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How Heavy Is Brazillian Cherry? (jatoba)

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It is a fairly heavy wood and tough. I don't know about the comparison between alder, but 2x wouldn't surprise me. I ended up grabbing some a long while back for neck laminates and I like it a lot. It seems nice and strong and it looks nice. I probably would avoid using any large pieces of the stuff, but thats up to you. I would just keep to laminates probably. A piece of 8/4 the size of a body blank would probably be really heavy. Best of luck. J

Edited by jmrentis
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I bought a 72" X 7.5" X 2" a few months ago. It was cheap, compared to African Mahogany. It's a 8/4. I like heavy guitars, so I tought Jatoba would be a good choice. And it's a beautiful wood. The grain pattern is very tight. It smells very good.

First of all, don't even think about comparing this wood to alder. Workability and weight comparable to walnut, wenge, bubinga, padouk. It's in the heavy hardwood class. After glueing 2 boards together, I now have a 20 X 15 X 2. Weight? 22 pounds, or 9.9kg. A 2" Les Paul body would be somewhere between 10-12 pounds, maybe more. It's just too much. That means well over 15 pounds for a guitar with a mahogany neck. Better to use it as a laminate, or maybe a thin body with a maple or lighter mahogany top. I will plan it to 1.5" and hollow the body with big tone chambers, and add a mahogany top, to balance the tone. That should reduce the weight to 7-8 pounds. One positive aspect; it will never warp, or bend. Even for a 1/4" board. It is so dense that even humidity has a hard time getting into it. It is use as floorwood, because it is extremely solid, durable and stay dry in almost every environement.

I can assume, from the sound it makes when knocked on, that this wood is very bright. Something between maple and walnut.

Jatoba is very dense and HARD AS WELL to work with. For those who have worked with Wenge, Jatoba is even harder. You need patience and time. It took me a good 30-45 minutes to cut my 2 pieces with an industrial mitre saw. Forget about your typical 9" band saw. I did approx 4-5 inches before breaking the blade. I used an industrial 7HP Grizzly. You also need carbide router bits if you want to route this wood. And no more than 1/8" each pass. You need sharp and very powerful tools. And the dust is very fine, a mask and dust collection system is necessary, in my opinion. It's almost impossible to avoid router and saw burns with this wood. Don't get me wrong, it can be worked properly at home, but it takes time and a few blades.

Edited by MescaBug
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You are brave to use that much Jatoba. It is hard!

That said I didn't find it hard to resaw into 4 x 1/4 inch laminates, and my 12" miter saw cut's 8" 4/4 well enough with a good blade. Slow, but very clean and I don't recall burn marks. I find it to be a bit harder to work with than even Bubinga, which is pretty darn hard, but at least it smells lovely!

Still, WAY WAY WAY to heavy for me to consider it for a solid body! Hope you have a good router and a way to sharpen those bits.


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