Guayacan Bowl

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Project by Gar posted 03-23-2010 03:50 AM 3283 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

On our trip to Denver to the Goodie stores at Woodcraft Cathy picked out a blank she liked. No problem I’ll make you a bowl out of it. I will research what I’m working with next time. After I made the bowl I researched it and found out that Guayacan is the hardest wood in the world 4500 on the hardness scale. The U.S.S Nautilus the U.S. Navy’s first Atomic sub has bearings made of Guayacan. I knew that they made bearings for ships out of wood just not what kind. I know now. ruffing it out was like I had a piece of steel on the lathe. It’ll jar your teeth. The fineshed bowl was well worth the labor and I’m verry proud of it.

-- GAR

4 comments so far

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 5006 days

#1 posted 03-23-2010 05:18 AM

Hi gar, I looked on wikipedia and found the reference to 4500 on the Janka scale as I assume you did too. I’m wondering what the dimensions of the blank were and about the color. Most of the Lignum Vitae I’ve seen is a darker color. I wonder if you got some sap wood? Anyway, if you’ve worked bloodwood and this is harder, there aren’t too many things it can be. I know I’ve worked a pretty hard wood that seems to me to be denser than lignum vitae called Pau Santos but it’s not listed on any Janka chart I can find. For that matter, I guess I can’t know for sure it’s not lignum vitae too. lol

Anyway, you’ve got a nice bowl there and I’m sure it will live a long time because everyone that picks it up will notice how heavy it is for its size along with the beauty. Thanks for posting this.


-- Jim

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 4474 days

#2 posted 03-23-2010 05:21 AM

Are you sure you aren’t referring to Palo Santo Outputter? I had my sister bring me some of that up from Paraguay. It has a very spicy smell and looks a lot like Lignum Vitae but a bit more green imo

-- San Diego, CA

View Gar's profile


84 posts in 4350 days

#3 posted 03-23-2010 08:01 AM

“Lignum vitae” is Latin for “wood of life”, and derives from its medicinal uses; lignum vitae resin has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions from coughs to arthritis, and chips of the wood can also be used to brew a tea. Other names for lignum vitae include palo santo (Spanish for “holy wood”) and greenheart; lignum vitae is also one of the numerous hard, dense woods referred to as ironwood.

Lignum vitae is hard and durable, and is also the densest wood traded; it will easily sink in water. On the Janka Scale of Hardness, which measures hardness of woods, lignum vitae ranks highest of the trade woods, with a Janka hardness of 4500 lbf

-- GAR

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 5006 days

#4 posted 03-23-2010 09:10 AM

No, Pau Santos is the name. Didn’t want to hijack Gar’s thread but check my projects and you’ll see a little box I made from it.

-- Jim

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