Cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa)
Some difficulty to source
Cocobolo features a psychedelic range of colours that include yellow, orange, and red along with shades of brown and steaks of purple and black. The colours are most vibrant when the wood is freshly cut or sanded. After a while, the colours get to be a muted brownish red.
Cocobolo is famous for causing glue-up troubles due to the high oil content in the wood. A quick scrub with some denatured alcohol or other solvent will help. You can also sand the glue surfaces using some 100-grit sandpaper and try using a non water-based glue like polyurethane glue or epoxy.
Prized for instrument making, it’s also a great wood for furniture and tool making.
For all the beautiful aspects of this wood, absolutely mask up while cutting or sanding to avoid any unpleasant reactions. There is a high incidence of allergic reactions that include eye, skin, and respiratory irritation.
Cocobolo is listed on CITES Appendix II.