Sinker Sapodilla

(Manilkara zapota):

Commonly known in Central America as “Chicle”. This is the tree that was discovered in 1910 to have a very thick sap that when extracted and boiled down made the base used for the growing chewing gum industry.

These trees are still used for this today and “Chicleros” still roam the forests to find trees ready for tapping. For this reason these trees are rarely cut for use in woodworking because the sap is very viscous making the wood difficult to dry. Sapodilla logs found in the rivers though have no sap in them as anaerobic bacteria removed it from the woods capillaries long ago leaving behind nothing but water.

This is beautiful material but rare to find and works well with sharp tools even though it is fairly hard. It doesn’t last long in the Online Store so if you see it there you had better grab it while you can.




Working with the wood close-up for several weeks left me VERY impressed with its beauty and workability.  The wood is really fine-grained with lots of very small pores that add a glittery glow under finish, making it seem translucent.  We compared it to some mahogany scraps left from a previous project.  It was purchased about five to six years ago and machined two years ago.  It had darkened a bit with exposure to air, but clearly the grain of your mahogany was much, much finer.  It made the recent mahogany look coarse in comparison.

Dave M. in Peoria, Illinois