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Thread: Wood Identification

  1. #1
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    Wood Identification

    This one has me “stumped”. I bought this from a fellow turner and he didn’t remember what it was. I believe it is a type of rosewood. I have checked the online Wood Database, but have not figured out this species. I think Pau Rosa was close, but didn’t match IMO.

    Endgrain 10X

    2AD7ECD6-6B71-45B9-BCC5-2918B0C240A4_1_201_a.jpeg

    090D6544-1473-4E7A-9A10-6FBE29CADE5D_1_201_a.jpg
    When working I had more money than time. In retirement I have more time than money. Love the time, miss the money.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by William C Rogers View Post
    This one has me “stumped”. I bought this from a fellow turner and he didn’t remember what it was. I believe it is a type of rosewood. I have checked the online Wood Database, but have not figured out this species. I think Pau Rosa was close, but didn’t match IMO.
    You might get a number of different guesses based on your photos but remember that all of them are wrong, except for maybe one (if you are lucky!)

    Many exotics are tough to ID since they have very similar properties, the end grains sections can look almost identical, and the colors on a a face can be oh so different from piece to piece. And they change with age and oxidation. It's easy to make a guess since many boards of different species can look alike but difficult to know for sure.

    Is the end grain picture sawn and sanded? If so, you might try for a cleaner surface using the razor blade method, section 7 on this page: https://www.wood-database.com/wood-a...ication-guide/

    One clue might be the density, if you can cut a small block to measure carefully and weigh on a sensitive scale.
    Another big clue is the smell - with some experience with a variety of species the smell when cutting starts to become distinctive. Many of the rosewoods have a very distinctive smells, for example cocobolo, borneo rosewood, and some others are unmistakable once you smell them for the first time. I have a variety of exotics here and I or someone nearer to you might be able to try to ID a sample by smell

    Do you have a good UV light? I use a good 365nm UV light to help with IDs since some can be identified or eliminated with fluorescence or the lack of fluorescence: https://www.wood-database.com/wood-a...dentification/

    You also much browse the pictures on hobbithouseinc, for example, guatemalan rosewood which seems to have the yellowish color similar to your board: http://hobbithouseinc.com/personal/w...guatemalan.htm
    Columbian rosewood is another possibility. Browse through their Rosewoods, Miscellaneous for more ideas: http://hobbithouseinc.com/personal/w...od,%20misc.htm

    His discussion on rosewoods might be useful: http://hobbithouseinc.com/personal/w...tm#identifying

    You might try send a sample to the US Forest Products Lab. The suggest a fairly large sample but a smalle piece will let them look carefully at the end grain. I've sent pieces 1"x2"x1/2" thick. Just remember that they are more likely to give good IDs on domestic woods than exotics. http://hobbithouseinc.com/personal/w...tm#identifying

    You can also send a small sample to Eric Meyer who runs the Wood Database - he is one of the most experience people I know and a real nice guy too!

    Unfortunately, what most people end up doing to is simply pick a name and stick to it. There are SO many similar species there is almost no one who can can dispute the claim with authority!

    JKJ

  3. #3
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    John. thanks for the link to hobbithouseinc. I didn’t know about this site. I’ll redo the endgrain sample and look at that site. I have a microscope and will look at that. The site seems to have a good amount of information on rosewoods. Thanks again.
    When working I had more money than time. In retirement I have more time than money. Love the time, miss the money.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by William C Rogers View Post
    John. thanks for the link to hobbithouseinc. I didn’t know about this site. I’ll redo the endgrain sample and look at that site. I have a microscope and will look at that. The site seems to have a good amount of information on rosewoods. Thanks again.
    A microscope is great! Especially if it's not too high power. I have some lab microscopes but the one I use for wood (and bugs and self-surgery on splinters, etc) is a low power true stereoscopic Swift scope. I have oculars for 15 and 30 power. A friend of mine bought one with zoom - that might be even better.

    JKJ

  5. #5
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    I won't make a guess, but you will probably get several.
    I have some wood given to me I could not identify. Took a piece to our club meeting and the general opinion was Red Palm. Later, we had a demo by a member of The International Wood Collectors. I brought one of those pieces and he said Bubinga. I'm taking his word for it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Madden View Post
    I won't make a guess, but you will probably get several.
    I have some wood given to me I could not identify. Took a piece to our club meeting and the general opinion was Red Palm. Later, we had a demo by a member of The International Wood Collectors. I brought one of those pieces and he said Bubinga. I'm taking his word for it.
    Yikes, that's incredible! I can't imagine anyone confusing a wood like bubinga with palm! Palm is not even a wood as we define it, more of a grass, I think terrible to turn. Palm doesn't even have rings. I hope what you have is bubinga, a fantastic wood. I have some that is highly figured.

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