Jatoba, Locust, Hickory
Tropical Central and South America
Guapinol belongs to the impressive, evergreen trees of the neotropics with broad treetops, which mainly grow in an area extending from Mexico to northern South America. This species can be found on the West Indies as well and reaches from Cuba and Jamaica to Trinidad and Tobago there. For ideal growing conditions, the Caesalpiniaceaen family prefers the sandy, well-drained soils of the tropical lower rain-forest. However, they can be found on the fresh habitats of the tropical deciduous rain forest in heights of up to 500 m above sea level as well.
Guapinol is highly appreciated, however the quantities obtainable are so low that logs in veneer quality are an absolute peculiarity. For this reason, this rare material is primarily used for the production of sliced veneers, which are then processed into high-quality furniture. Due to its physical properties, the wood is also used for building constructions, railroad sleepers, in boatbuilding, as plywood and for turning. Outside South America, Guapinol is rather unknown as veneer.
Guapinol wood is hard, tough und heavy. It can easily be identified by its whitish to grey-brown sap its dark or reddish-brown heart which sometimes shows dark stripes. The logs are cylindrical and have a relatively smooth, grey bark which has a width of approx. 3 mm. The wood has a silky shine and is very durable.
Machining of Guapinol is rather difficult. The reasons for this are the hardness of the wood and the fact, that tools become dull quickly. In order to slightly faciliate working the wood, carbide tipped tools should be used to obtain ideal results when it comes to cut surfaces etc.. Pre-drilling of screw and nail joints is recommended.
Can be dried only with difficulty.
By using sharp tools, smooth surfaces can be achieved with an attractive appearance especially due to their shimmering glow.