Courbaril Hardwood


Courbaril, also known by its botanical name Hymanaea courbaril (Leguminosae), is an attractive and versatile wood species. It is well-known for its distinct sapwood and heartwood, which can be differentiated from one another by their colour. The sapwood is typically white, grey, or pinkie in colour, while the heartwood can range from salmon-pink to orange-brown when freshly cut and darkens to a russet to reddish-brown on exposure, often marked with dark streaks. The grain of Courbaril is predominantly interlocked and has a medium to coarse texture, making it suitable for a variety of uses, such as cabinetmaking, furniture, and turnery. If currently available from sustainable and legal sources, you can use our system to be connected with suppliers of Courbaril.

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Material Type:

Also Called:
Locust, Jutaby, West Indian Locust, Jatoba, Algarrobo, Alga, Copal, Jatai Vermelho,

Durability Notes:
Courbaril wood is moderately durable

The drying and seasoning of Courbaril is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Courbaril - dries at a moderate to fast speed, resulting in a possibility of case hardening, surface checking and warping. Slower drying can reduce these defects. There is little movement in service. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Courbaril has good steam-bending properties and is very hard, tough and strong. Due to its hardness, working Courbaril is fairly challenging. Courbaril has a tolerable blunting effect on tools . Courbaril does not nail well and pre-drilling is required for screwing. Gluing properties are fair; it stains well and can be brought to a satisfactory finish.

Typical Uses:
boatbuilding, furniture making, flooring, decks, joinery, cabinetry, veneers, turned objects.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Courbaril Wood

Is Courbaril a hardwood or a softwood? Courbaril is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Courbaril hardwood or softwood? - Courbaril is a hardwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Courbaril family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is Courbaril? Courbaril can be described as brown, dark brown, dark red, red

Is Courbaril good for outdoor use? or is Courbaril good for exterior use? Courbaril is most suited for internal/interior use. Courbaril should not be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

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