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Thread: Is this Pecan wood? PIC

  1. #1
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    Is this Pecan wood? PIC

    The person who gave me a piece of the wood used to make the bowl shown below said it was Pecan wood. After looking at a number of Pecan bowls on YouTube I'm now not sure. The wood was the hardest encountered so far and finished beautifully. This was also the first time trying to use Turquoise to fill some cracks.

    Pecan Bowl 001.jpg

  2. #2
    Looks a lot like ash to me, though there are other possibilities.

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  3. #3
    My first thought is Ash although I have seen pecan this light colored (usually pecan has some streaks of darker color).
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  4. #4
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    Rinse and repeat

    This should be on speed dial or something: guessing the wood type from a photo of the wood usually results in at least several guesses, all of them wrong except for one if you are lucky. If it doesn't matter much to you, just pick one and call it that and almost no one will be the wiser.

    But if you clean up the end grain of a small piece and look at it with a magnifier, you can usually eliminate most or all of the wrong guesses.

    This photo is the end grain of White Ash.
    whiteash.jpg

    This photo is the end grain of Pecan
    pecan-endgrain-zoom.jpg

    Ignore the colors, they are often unreliable. It is not possible to confuse Ash and Pecan with this method unless there is some vision impairment or the sample is not well prepared. The photos are from the Wood Database. His book is a valuable thing to have in the shop. It is well worth the effort to read about the wood structure in the online Wood Database or book, especially the section on end grain. For pecan, this is some of the text: "Endgrain: Ring-porous to semi-ring-porous; large to very large earlywood pores in a single intermittent row, medium to small latewood pores solitary and radial..."

    If you learn the simple techniques to examine the end grain I promise your life as a woodturner will be enriched!

    To get started, this is my favorite magnifier (when I'm not using the stereo microscope), inexpensive and very good image quality:
    magnifier.jpg
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CMDIOBK

    For some simple instructions, look at section 7 on this page:
    https://www.wood-database.com/wood-a...ication-guide/

    JKJ






    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mathews View Post
    The person who gave me a piece of the wood used to make the bowl shown below said it was Pecan wood. After looking at a number of Pecan bowls on YouTube I'm now not sure. The wood was the hardest encountered so far and finished beautifully. This was also the first time trying to use Turquoise to fill some cracks.

    Pecan Bowl 001.jpg

  5. #5
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    Here are a few more pieces (pics) of the puzzle that might help identify the wood. One of the photos contradicts what I was told about the wood if the bark is any indication. The one below shows the same piece in making the bowl.

    Pecan Bowl 002.jpg

    Here are a couple more photos, all labeled as Ash based on what the person who gave them to me mentioned. As you can see the bark on all 3 are different with the last one being similar to one shown in the photo above marked as Pecan. I forgot all about having the book that John K. mentioned and will make another attempt at using it to identify the wood.

    Pecan Bowl 003.jpgPecan Bowl 004.jpgPecan Bowl 007.jpg

    Here's another photo showing another use of the Pecan? wood. Since it was so hard and contrasting to Walnut I thought it would make a nice drawknife handle replacement. The Walnut felt like cutting through butter compared to the Pecan.

    Pecan Bowl 009.jpg

    One last note on the bowl itself - A blank for it was cut from a crotch by slicing it in half longitudinally. I believe that was a mistake because it left the pith toward the rim of the bowl unless the bowl was made much shallower. I think it might have been better to not make that cut and leave the pith intact and in the middle of the bowl. Any opinions on that?

  6. #6
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    This is not Pecan. I turn a lot of Pecan and Hickory from logs I cut. The bowl and bark don't look like the pecan i get from Pecan farms. It looks like Ash to me.

  7. #7
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    After preparing a few crude end grain samples and viewing them through a 15x magnifier it looks like those that identified the wood as Ash are correct. My apologies for not applying some thoughtful research before asking the question, especially considering that I have a copy of Identifying Wood by R. Bruce Hoadley. I just forgot that I had it and never did finish reading the book. I'm on track with that again now. I'll also apply the same identifying process with the other pieces of wood mentioned. It looks like most of the wood in my recent haul is not identified correctly. So much for taking someone's word on that.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mathews View Post
    One last note on the bowl itself - A blank for it was cut from a crotch by slicing it in half longitudinally. I believe that was a mistake because it left the pith toward the rim of the bowl unless the bowl was made much shallower. I think it might have been better to not make that cut and leave the pith intact and in the middle of the bowl. Any opinions on that?
    In general, how you orient the bowl in the log determines how the rings will look in the finished piece. If the blank is centered and the tree growth is straight, a bowl with the pith towards the bottom and the top towards the bark will have rings generally in the shape of ovals, the shape depending in part on how deep the bowl is and the actual shape of the inside curve. This shallow dished platter was orientated that way. (another factor I considered for this piece was the figure in the wood was the strongest towards the outside of the tree)

    penta_maple_ellis_c_IMG_5435.jpg

    Here's another example of that orientation in a 17" platter I made from Sapele.

    platter_sapele_PC012791.jpg

    If the bowl is centered and oriented with the pith towards the top and the bark towards the bottom then the rings will tend to be hourglass shaped. The actual pattern depends on a lot of factors including the ring growth, spacing, evenness, the shape of the inside, and the depth of the concavity. In general, I find this figure more attractive. It does usually let you make a deeper bowl with the foot towards the bark.

    If the wood is green, the orientation makes a huge difference in the distortion when drying and often the stability of the finished piece, including whether it will crack or not. Juvenile wood in some species can be much less stable than the wood nearer the bark because of the differential shrinkage, sometimes causing cracks and otherwise seasonal movement. There are lots of ways to deal with that.

    I have good drawings in my notes but they are not where I can post them. I found these diagrams on the net. Both have inconsistencies and omissions but they are better than nothing. The second one helps visualize pieces that include both the pith and heartwood.

    bowl_orientation_in_log_A.jpg bowl_orientation_in_log_B.jpg

    You can sit with pencil and paper and probably come up with good sketches of what a piece would look like when oriented differently.

    Remember that leaving the pith in the bowl can be done but can also create a cracked disaster, depending again on the wood, how dry it is, just where the pith is, and how thin the piece is turned.

    JKJ

  9. #9
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    log in the middle of that 3 image grouping looks like elm to me. Ash can have some deeper color in the center, but has a much wider band of sapwood. Also bark looks like elm.

  10. #10
    The middle pic is Pecan.

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