parota

Until this year I’d never heard of Parota, and now I’m working on my fourth piece made from this crazy Mexican wood. I say crazy because it looks like a hardwood, cuts like softwood, but the way it’s put together is more like a palm tree.

The fibers swirl around and change direction constantly. I took some close-ups when I was sanding a large slab the other day, so I could try to give some idea of the complexity of the grain.

Click the pics for a closer look.

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These lateral cracks opened up in a few places. They open and close with humidity changes.

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More typical cracks and checks that run with the fibers are filled with epoxy, but even then they continue moving, sometimes squeezing the solid epoxy up and out. It’s alive, I tell you!

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Before any finish is applied, the wood covers every kind of tone from almost pink to dead black. Oil brings out the orange and brown tones so you can see why it’s called Mexican Walnut. Here’s how it looked as the finish went on. I always love this moment.

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