View Full Version : Jetulong?

Charlie Kocourek
06-19-2009, 9:00 PM
I came across a piece of jetulong recently that was about 12 wide, maybe 2 thick, and about 6 long, very nice, straight, and clear. The guy has had it in his garage for years. The trouble is he wanted $250 for it. It came out to about $17/ft.
I am always interested in more lumber and I know this is supposed to be a great carving wood, but $$$$!!!!
Does anyone have experience working with this species?
Thanks, Charlie

mike holden
06-19-2009, 10:05 PM
used a lot of jelutong back in my pattern maker days. Yes, it is a good wood for carving. Yes, the asking price is quite high - for SE Michigan. It is a specialty wood, and hard to find a dealer who carries it anymore as the patternmaking trade has died out. (my union folded and merged with another trade union).
See if you can find it locally, get the local price and then start by offering half that.
After all, you dont know how well it has been stored, and there may be internal stresses induced that will twist the wood as you carve it.
Nice wood to work with, but I would not pay a premium for it, as basswood is readily available and not much different in carving quality. Jelutong was very stable and therefore used in patternmaking.

Mike Henderson
06-19-2009, 10:05 PM
I never heard of jetulong. Can you give more information on it, maybe a pointer to a web site that describes it? A picture would help, also.

I can't imagine why you'd pay that much for carving wood. In general, when carving you don't want the wood to stand out - you want the carving to show up. That's why basswood and mahogany are so popular. They have very little figure, are generally straight grained, hold detail, and are not too hard. I pay about $2- $2.50/bf for basswood around here. He wants almost $21/bf for that Jetulong.


Thomas Knapp
06-20-2009, 9:06 AM
I agree with Mike Holden on this. Back in the 70's some of the blanks they gave us for carving class were Jelutong. It is a little harder than Basswood and has about the same grain structure. If I remember correctly. There is not much character or color differences in the grain, on the small pieces I have seen. It may be a small step up from Basswood, but certainly not worth an exotic price. IMHO

Brian Kent
06-20-2009, 9:35 AM
Mike, if you have the time and inclination, check out Reel Lumber.

I was at the Riverside location yesterday and saw a huge load of Jetulong. I had never seen the stff before. I did not ask the price. They probably have a bunch over at the "Mother Ship" Reel Lumber in Orange County.

If I recall, the sign said it was is Malaysian.


Mike Henderson
06-20-2009, 11:04 AM
Thanks, Brian. I will.

Brian Kent
06-20-2009, 1:25 PM
I called over to Reel Lumber Riverside.

First off, they only have a little Jelutong and I may have seen their big stock of basswood overflowing to the Jelutong area.

Nevertheless, here are their prices:

12/4 Jelutong = $3.70 bf

For comparison, their 12/4 basswood is $4.15 bf.

So your original question about a 12" x 2" x 6' piece, Reel Lumber would charge around $45 for that piece.


george wilson
06-23-2009, 11:01 PM
They used to use that wood for making wind tunnel models of aircraft. It is apparently very stable,though the stuff I saw was not attractive.

Brian Kent
06-24-2009, 12:26 AM
I looked at it again at Reel Lumber in Riverside, CA today. Very interesting stuff. It was all 8/4 in 12" widths. Tom showed me the holes where latex has been extracted. Some of it is free of holes. Other pieces have clusters of holes, some with reeds still imbedded in the wood.

Very straight grained and light, even color.

Charlie Kocourek
06-28-2009, 1:26 AM
Thanks for all the information. I am glad I asked before I decided to buy!