Glueing Jatoba

Dense, cross-grained and tight-pored, Jatoba wood must be well machined in order to achieve a strong glue joint. January 26, 2008

I am doing a substantial stair project with 5/4 jatoba treads. Any cautions? We run our tread glue-ups with a shaper-machined glue joint. Someone mentioned to me that there have been problems with jatoba glue-ups of flat sawn stock - q-sawn was said to be helpful.

Forum Responses
(Adhesives Forum)
From Professor Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum technical advisor:
This wood does glue fairly well, but its main problem is that it is very high density, 15% to 20% heavier than oak. It also has interlocked grain (grain angle changes from year to year). As a result, it is hard to machine a true surface and with a poor surface, gluing will not be easy. Further, with such high density, it is easy to burn (or burnish) the wood, again making gluing nearly impossible. The wood is not porous, so you need to use a good adhesive (such as PUR) and the gluing surface must be fresh, without burnishing, and true (flat and smooth). In short, proper machining will give good gluing.