New guy with a question about lumber type

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Forum topic by Fourthsword posted 12-19-2018 02:25 PM 708 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 226 days

12-19-2018 02:25 PM

Hello all,

I am relatively new to woodworking, having built a few small tables, entertainment center, and a desk. I am currently working on designing a new dining table and so I have been looking a lot of photos. I found this photo, but I can’t seem to find out any additional information about it. Would anyone happen to know what type of wood this is?

Thanks in advance!!


19 replies so far

View jutsFL's profile


171 posts in 257 days

#1 posted 12-19-2018 02:46 PM

Id say walnut, and the lighter middle section being the sap wood of the tree.

-- I've quickly learned that being a woodworker isn't about making flawless work, rather it's fixing all the mistakes you made so that it appears flawless to others! Jay - FL

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3434 posts in 1897 days

#2 posted 12-19-2018 02:47 PM

Probably exotic. Somebody will know but there are many sites you can go to look up different wood.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View HokieKen's profile


9909 posts in 1555 days

#3 posted 12-19-2018 02:49 PM

I’d say rwe is right, probably something exotic. Walnut would make a great substitute though. Similar characteristics and color.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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John Smith

1873 posts in 579 days

#4 posted 12-19-2018 02:49 PM

Billy – where are you from ??
if you find out the true species of the wood in the photo,
it may may not be readily available in your area.



-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Woodknack's profile


12842 posts in 2796 days

#5 posted 12-19-2018 02:59 PM

View ArtMann's profile


1396 posts in 1232 days

#6 posted 12-19-2018 03:02 PM

I agree that it could be Hickory.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


1489 posts in 1910 days

#7 posted 12-19-2018 04:18 PM

Hard to say with generic picture from WWW. Picture seems off color or washed out to me? Pink and yellow flowers are faded pastel colors, and would expect them to be deeper.

That said:
Appears to have started from a live edge slab. Slab was ripped down middle, sapwood edge jointed and glued into what you see.

With a little more red, that color variation looks like Koa or Teak, but large white sap wood band is not common to those species. Have seen Iroko (African Teak) and Cocobolo slabs with similar large sapwood bands.

As far as domestic US species; Hickory/Pecan are only slab woods I have seen that exhibit the same large white sap wood and brown stains in sapwood. There are many species in ‘Hickory’ family with similar colors.

Woodfinder might offer some help in your search:

Note that finding/buying slab wood lumber for something like a table is different than buying regular hardwood lumber. Much more challenging. Each tree is unique, so slabs can vary a lot within a given species depending on environment. Live edge slabs require careful drying and special handling. All of this makes shopping for table slab an adventure that usually means physically seeing the slab, so you create the table with your imagination. Expect to pay significantly higher prices for thick live edge slabs.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View TheFridge's profile


10858 posts in 1902 days

#8 posted 12-19-2018 04:43 PM

Alder. But maybe mesquite or walnut.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View RichBolduc's profile


909 posts in 533 days

#9 posted 12-19-2018 04:54 PM

I’m leaning towards walnut. This is what my walnut table looks like


View Aj2's profile


2321 posts in 2214 days

#10 posted 12-19-2018 06:09 PM

That’s not walnut my guess is Goncalo Alves or it could be Parota. Parota is usually in big slabs but maybe some company is cobbling together cuts offs.
Goncalo Alves is also called tiger wood.

-- Aj

View Phil32's profile


579 posts in 319 days

#11 posted 12-19-2018 07:10 PM

My guess is walnut, but among the exotics, monkeypod could have those color variations between sapwood and heartwood.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View AZWoody's profile


1452 posts in 1640 days

#12 posted 12-19-2018 07:17 PM

I vote for hickory

View WDHLT15's profile


1816 posts in 2892 days

#13 posted 12-20-2018 01:31 PM

Looks like acacia to me.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View Jeff's profile


507 posts in 3610 days

#14 posted 12-20-2018 02:29 PM

I’d agree with hickory. Do you have a location for where the picture was taken? It might help identify what woods are available. Hickory would be a better choice for a tabletop because it’s harder and heavier.

View Fourthsword's profile


3 posts in 226 days

#15 posted 12-20-2018 09:58 PM

Thanks to everyone for all of the helpful replies!! You have narrowed it down to a few choices of lumber for me to focus on. They is a great head start for me! Right now, I am leaning toward Hickory, based on price, durability and availability.

For those that asked my location, I am a recent transplant to Dallas. I am always on the lookout for a good lumber supplier, if anyone has any recommendations for the area. I am located south of Dallas, near Waxahachie.

Thanks again for everyone that took the time to reply, it was a warm welcome as a newbie to the forum!


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