Just finished a tempest sub

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Cocobolo (<i>dalbergia retusa</i>) is related to Brazilian rosewood (<i>dalbergia nigra</i>), and looks very much like it--dark reds, browns, and blacks swirled together. It smells wonderful when you cut it, something like cinnamon rolls.
The sub does not appear to be finished in cocobolo.


EDIT: Ah, it's the legs that are cocobolo. I was just looking at the thumbnails, and couldn't make those out. That's the lightest cocobolo I've ever seen.
Grey is right. the sub is finished in birch ply. Only the legs are cocobolo. (it's buried in there somewhere).

cocobolo is a gorgeous wood, i believe it's the second most dense wood, behind ironwood. it's imported mostly from south america, and is quite pricey, even veneer. i thought about covering the entire sub in cocobolo veneer, but that would double (?triple) my cost. when i started this project i wasn't even sure the edges would be true.

we'll leave the exotic woods for a small footprint sub later down the road.
There are several woods that are denser, but that's not to say that cocobolo (you'll also see it spelled cocobola, incidentally) isn't a pretty fair hunk o' heavy when you drop it on your toe.
You've got to practice up on your Latin, my friend...that's Tropicana Babaloooous <i>Very Mucho</i> Expensivious.

Some selected heavy woods:
Snakewood (<i>Piratinera guianensis</i>) s.g.= 1.3
Lignum Vitae (<i>Guaiacum officinale</i>) s.g.= 1.23
African Blackwood (<i>Dalbergia melanoxylon</i>) s.g.= 1.2
Brazilwood (<i>Caesalpinia echinata</i>) s.g.= 1.2
Kingwood (<i>Dalbergia cearensis</i>) s.g.= 1.2
Cocobolo (<i>Dalbergia retusa</i>) s.g.= 1.1
Macassar Ebony (<i>Diospyros celebica</i>) s.g.= 1.09
Ipe (<i>Tabebuia serratifolia</i>) s.g.= 1.08
Tulipwood (<i>Dalbergia frutescens</i>) s.g.= .96
--There are most likely more woods in this category, but I found these fairly readily by thumbing through World Woods in Color, William A. Lincoln
--Some of these woods are known by multiple common names
--Some of these woods have more than one Latin name (bummer--makes life really difficult)
--Most of these woods are medium to dark in color, hard (not the same thing as heavy), and beautiful (except Lignum Vitae, pretty drab stuff). They're also comparatively rare and expensive. With the noted exception of Lignum Vitae, any of these woods would be a beautiful veneer for speaker cabinetry, although there are many cheaper, easier-to-work woods that are also beautiful.
--Lignum Vitae is most likely the wood that web site is referring to as Ironwood, but as every continent in the world has at least two or three trees known locally as ironwood (got some in my yard as a matter of fact, but it isn't Lignum Vitae), without the Latin, we can't cross check
--The reason I included Tulipwood is that that is what I suspect the wood used for the legs actually is. Note that it (like Cocobolo) is in the Rosewood family and grows in the same general areas, but it's much lighter in color and doesn't have the dark streaks that Colobolo has. It's a beautiful wood in its own right. I've got a plank waiting for the right day, myself.
Note that it's common practice to sell one wood as another. Much "Mahogany," for instance...isn't.


I suspected you'd find a list for me. I can't confirm that this is tulipwood, having a rather limited knowledge of any wood costing more than $5 per board foot. But I'm fairly certain it's cocobolo.
It may just be the photos. In anycase, tulipwood is quite beautiful and even more expensive than cocobolo, at least on this coast, so if it's tulipwood, well, I'll take that as well.

See if you can track down a copy of the book I mentioned above. It has pictures the size of your palm (instead of the dinky thumbnail-sized pictures found in many other books) of each of the woods listed. Try a library, perhaps (the book is moderately expensive). Very nice, indeed. I take no responsibiliy if you break the bank trying to buy some of the woods.
Authoritative identification of woods requires a microscope in order to examine some of the finer structures in the grain (there's a book by Hoad(?) that goes into this in detail). The rest of us are left eyeballing the color(s), grain, figuring (if any), etc. A perilous business at times.
I agree that tulipwood is gorgeous. That's why I haven't used the plank I've got. It hasn't told me what it wants to be yet. I also have another plank of cocobolo that's been waiting...waiting...


I may very well buy this book. I don't mind spending money on good texts. The net only goes so far yet. I'll try to check out a copy if I can. I don't really have any good wood identification/picture books. most of my wood related books are more woodworking in nature.

Again, it may be that the cocobolo off color because of the flash units. I used two flash units (a photogenic 1250 and a sunpack 120)-the wood doesn't look quite this light in natural daylight. Or maybe I need another photogenic and a new softbox....honey?
Or it could be a digital camera color fidelity issue as well. My technique, oh really?:rolleyes:

or, it could of course be tulipwood.
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