Wood Library - Bloodwood

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Blog entry by leonmcd posted 05-02-2008 09:44 PM 8170 reads 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In my experience working with bloodwood I found the following…

  1. It is very hard (Janka 2900). Sometimes chips out with the router and is very difficult to hand sand in the nooks and cranies. I’ve recently heard that it “is HELL on scroll saw blades” too.
  2. It can be quite fragile when it gets thin. In order to make my heart cross, I had to create my own plywood by resawing my stock and gluing the two pieces back together with the grain at 90 degrees to give it the strength I needed.
    Click for details
  3. You can easily burn the end grain by machine sanding. Need to go lightly or hand sand the end grain.
  4. It takes a great finish. I’ve had excellent results with “tung oil” finish. It does darken it somewhat.
  5. There is a huge difference in the plain sawn, riff cut,and quarter sawn lumber. I much prefer the plain sawn for the small items I make. The other cuts might work for larger items.
    bloodwood Quarter Sawn
  6. Seems to glue well. I’ve used Titebond II and III and never had any problems.
  7. Also turns well. I’ve made several pens with it. Never had any problem with tearout while turning but might be a problem with end grain turning. I just haven’t tried it. Sands and finishes well on the lathe.

Click for details

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

10 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4742 days

#1 posted 05-03-2008 12:30 AM

Thanks for the info, Leon.

I have never had the opportunity to work with bloodwood. But it does appear to be a gorgeous wood.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 4808 days

#2 posted 05-03-2008 12:39 AM

I used bloodwood and curly maple on a pencil holder (woodwhisperer design) and it turned out great. The finish with the bloodwood has speckled sheen that changes with how light reflects off the finish. Leon is right about bloodwood’s tendency to chipout.


View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4633 days

#3 posted 05-03-2008 04:54 AM

hey leon a nice beefy 4 1/2 high angle plane does a good job taming that beast.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Splinters's profile


190 posts in 5103 days

#4 posted 05-03-2008 04:58 AM

Hi Leon….I have used it a bit in making cribbage boards. The only issue that came up for me was the irritation from the fine dust particules when sawing or sanding. Beautiful wood once it is finished..

-- Splinters - Living and Loving life in the Rockies - -

View leonmcd's profile


204 posts in 4891 days

#5 posted 05-03-2008 05:17 AM

Splinters, I’ve never had any problems with it but I know that different people are sensitive to different woods.

Speaking of dust and chips, you should probably let people that might come in the shop know that your are working with bloodwood. Othewise they might see you covered in red and think you nicked an artery. lol

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

View Karson's profile


35229 posts in 5320 days

#6 posted 05-03-2008 05:19 AM

used Bloodwood for pens, But haven’t used it for anything else. Thanks for the tips.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 4705 days

#7 posted 05-16-2008 02:35 PM

I have found bloodwood turns very nice on the lathe and polishes to a high shine w/o using any finish.
It is a favorite of mine to work with.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4908 days

#8 posted 05-19-2008 07:03 PM

It has a Janka hardness of 2900

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Andy's profile


1713 posts in 4828 days

#9 posted 05-30-2008 05:50 PM

I love working with this wood.It darkens with time which is good for some projects,but not the look I want in others.The contrast with Maple is stunning. Check out this box I made for my daughter.

One of my favorite features of this wood is the smell.It has a rich spicey aroma like walking into a tabacco shop.

If you havent used this wood,I encourage you to give it a try.Andy

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View a1Jim's profile


118145 posts in 4497 days

#10 posted 08-03-2009 04:51 PM

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