can you guys identify what kind of wood this busted up coffee table is made out of?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by brocksamson posted 03-19-2015 03:48 PM 1260 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View brocksamson's profile


2 posts in 1614 days

03-19-2015 03:48 PM

i know the main board is different from everywhere else. but what about the legs? is there veneer?

7 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile


7084 posts in 3048 days

#1 posted 03-19-2015 03:56 PM

Looks like a type of mahogany to me.

View jdh122's profile


1087 posts in 3267 days

#2 posted 03-19-2015 03:58 PM

It would be pretty difficult to veneer over those turned legs – they’re almost certainly solid wood. The “main board” in the middle would have to be plywood to allow for wood movement.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 2342 days

#3 posted 03-20-2015 04:08 AM

Top edging is a type of mahogany/luane – solid or plywood I can’t tell from your pics. Top center panel will not be necessarily the same-skinned plywood. If the legs are heavy – usually a soft maple. If the legs are lighter – usually pine. With factory sprayed-on stain and lacquer. Typical 50’s (domestic) – 90’s (imported) generic “furniture set” coffee table offering.

And welcome to Lumberjocks!

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16158 posts in 3068 days

#4 posted 03-20-2015 04:12 AM

I agree with all three comments above.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 2964 days

#5 posted 03-20-2015 12:15 PM

When I was in the furniture business for a few years, for both Ashley and Catnapper, that is what we called “rubberwood”, a sort of Asian knockoff mahogany that was very resilient for the price, and took one coat lacquer/stain mix sprayed on very easily.

Its major usage seems to be in smaller tables, legs for upholstered furniture, certain chair parts like arm rests, legs, stretchers, etc. Rarely do you see it used in a big plank, like a whole table top. That was generally believed because it is very fast growing, and they harvested it quickly to meet the needs of the cheap Asian furniture market with something that looked expensive. Your piece fits this wood well.

It finishes a lot like mahogany, save that when sanded you might find that it is a little harder to get a stain to penetrate to reach a color you want.

We called it rubberwood because it had a tendency to dent and take abuse before it would crack or break – like your deep table scratches show.
I agree that the legs are probably some sort of soft maple, or even poplar.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View TravisH's profile (online now)


678 posts in 2384 days

#6 posted 03-20-2015 01:15 PM

If imported piece will go with the rubber wood id also. Rubber wood was initially just away for them to profit off a spent tree after it was no longer useful life on the rubber plantation. Plantation Hardwood was/is also used as rubber wood is associated with cheap low quality.

View johnstoneb's profile


3123 posts in 2622 days

#7 posted 03-20-2015 03:08 PM

I think that top is veneer looking at the damaged spot. It looks like veneer then some white wood.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics