Anyone tried working with Monkeypod yet?

A good friend of mine asked if I could make a gift for his mom, who lives in Hawaii. He wants to do an engraved sea turtle (think more basic clip art style than anything photo realistic) with some varied depth flowers in the corners. We both spent some time looking for nice pieces of Koa and while doing that he found and bought a piece of Monkeypod with a living edge on it. Nice piece and should look really nice once completed and oiled up. That is if I don’t screw it up. He got a couple of pieces of Koa for some other stuff we’re going to do but I’ve only got this one single piece of Monkeypod.

I can do some light testing on the back since it’ll hang on a wall but I’m going to just try some much smaller versions of the turtle to see how different settings will come out.

Has anyone else given a try with Monkeypod and maybe have any tips? I don’t mind messing up a piece that I’m giving to someone but I don’t want to mess up this piece since a present for my friends mom. If only I had one other smallish piece to try with first!

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This is one of those posts that makes me wonder if I’ve had a stroke.


You might be the trailblazer on this one…don’t remember anyone mentioning Monkeypod so far. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks Jules. This one will be interesting since the piece of wood is 1 3/8", so will also be my first foray into forging without the tray. My friend doesn’t mind my using the back to test with, I just don’t want to burn a test pattern on it! I’ll just use a few well placed “baby turtles” as my engrave tests :slight_smile:


Not familiar with Monkeypod, but have some JoJo, Seagrape, Mahogany, and Mango that I’m looking forward to working with. On with the adventure!


I’ve used Mahogany quite a bit and right now it’s probably my favorite. I just love how it looks when it’s oiled. When I was looking for my Koa, I saw some really beautiful pieces of Mango too but those will have to wait until later to pick some up. I’ve not heard of JoJo or Seagrape before.

Seagrape grows in salty ground, all around the beach’s here. Also the fruit is edible and makes a nice wine. JoJo is a hardwood, harder to qualify, its fruit is like a large (plum size) crabapple) but it’s not. Tried to find its real type from our Dept of Nat. Resources. Its a local name that seems to cover many related trees. But it is a hardwood.

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Who do you use as your supplier?

We bought our pieces from hawaiitropicalhardwoods on Ebay.


So do you have any advise on monkeypod? I just need to do some etching into a piece.

We have some monkeypod. It is really cool, but the dark parts are difficult to cut. the lighter parts are better. Proofgrade walnut settings was what I used here.


Yes, my first project was on monkeypod last fall making medals for a crossfit gym. I lived in Hawaii and had woodworkers who could get monkeypod easily. First, it’s a really hard wood that is tricky to deal with. I got the material planned down to 3mm. I had to struggle on a test piece to get the right mix of power and speed settings for both cutting and engraving. Too slow and too hot and an ember will start to burn your project away. The GF fan just kept the ember alive! As such, I couldn’t do small detailed cutting. Also, it’s a very dirty wood and created a lot of soot.

I never did get a chance to try koa wood, but definitely wanted to.

Let me know if you want me to pass along my cutting settings. Good luck!

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Yes, monkeypod etches well and finishes nicely. Here’s another piece I did. Sanded with 500 grit and then used some Danish oil to bring out the wood grain.


The wood grain is really beautiful. The engraving also looks dark and crisp too. :grinning: