Cocobolo bracelet

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Project by glen posted 12-21-2011 07:34 PM 2380 views 3 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My workshop has taken a little break for a while since i’ve been finishing my basement. But, with Christmas here, my sweetheart asked me to make something for her. She likes simple pieces – letting the wood grain and shape talk for itself, rather than trying to do intricate inlays or other details (not to put down these pieces! they are beautiful as well, just not her taste, and to a certain degree, not within my present skill set). So was born this bracelet. Simple oil finish on cocobolo. A simple process that I adapted from an article on Enjoy!

4 comments so far

View MedicineMan's profile


108 posts in 2830 days

#1 posted 12-22-2011 01:53 AM

Bracelet looks great! How was it made? Can you reference the site or article? I would like to learn how to make these safely. Thanks for the post. I like the natural beauty.

View glen's profile


172 posts in 2916 days

#2 posted 12-22-2011 02:55 AM

The article is at and if you google “how to turn a wood bracelet”, you’ll find some youtube videos.

In short, I cut my blank with a band saw, mounted it to a faceplate and pared out a core like in the article. My tool was a little wide, so as I got deep, I felt there was maybe a bit of torque on the tool which didn’t feel totally safe to me. I saw a video where instead of taking out a core, the person just used a gouge and hollowed out the inside off of a blank that was wider than the finished bracelet, and then cut it off the blank. I think I might try that next time.

Other than that, was pretty much like in the article, but I finished it on the lathe. Good luck – it’s definitely a fun little project.

View BurlsOrBust's profile


11 posts in 2711 days

#3 posted 12-22-2011 06:28 PM

What kind of oil did you use and how did you apply it? Cocobolo tends to react poorly to oils because it is already such a naturally oily wood. It will probably become sticky and really black. Waxes and lacquers work better just as a tip if you have any issues.

View glen's profile


172 posts in 2916 days

#4 posted 12-22-2011 06:45 PM

I’ve had that problem with cocobolo before with oil. I also learned that a CA finish doesn’t work so well with it. I had sanded and polished it on the lathe up to 1600 and it was nice and polished, mostly from the natural oils. I used a very small amount of blo/wax mix on a rag and coated it on the lathe, let it set for a few minutes, and then buffed it… I’ve done that before on some coco rings and it worked just fine – makes the grain pop just a little more, and didn’t have any problems with residue… Thanks for the tip tho!

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