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Cordia spp.

my samples: --- many of the pics here have too much red/orange in the color --- the several batches of small pieces from mixed lots, towards the bottom of the "my samples" section, have very accurate color, as does this slab:

both sides of a small slab with extremely accurate color

end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above

both sides of a sample plank of South American bocote / Cordia spp. (incorrectly stated as "sp.") --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.

end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above

END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

both sides of a small plank --- HUGE enlargements are present

end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above

END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

face grain closeup of the piece directly above showing some nice ray flakes (this piece is almost quartersawn)

one side of a plank and a closeup --- this is one of the nicest bocote planks I've ever had, not because of a wild grain, which bocote can have, but because of the heavy ray flakes. More pics directly below.

the other side of the same plank and a closeup

a closeup of a section showing ray flakes

one side of a plank and a closeup. This is the ugliest bocote plank I've every had

plank and end grain --- this piece has been exposed to the air for years, but even so the color has a little too much red in it.

end grain closeup of the piece directly above

END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

a stick (also exposed to the air for years)

both sides and end grain of a small plank. Note that one side has been freshly exposed and the other shows the darkening that is typical of bocote that is left exposed for months or years. On the end grain shot, all sides have been freshly sanded.

a dowel I made to create plugs from. This is only rough sanded and very fresh; the yellow would look richer if it had been fine sanded. The color is resonably accurate but as you can see by comparing the two pictures, just a tiny difference in the lighting or the distance of the camera from the piece can make a noticable difference.

the end grain from two pieces done side by side to emphasize that the scale is the same. Note how the growth rings are much closer together on the piece to the right. I don't know if it is significant, but I bought the piece on the right almost 20 years ago but the piece on the left I bought a few months ago.

a 20-year-old bocote turning "stick", with one side untouched and the other side freshly sanded. Each view shows a little of a 2nd side at the top. The colors are quite accurate, especially the aged side. It's the yellow on the bocote that is very hard to get exactly right with my digital camera.

stick showing one side sanded, one side aged

a small section of a new and freshly sanded (120-grit) bocote turning "stick" showing all four sides and both ends. The color is pretty accurate, but as with most of the bocote shots, it isn't perfect.

misc small solid pieces

a couple of thins that show very nicely the very dark color that is sometimes available in bocote when the light-colored sections are very thin.

7 shots from a couple of 2"x2"x24" turning sticks. The sections were chosen to show a broad representation of pattern. These have been exposed to the air for some time and the color will lighten considerably after they are turned. The color here is pretty accurate, with just a shade too much gold in the brown.

these are all from a batch of several dozen 1/16" thick "thins" which were recently resawn. I arbitrarily picked out several pairs that show the variety of grain pattern. I've done some color correction and the colors are accurate. The last pair is the side that was on the outside and thus is not freshly sawn and so shows considerable darkening due to exposure to air and light. I was a little surprized at the red tinge. My previous experience was that the aging turns bocote a darker brown without any red.

more thins

two shots of some small slabs I cut from a large turning stick

small pieces from a mixed lot --- color is very accurate

small pieces from a mixed lot --- color is very accurate

small pieces from a mixed lot --- color is very accurate

small pieces from a mixed lot --- color is very accurate

two good-sized planks --- closeup directly below

closeup of the two pieces directly above

another plank --- this one is quite dark, as bocote sometimes is --- color shown is very accurate

another plank with accurate color

two more planks with accurate color

a pair of planks with very low figure (for bocoto)

another 3 planks

a couple of small planks with age patina

smaller planks cut from those directly above. The upper plank has been surfaced and no longer shows the patina. I had some trouble with the color correction on this pic and there is slightly too much red.

end grain and end grain closeup of the surfaced plank directly above

plank and closeup. This piece still has a patina on the surface.

a couple of sets of sticks cut from the large plank directly above. In each set, I have alternated face grains that have and have not been freshly sanded vs left alone with the patina. The grain for these shows up much better in the enlargements.

plank --- grain shows up better in the enlargements. This piece still has a patina on the surface.

small planks

plank with heavy age patina

planks photographed at a woodworking store

both sides and end grain of some plank pics that were sent to me for a wood ID

veneer --- note that the color of the veneer is what the lumber will turn to if left exposed for a long time, but what is shown here has too much red/orange and not enough green

quartersawn veneer with ray flakes that really show up well in the enlargement

quartersawn with sapwood


flat cut piece and closeup

web pics:

listed as bocote / Cordia gerascanthus --- this piece unquestionably has the "bocote" look, NOT that of louro preto but Cordia gerascanthus is louro preto and every piece of that species that I have ever seen in person is clearly louro preto and not bocote, so I assume that this IS bocote but is NOT Cordia gerascanthus

planks with varying degrees of color accuracy

planks listed as Mexican bocote / Cordia eleagnoides


each of the above is a set of planks and a closeup of one section of the same set. These are all from the same vendor and all were listed as Mexican bocote / Cordia elaeagnoides. Both levels of enlargement are present for all pics

book matched plank pair listed as Mexican bocote / Cordia elaeagnoides

planks listed as "figured" Mexican bocote / Cordia elaeagnoides --- I consider the "figured" designation to be a vendors pipe-dream. It IS nice looking stuff, with some of it having the kind of swirly grain that you sometimes see in bocote, but I don't think that makes it "figured". Enlargements are present

planks with unlikely bright green/yellow that is likely much more subdued in the actual wood

plank with a color that is just silly

plank listed as "fancy", which is just a vendor's way of saying "it has interesting figure so I'm going to charge extra for it"

both sides of a plank and a closeup

thick planks showing end grain

plank and closeup

plank and closeup

planks listed as bocote / Cordia alliodora

turning sticks listed as Mexican bocote

turning stock listed as Mexican bocote / Cordia elaeagnoides


bowl blank (waxed)

pen blanks

turning stock


planks listed as "bird's eye" bocote --- unlike bird's eye figure in most woods, where the figure is the product of a process different from the normal grain, the figure in bocote really just refers to pieces that happen to have a lot of little tight swirls in the normal grain. As nearly as I can determine, there is no special process that produces these and the designation is somewhat arbitrary.

quartersawn veneer

boodmatched veneer listed as bocote / Cordia elaeagnoides --- color seems unlikely (too much of a pale salmon color and not enough green)

crotch and closeup (the color is not the least bit believable)

bottle stoppers

guitar set shown here mainly to show how SERIOUSLY pics are sometimes over-saturated by dishonest (or incredibly careless) vendors in an attempt to make the wood look, to them at least, more attractive. Even with a coat of natural stain, which really brings out the grain and enhances the color, bocote just isn't going to look this rich.

guitar sets listed as Mexican bocote / Cordia elaeagnoides

pepper grinder

bowl blanks

bowl blanks listed as Mexican bocoto / Cordia elaeagnoides

small box, and a very handsome professional woodworker's bowl


bowl with very accurate color

bowl with grain that is totally believable and color that is just silly

bowl with color that I find unlikely (too orange) although it might be because of the finish used.

two bowls by Steve Earis; the first is 5" across, the second is 5.5" across

bowls by Bryan Nelson (NelsonWood). Bryan fine-polishes his bowls with 1200 or even higher grit sandpaper while they are spinning at high speed on the lathe and then finishes them there with a friction polish of his own devising, thus achieving a shine and color vibrancy that is beautiful to behold. These are all what Bryan calls "ring bowls" and are just under 5" across.

some bocote sections of a turned bowl. I've done color correction as best I can and it just isn't QUITE right although it's very close. The actual color has a touch less gold in the yellow parts of the bocote. There is no finish on this piece but it was sanded down with 120, then 220, then 320-grit, showing what a nice gloss bocote will take just from sanding.

the same pics, but taken after the bowl received a couple of coats of polyurethane and then sat on a shelf for several years. The aging of both the bocote and the surrounding cocobolo shows both that polyurethane doesn't have a UV blocker and that both woods age with exposure to light (polyurethane of course DOES block air). On these shots, I've put in both levels of enlargement because the poly really brought out the ray flakes in the bocote and but they can be much better seen in the enlargements. The section on the left has no flakes but the other three do.

quartersawn bocote section on a laminated bowl. The pic on the left is fresh off the lathe and the one on the right is after the application of one coat of natural stain. NOTE: this is an excellent example of bocote looking almost exactly like louro preto.