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Name this wood

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by iamlowsound, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. Today me and my dad got to talking about woods and the different woods that he has stored around the house (he is a woodturner and a very good one at that). He was showing me some crotch walnut, that I am now planning on using on my next bass as it is big enough to turn into a top without bookmatching it. Then we came to a piece of wood that he picked up at a garage sale for $3 that neither of us could identify. The wood is 36.75"x7"x4.5, .707 of a cubic foot and 38 lbs. One heavy chunk of wood.
    Pictures and yes it is on a pool table and I am standing on the pool table.

    The darker wood is the heart wood. My dad was thinking that it is tiger grain mahogany, but neither of us have ever seen mahogany this heavy. The way that it transitions so fast from dark to light reminded me of African black wood, but it isn't dark enough. My dad is intending on turning a bowl or two out of it and I was thinking of making the body of a neck through with what is left. BTW, the room with the pool table is getting turned into a work shop, no one plays pool anymore.

  2. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Terrycloth? :D :bag:
  3. JSPguitars


    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    I'll agree with your father on this one......and venture to say it's some form of mahogany (not that I know what I'm talking about by any means).
  4. Wademeister63


    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    Looks like sapele, how hard is the heartwood?

    Also looks like not all that much heartwood and a lot of checking, you may need a budget of more then $3.00 for a nice piece of wood :D
  5. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    Builder: ThorBass
    That is plywood.

    Oh, the other piece!

    Yeah I'd have to agree with Wademeister, looks like you might wait until it finishes falling in half before you start cutting. But you can't really tell without seeing it on person. Did you wet it before taking the pics? Just asking because it doesn't look that dark on the end grain.
  6. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    The color and the diagonal curl looks sort of bubinga-ish. Your weight of 52 pcf is right in the bubinga range, too. Sapele is normally significantly lighter than that in weight (but anything's possible).

    The long ribbon stripe does look like ribbon-stripe mahogany, but mahogany shows that figure (due to interlocking grain) on a quartersawn radial face, not on flatsawn tangential face that I think you're showing.

    Maybe it's the leftovers from sawing off the sapwood from a bubinga log.
  7. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I can't get the pics up, just being so badly annoyed I had to type it off...:bawl:
  8. The piece of wood is completely dry. It is wet in the pictures and both ends are painted to prevent checking, thus the reason that it doesn't look dark on the end grain. I was thinking that it might be bubinga as well, but doesn't bubinga have a dark outer wood and a light sap wood?

  9. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    Sapwood is the outer wood, under the cambium and the bark. Heartwood is the core. In most species, the sapwood is lighter and the heartwood darker (incl. bubinga).
  10. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    It is difficult to really tell from the photos, but, from what I can see and the fact that you say it is very heavy.....It could be Granadillo or possibly Guapiniole(sp?). Both of these are Mexican/Central American woods. Try cutting about 1/8in off off the end....Granadillo will pruduce some very fine and nasty dust. It will also take a very high polish.....Guapiniole(sp?) is a very oily wood and will quickly clog sandpaper. If it is a Mahogany or Sapele you will also know it by their unique mahogany smell.
  11. It's impossible to tell from the photos definitively, but the color and interlocked grain look like some old Narra in my shop.

    FWIW, interlocked grain ONLY shows on radial surface.
  12. That looks a lot like some pieces of Jatoba I used to have. The interlocked grain and the color of the heart and sapwood were exactly like that.
  13. Hmm, so no definitive on what wood it is, but I was looking at it and I have figured out a way to cut it that leaves the crack out and makes the body pieces for a neck through. Looks like project number three for me (still working on number one).

  14. If it's important to know the species the USFS lab in Madison will do an analysis of a sample you submit and provide you exactly the species name. Cost is $50.00 per sample. I do it from time to time when it's imperative to ID a wood I'm not familiar with. Google USFS laboratory, Madison WI and search for the service. It's the only definitive way. Photos generally can never do it. Good luck on the project.
  15. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Inactive

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    I would say that it is Granadillo (99% sure with room for errors in the pics). This appears to be a donnage piece. I got some of my best Granadillo from unloading the exotic trucks whenever they came in.

    In South America that stuff is like pine or poplar here. That will finish beautifully!

  16. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
    I have seen here a lot of things done with woods that looks pretty pretty much like it for kitchens or so. Actually my girlfriend have a little thing to put all her keys on it.

    And well here some stuff is pretty common but even though sometimes are hard to find. I've heard about spalted cedar in the Amazonas I want to get that are thrown to the kilns or rivers or left on the forest!!! Spalted woods are thrown away in the Amazonas and never reach Lima!!! :bawl:
  17. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
    Here are the pics the the thing I was talking about. The wood that this think is made from looks pretty much like the blank in the pics.


    Sorry for the pics but they were taken with my cel phone.
  18. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    IMO, it's probably not sapele or bubinga. I'd guess maybe not jatoba -- close but not quite.

    My favorite suggestions are narra and granadillo but I would add santos mahogany as a possibility.

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