : Brazilian cherry

01-19-2012, 02:47 PM
I am a relatively new (1 build) luthier wannabe. I found some Brazilian cherry and really like the looks of it. What will it be like to work with? Is it suitable for ukulele sides? I enjoyed my first build and want to get into a new build but don't want to tackle anything beyond my abilities. Would somebody advise me please.

01-19-2012, 04:00 PM
Brazilian cherry is pretty hard, Janka hardness of about 2300. It might be suitable for fingerboards. We installed some for a hardwood floor a few years ago, it is very pretty. It would also probably work for sides and back, but probably not so good for a soundboard.

Ken W
01-19-2012, 04:05 PM
I've used Brazilian cherry for fingerboards and bridges. The pieces I have worked with are indeed pretty hard and a bit resinous. I've never tried bending it, but I would think that it would be a challenge. Holds up nice as a fingerboard though.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-19-2012, 04:29 PM
Also known as jatoba. Used widely as flooring. I did a workshop where we used them as finger boards and it seemed suitable for that.

01-19-2012, 05:01 PM
Bruce Sexauer has built several guitars with Jatoba. He talked about it on the 13th Fret forum.

01-20-2012, 09:23 AM
I've seen it used in the guitar forums. Haven't tried it myself though.
It really depends on the wood if its suitable for bending. Was it just lumber or did you buy it from a luthier supply? The grain might make it tricky to bend.....show us a photo!

01-20-2012, 04:08 PM
I found it at an exotic woods store, not a luthier shop. I appreciate the input. I think I will save it for fingerboards and not try bending it. IT is really cool for a novice like myself to pick the brains of experienced luthiers. Thanks for your help.

01-20-2012, 08:56 PM
Mostly seen it used as flooring or architectural millwork. A house I did the cabinets and paneling in had all of the custom window frames made of Jatoba. Probably make a decent uke, but very hard.

01-21-2012, 03:59 AM
I built a rocking chair with it, beautiful wood, but I have sensitivity to it. It causes my skin to turn red and burn/itch like crazy.

I know a lot of people have this type of reaction to cocobolo or other exotics, but for me this is the only irritating wood I have found.