Author Topic: Kosso wood!  (Read 4616 times)

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Offline ear3

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Kosso wood!
« on: November 30, 2017, 08:48 AM »
I was at a lumber yard in NJ last weekend looking to add some additional species of wood samples for a commission I'm drawing up, and I came across this wood that I had never seen or heard of before: Kosso wood.  The lumber yard manager didn't have many details about how they had come across it, only that they got it at a really good price.  They have a boatload, and are providing it in dimensional S4S, 4/4 and 8/4 at less than $5 a board foot!  I picked up 4 boards for myself just for the heck of it, and will probably go back for more soon.

There's some info about it online -- apparently it's sourced mainly from Nigeria -- but even in the wood database there's only a stub article: http://www.wood-database.com/kosso/

There's a tremendous color variation in it's raw state, from a kind of fruit loops rainbow pattern to a striated olive color, as you can see in the three samples I have here finished in Rubio Monocoat.  It's a fairly knotty wood, but the knots actually add to its character, as they concentrate this kind of blood-red sap that adds a vivid splash of color to the board.

Has anyone come across this wood before or tried to use it for anything?
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

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Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: Kosso wood!
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2017, 09:59 AM »
I've never heard of it before either.  I tend to like wild grain as a feature in projects, and these boards certainly have it.  The color variation is interesting - I think I like the red tones a little better.

I still have four Koa boards in my collection that I got from a lumber yard about 40 years ago.  At the time they were less than walnut - maybe $1-2 / board foot.  I didn't know what I was looking at, but I thought they looked nice.  In terms of sheer rate of return, they have probably been a better investment than anything else I've ever bought.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Kosso wood!
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2017, 10:25 AM »
This wiki seems to have quite a bit more about it. The additional names might help find even more info.

   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pterocarpus_erinaceus

Seth

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5300
Re: Kosso wood!
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2017, 11:01 AM »
I like it a lot. Some pretty interesting grain patterns. It could get a bit busy for some projects, however overall pretty interesting.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/free-report-kosso-wood-exportation-tosfat-concepts

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3612
Re: Kosso wood!
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2018, 10:33 AM »
Every time I returned to Boards and Beams last winter for other wood, I made sure to pick up a few more boards of Kosso as well, until the stock they had on hand was completely depleted.  The result is that I have built up a huge reserve of this stuff that is now stored in my loft waiting for the right projects.  Just last week I finally decided to break into the pile to do a stand-alone bathroom shelf for my wife, and so I thought I'd share what the wood looks like when finished on an actual project. 

It's got some truly spectacular knot and maelstrom effects, which you can play around with even more if you're doing curves, as I did with the top of the shelf.  Finish is Surfix heavy duty oil.

I have a commission to do a window seat bench starting next month for which I'm going to try to convince the client to use Kosso.

Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline HarveyWildes

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Re: Kosso wood!
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2018, 10:52 AM »
Nice almost Zebra-like grain, but with more subtle darks.  I expected a little more red color from the pics above.  Nice use of knots/inclusions.


For a spreading tree with a max height of 30', I would expect a lot of interesting grain direction.  Given the list of local uses given in Wikipedia (thanks @SRSemenza ), I'm not surprised it made the CITES list.  It always hurts a little to see charcoal high on the use list for a good woodworking wood.  It's nice to see that there are other motivations for planting it though.


Glad you were able to get a supply.  Given that the wood was available, I rather see it go to a craftsman who will take the beauty of each piece into account than to a box of engineered flooring.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 11:09 AM by HarveyWildes »

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Kosso wood!
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2018, 11:05 AM »
Reminds me of Koa.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Kosso wood!
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2018, 11:22 AM »
Nice stuff Edward...  I especially like the way you set up the grain patterns.  [smile]

Online duburban

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Re: Kosso wood!
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2018, 12:17 PM »
Don't want to be a debbie downer but I'd like to through in FSC certification and ethical aspects of working with wood when I hear "good a really good deal from Nigeria". Could be FSC, could be smuggled wood!

I haven't read any conversation on this topic here on FOG, I'll do a search and see how the community deals with this issue.

Beautiful stuff though! I like the sample on the right that has more brown.

Used to live in Hawaii and the hardwood lumber stores were just incredible and $$$$
helper: i used a festool "circular saw" to do something simple and it made it really hard

me: exactly, it makes simple cuts complicated and complicated cuts simple

Offline Steve1

  • Posts: 16
Re: Kosso wood!
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2018, 12:55 PM »
I may have used it.   Frankly, I don't totally remember the name, but it was something like that.   I recall that I had to look up the name and found little info.  Does this look like the same?  Very good to work with.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Kosso wood!
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2018, 01:14 PM »
Looks kinda like Chestnut too.

Offline ear3

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Re: Kosso wood!
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2018, 05:51 PM »

@Steve1 that very well could be some.  There's a lot of variation in the color, from an almost fruit loops rainbow to a shimmering golden brown, as well as variation in the grain patterns due to all the knots.  The sap has a reddish tinge, such that the knots can look like they're bleeding.

I may have used it.   Frankly, I don't totally remember the name, but it was something like that.   I recall that I had to look up the name and found little info.  Does this look like the same?  Very good to work with.
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • MFT/3

Offline Steve1

  • Posts: 16
Re: Kosso wood!
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2018, 09:27 AM »
When finished with polyurethane, it came out with a much deeper color, rather like your last photo.