Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: Help identify this wood?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountain lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    9,111

    Default Help identify this wood?

    I've got African mahogany for all the woodwork on my Palmer launch. When it came time to do the seats, I realized I didn't have enough. I was moaning about this to the counter guy at the local lumber yard (which doesn't stock African Mahogany) and he mentioned that he had a piece out back that he'd bought from the same place I'd gotten all mine (which is 90 minutes away). He no longer needed it and was willing to sell it. It was a beautiful piece and would give me all the wood I needed. Lighter in color then what I had, I thought it was just a variation. Cutting it up today, though, I'm thinking it might be something else, but no idea what. It certainly is lighter in color, but also different in grain.
    This picture compares the two. The original African mahogany is on the bottom and the new stuff above. Both have a coat of Daly's Seafin oil to bring out the grain.
    Any ideas?

    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tuckahoe
    Posts
    7,272

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Looks like Honduras mahogany. Go to the Wikipedia page on "Mahogany " the image is quite similar. There can be a lot of variation in both the South American and the African varieties.
    Last edited by SMARTINSEN; 05-07-2017 at 07:29 PM.
    Steve Martinsen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountain lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    9,111

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by SMARTINSEN View Post
    Looks like Honduras mahogany. Go to the Wikipedia page on "Mahogany " the image is quite similar. There can be a lot of variation in both the South American and the African varieties.
    Certainly looks like it. If so, I think I got a bargain for the price I paid. The African that's on the rest of the boat is Khaya.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    16,493

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    It could be Utile, or Sapele it's hard to tell from a picture, Sapele is a bit heavier. From here, my money would be on Utile (also called Sipo I used it for the windows in my house. Dimensionally stable and consistent in color etc.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Oriental, NC USA
    Posts
    3,891

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Definitely not Honduras Mahogany, not even close. Both look like different pieces of what is often sold as African Mahogany, but is not. Real African mahogany is called khaya and is much nicer than these in appearance and structure. Several somewhat different species are felled in the African forest and sold as the same thing. Both Look like gaboon or okoume to me. Another similar African wood is sapele which is also a prettier and higher grade lumber than these. Its easy to make mistakes in labeling woods but IMO these are not any kind of true mahogany.
    Last edited by Tom Lathrop; 05-07-2017 at 11:05 PM.
    Tom L

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Concord, Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,143

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    I was thinking the bottom one was Honduras, and the top African, but that was just a gut call.

    Fitz
    "Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. " - Thoreau

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    39,534

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    It could be Utile, or Sapele it's hard to tell from a picture, Sapele is a bit heavier. From here, my money would be on Utile (also called Sipo I used it for the windows in my house. Dimensionally stable and consistent in color etc.)
    This.

    The bottom foto looks like a lot of the khaya I've seen. But there's also been a bunch of variation in various khaya stock. The top foto could be any number of things. It could even be khaya. But if you place it right next to the older stock, with only a clear finish - no stain to blend things together - it will not read as the same species.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lindstrom, MN
    Posts
    1,598

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Two sites that might help:
    Disambiguation:
    http://www.wood-database.com/wood-ar...s-the-lowdown/
    You can have too many pictures:
    http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/person...ex.htm#letterM
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountain lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    9,111

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Well, whatever it is, it's got nice grain and will look great with varnish.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    10,015

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    That upper plank resembles the grain of a Mexican wood called, "Perrotta".
    Jay

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norwich,United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,684

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    I thought the upper piece looked familiar and when I was in the workshop today I dug out this piece of Papua New Guinea Rosewood.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    For comparison,this is Brazilian mahogany.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    I think it looks a lot like the original specimen.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    39,534

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Without latin names, we're throwing as much mud into the water as we're filtering out...
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norwich,United Kingdom
    Posts
    4,684

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Without latin names, we're throwing as much mud into the water as we're filtering out...
    Does this help?
    http://www.monarotimber.com.au/sp_png_rosewood.htm

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    39,534

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    Got a latin name for the 'Brazilian Mahogany'?

    Yes it helps - for the 'Papau New Guinea Rosewood' or Pterocarpus indicus

    And I agree... it 'could' be that. But it could be a lot of things. One of the Shorea's for instance.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lindstrom, MN
    Posts
    1,598

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Without latin names, we're throwing as much mud into the water as we're filtering out...
    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Got a latin name for the 'Brazilian Mahogany'?

    Yes it helps - for the 'Papau New Guinea Rosewood' or Pterocarpus indicus

    And I agree... it 'could' be that. But it could be a lot of things. One of the Shorea's for instance.
    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    Brazilian Mahogany from "Mahogany Mixups: the Lowdown" (red link above)
    It’s sold under a variety of common names, including American Mahogany, Genuine Mahogany, Big-Leaf Mahogany, and Brazilian Mahogany. Despite the abundance of common names, they usually all refer to just one species—when in doubt, verify the scientific name: Swietenia macrophylla.

    New Guinea Rosewood is also called Narra, a relative of Padauk. Rosewoods are Dalbergia. Flooring manufacturers have the loosest (no) naming conventions.
    http://www.wood-database.com/narra/
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    39,534

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Yes, as the years go by, I find myself having less and less patience for the marketing folks who throw around names that sound familiar, but have no basis in reality. Phillipine Mahogany. Brazilian Cherry. African Mahogany. Etc. Etc. Etc. And common names that vary from locale to locale add to the confusion. So latin names for me... for any serious discussion... if there's any chance of ambiguity.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    For the time being, forget the need for latin. One first needs a wood sample in their hands, or laboratory, in order to make anything but an educated guess.

    Jeff

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    39,534

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    For the time being, forget the need for latin. One first needs a wood sample in their hands, or laboratory, in order to make anything but an educated guess.

    Jeff
    And how, pray tell, does one manage that on a web forum?
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    16,493

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    And how, pray tell, does one manage that on a web forum?

    With this...

    https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/research/c...dfactsheet.php

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    39,534

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    So... you're saying: don't ask us, send a sample to the lab? I'd certainly agree with that. Short of that step - which I predict few will take - speaking about the various species using precise latin terminology is helpful.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lindstrom, MN
    Posts
    1,598

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    +1

    The whole point of asking on a forum is to make an educated guess. The lab is a last resort, even if its existence and address is a small part of the education sought.

    Latin names are certainly the best way to avoid confusion, but not everyone is comfortable with systematic nomenclature. Having said that, you will find that the Latin names can change more often than the common names. They can at least be traced back to the previous names. I would say that if you know the systematic name, then you should include it, but if all you have is the common name, it still helps. Spelling helps too; it wasn't easy to translate perrotta to Enterolobium cyclocarpum (parota, guanacaste), but if you haven't seen it in writing in a long time, it was close.

    We haven't even discussed the importance of having a good look at the end grain.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tuckahoe
    Posts
    7,272

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    "We haven't even discussed the importance of having a good look at the end grain."

    You know what you have to do, Rich.
    Steve Martinsen

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    I can certainly concur that the inclusion of a wood's Latin name is important to convey the guesser's intended wood candidate. However, doing so also implies a degree of identification that is not justified. It's sort of like guessing how many beans there are in a jar: 500 is a good guess. 523 isn't any better of a guess but it appear to be more thought out, and thus, accurate. If the jar of beans is being represented only by means of a photograph, the exercise becomes even more ludicrous.

    Jeff

  24. #24

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    in 1985 i rebuilt the clinker 25 foot thames richmond ferry for the museum of london and it looks like that timber , brazilian mahogany, but im not sure
    Boat Designer

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Port Stephens
    Posts
    15,158

    Default Re: Help identify this wood?

    I'd be pretty sure John Meachen is right - it looks a lot like PNG rosewood to me and I've used it a lot. Does it have a distinctive, sweet smell when you cut it?

    Rick

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •