Reclaimed Glory #1: Salvaged Mystery Wood

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Blog entry by palaswood posted 08-15-2013 05:48 PM 1379 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Reclaimed Glory series Part 2: Reclaimed Construction Lumber Bench »

Hi Wood lovers – I came upon some “trash” wood with some casters attached (not sure what it once was) discarded in a dumpster behind a renovator’s shop destined for the landfill, but fate would have other plans for it. The wood seemed in great shape with some good character beneath, so I rescued it, bundled it up, and rode it home on my bicycle (yes, thats right).

When I got it home and sanded it down, I was AMAZED at the figure of these boards. Problem is I couldn’t figure out what species it is (see what I did there), and it soon drove me mad (not stark raving, but close).

I hand sanded down a portion of the most striking board to 400 grit and rubbed it lightly with Watco rejuvinating oil to show the gorgeous grain pattern. Wow!

(**Pic above has been changed after I remembered I used an instagram filter on the previous one, which really doesnt help the identification process, sorry guys. This is the original image)

I became so caught up in identifying this wood, as some of you may have seen my forum topic on this, that I neglected the wood itself, leaving it in its gnarly found condition for weeks.

Everyone was really helpful on the forums: suggestions ranged from Black Locust/Honey Locust to Osage Orange or a tropical variety, Lauan (Meranti/Phillipine Mahogany). I’m not certain what it is and due to my discovery of this band of deep orange in another of the boards from the same lot, im now more confused. Recent comments suggest meranti/lauan, and rule out osage orange.

I cleaned up another couple of boards to see that we may be dealing with 2 species of wood here anyway.

I have it in my mind to turn this into a tabletop. I’m really excited to get a replacement hook & loop pad for the Makita 5” orbital sander (it fell apart on me one early summer afternoon, it was quite old), and the Black & Decker sandstorm locked up (don’t buy this POS), so I did it all by hand.

Hand sanding, if you’re not used to it, is a great workout. Make sure your doors and windows are open, for dust sure, but more because you WILL be sweating. But I did notice a distinct lack of gouges in the wood from using the power tools to sand, and I was pleased with the results. Very pleased.

Check out the wavy grain pattern – I was so stoked to uncover this:

Stay tuned for further progress, and PLEASE, if you have a definitive answer as to what species I may be dealing with, let me know.

-Joseph, Lake Forest, CA

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

10 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

19251 posts in 2989 days

#1 posted 08-15-2013 05:49 PM

free casters and nice wood. It’s a good day.

Edit: and I have no idea on species.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View palaswood's profile


1059 posts in 2173 days

#2 posted 08-15-2013 05:56 PM

Are they still casters if they don’t swivel? makes me think its from a bedframe… A good day indeed!

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View Phil53's profile


90 posts in 4044 days

#3 posted 08-15-2013 07:52 PM

From looking at the poures in the grain it looks like Oak.
Good score.
I have a trike with a basket on the back with two dog power when they pull (which is all the time).

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3112 days

#4 posted 08-16-2013 01:05 AM

Not sure what wood it is but I vote against Osage Orange (hedge) as it doesn’t have pores like your wood has. It is VERY heavy and tight grained.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View palaswood's profile


1059 posts in 2173 days

#5 posted 08-16-2013 01:12 AM

Thanks for the help gfadvm.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View Grumpymike's profile


2387 posts in 2737 days

#6 posted 08-16-2013 05:20 PM

Hmmm…. looks a lot like the rubber wood you see in lots of imported stuff. (wood from rubber trees). I agree with gfadvm, I think it’s not Osage.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View shampeon's profile


1900 posts in 2605 days

#7 posted 08-16-2013 08:53 PM

Looks a ton like meranti/luan. It would be fairly lightweight if it is.

It’s definitely not Osage Orange.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View TerryDowning's profile


1119 posts in 2539 days

#8 posted 08-16-2013 09:05 PM

Found wood It’s the best!!

-- - Terry

View palaswood's profile


1059 posts in 2173 days

#9 posted 08-17-2013 08:04 AM

I agree terry. Check out my blog posts for testament to that VERY FACT!

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View dlmckirdy's profile


199 posts in 3555 days

#10 posted 08-20-2013 04:55 AM

I agree with Rubber Wood. Looks just like my kitchen table (made in Vietnam).

-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

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