Wood identification help please!

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Forum topic by lurkey posted 08-25-2014 09:49 PM 1622 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 2662 days

08-25-2014 09:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: identification species id type question

I picked up some wood at an estate sale and I’d appreciate some help IDing it.

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6 replies so far

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2841 days

#1 posted 08-25-2014 10:27 PM

I’d like to be your friend, hang out and go to estate sales. Second one maybe mahoganyish. 1st and 3rd are simply beautiful pieces of wood, but have no idea.

View palaswood's profile


1061 posts in 3043 days

#2 posted 08-25-2014 10:33 PM

that first picture’s grain reminds me of Rubberwood (latex trees) which I have found coming out of SE asia. But if that 2nd pic is the same slab, im pretty sure its not that.

How hard is it? Are there 3 different species here?
2nd does look like a mahogony, is that one a bit softer than the others?

3rd is baffling and gorgeous,riftsawn goncalo alves? Nice haul! How much did you pay for these?

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View lurkey's profile


14 posts in 2662 days

#3 posted 08-25-2014 11:57 PM

They were almost giving away the wood. The guy at the sale told me that all the “good wood” had been sold the day before, but I was one happy camper coming home that day.

Yes, the picture of the slab is also of the first wood. It reminds me a little (very limited experience here) of elm in that the grain is interlocked – you can see in the second picture the dark waves where the grain is switching.

The second wood is definitely softer then the others.

The third is really gorgeous. Very dense and heavy. Has “curzon co, madras” stamped on it. I’m just getting over a head cold so I can’t smell too well but the shavings smell really sweet, like rosewater. Rosewood? It does look a lot like the wood on my old plane handles, etc.

Here’s a picture of the side of the third wood.

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View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2923 days

#4 posted 08-26-2014 06:36 AM

All I can tell you is the wood in the middle is definitely a mahogany of some variety, difficult to say which one from that close though.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View JayG46's profile


139 posts in 3150 days

#5 posted 08-27-2014 11:11 AM

The first one is almost definitely sapele. I’ve had pieces where the quartersawn, ribbon striped grain was torn out like that. I never was able to smooth it out, even with a sander, so I got the surrounding areas right and filled it with black epoxy.

Without seeing more than one picture of the second would I would guess walnut or maybe Honduran mahogany given the large black pores visible.

The third one is likely east indian rosewood, particularly if it smells like rosewater and is stamped “Madras”. It can vary widely in color and that looks like some beautiful stuff.

If you really want to go down the rabbit hole, check out this site. It’s the best place to try to match up what kind of wood you have with a vast resource of pictures.

Congrats on the score, hope this helps.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View LiveEdge's profile


600 posts in 2912 days

#6 posted 08-27-2014 03:48 PM

I was thinking Sapele for the first one as well, but wasn’t confident enough to mention it. Now that someone else has said it I’ll second the notion and either lead you further down the wrong path or confirm the right ID. :)

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