Coigue (Nothofagus dombeyi), a member of the southern beech family, is sometimes marketed
as Chilean beech. The wood appears
similar to our native and European
beech, except for the absence of the
ray fleck. It has a bit more pink or reddish coloration than North American
beech. A nearly identical species is
called rauli (Nothofagus procera).
Note that the genus name Nothofagus
means “false beech.”
These two species, coigue and rauli,
grow mainly in Chile and Argentina.
The trees are often 130 feet tall and
three feet or larger in diameter. Al-
though they are a hardwood tree (that
is, they have leaves and not needles),
this tree is an evergreen. The first
branch is often more than 50 feet
above the ground, meaning that the
harvested tree produces large volumes
of clear lumber. Due to its abundance
and favorable growth and appearance,
we expect to see more of this lumber
imported into North America. The
lumber from these two species appears
similar to cherry and therefore is being
sold as a cherry substitute, at consid-
erably lower prices than cherry. The
wood is easy to work and quite stable
when the moisture changes. This wood
will find widespread uses in furniture
; Want more? For more on this and other species, search the Wood Explorer collection at woodworkingnetwork.com/wood-explorer
Appears similar to beech.
by Gene Wengert
email@example.com WOOD EXPLORER
Density. It weighs about 31 pounds
per cubic foot, which means that a ¾
inch thick board foot will weigh about 2
Drying. Drying is very difficult...slow
with a lot of warping and collapse. The
collapse must be removed or recovered
by using a steaming treatment at the end
Gluing and Machining. This wood
glues very well with no extra care re-
The world’s source
for in-line moisture
quired. This wood also machines well, as
might be expected, given its density.
Stability. Coigue is fairly stable, requir-
ing a 4-1/2 percent MC change in the
tangential direction (parallel to the rings)
for a 1 percent size change.
Strength. The ultimate bending strength
(MOE) is 14,900 psi. The elasticity is
2. 26 million psi. The hardness is 1160
pounds. Coigue is a bit stronger, stiffer,
and harder than cherry.
Color and Grain. The grain of this
species is considered to be fine. The
color is pinkish brown. Some work with
the finishing system would be needed to
obtain the perfect cherry appearance.
The wood has a high luster.
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