Kokko Hardwood


Kokko wood, also known by its botanical name Albizia lebbeck, is a versatile timber with a wide range of uses. The sapwood is beige-white, clearly demarcated from the heartwood which is golden-brown when newly cut, but darkens to a rich dark brown or dark walnut colour, often with lighter streaks. Its grain is strongly interlocked and the texture is coarse, with a heavy flecking and a glossy surface. Radial surfaces often display a ribbon figure. Kokko is often mistaken for a mahogany or a walnut, but it is neither. It is suitable for furniture, cabinetmaking, joinery and much more.

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Also Called:
Acacia Amarilla, Barba De Caballero, East Indian Walnut, West Indies Ebony, Lebbek, Woman'S Tongue, Siris,

Durability Notes:
Kokko is moderately durable, but can be attacked by termites and marine borers.

The drying and seasoning of Kokko 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; Kokko - it is moderately challenging to season, with marked longitudinal shrinkage and risk of end splitting and surface checking. There is medium movement in use. 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.

Kokko has medium crushing and bending strengths, medium resistance to shock loads, low stiffness and a good steam-bending rating. Its irregular or interlocked grain and woolly texture make it challenging to work. Kokko sands to a good finish. Kokko has a tolerable blunting effect on cutting edges, which should be kept sharp. Turning, drilling, morticing and moulding can be fairly challenging with normal tools. The wood nails and screws well and gluing, varnishing and polishing are satisfactory.

Typical Uses:
Furniture, Joinery, Cabinetry, Boat Building, Carvings, Turnery, Musical Instruments, Flooring

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

Commonly asked questions about Kokko Wood

Is Kokko a hardwood or a softwood? Kokko is a hardwood. It is the same for; is Kokko hardwood or softwood? - Kokko 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 Kokko 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 Kokko? Kokko can be described as black/very dark brown, brown, dark brown

Is Kokko good for outdoor use? or is Kokko good for exterior use? Kokko is most suited for internal/interior use. Kokko 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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