Anyone recognize this dark orange wood?

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Forum topic by Gary Fixler posted 08-04-2009 07:36 PM 5610 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3861 days

08-04-2009 07:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood orange wood dark wood wood type wood species question

There’s a picture at Woodcraft at this 2-inch bowl sander link. It’s the darker of the 2 woods in the example bowl being sanded. I thought maybe padauk by the color, but it’s not really like any padauk I’ve seen. I like it, and would like to one day use it, but I’m the detail-oriented sort and like to read up on everything I use first, where possible.


-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

17 replies so far

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3750 days

#1 posted 08-04-2009 07:44 PM

Looks alot like mango, but could be several different woods…Pashaco…Isiago….you might check out they have alot of orange colored woods…

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4248 days

#2 posted 08-04-2009 07:50 PM

the grain kind of reminds me a bit of mahogany. a little to dark though

View Occie gilliam's profile

Occie gilliam

505 posts in 3776 days

#3 posted 08-04-2009 08:53 PM

Hi Gary
you may like this site, if you don’t already know about it.

-- OC down in Costa Rica. come down and see me some time. I'll keep the light on for you [email protected]

View jato's profile


11 posts in 3793 days

#4 posted 08-04-2009 09:29 PM

I agree with teenagewoodworker…mahogany; maybe south american.

-- jato, Houston Texas

View commajockey's profile


16 posts in 3760 days

#5 posted 08-04-2009 09:38 PM

It actually looks like Bolivian Rosewood in color and grain. I have a small amount that, when first cut, reveals a very orange/amber color. But once a finish is applied it becomes a deeper red. That’s my guess.

-- Anything worth doing is worth redoing several times.

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4302 days

#6 posted 08-04-2009 11:14 PM

Look like pecan to me…Blkcherry

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Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3861 days

#7 posted 08-05-2009 08:25 AM

Thanks for all the replies everyone. They got me investigating all of the woods, and now I want to try several of them. I decided a little earlier today to go to Woodcraft’s customer service page and just fire off an email asking them directly. I got a reply back a couple of hours later from Sam who had asked around at the office and got the reply that it looked like padauk and maple. I had looked up padauk before even posting here, and it just didn’t seem right, but I thanked him for checking around – great, friendly customer service on their part, and not even about a product I wanted to buy! – but then later at night, after I got home, I remembered I had a piece of padauk in my collection. I’ve never used it, nor have I used the purple heart I picked up with it. They’re just lying in wait.

Anyway, the little slab of padauk I have is a 100% dead ringer match for the wood in Woodcraft bowl example I posted. D’oh! I knew I was going to end up smacking my forehead for one reason or another with this post, especially as all I ever do is research wood :)

Oh, and Occie – I do know Hobbit House! It’s one of my very favorite ID sites. My only complaint is that it’s a one-way lookup. Great if you know the name, or have some ideas between a few species, and great as a tool to just browse and learn, but next to impossible to ID anything you know nothing about. I wish I could get his site set up in a database with stats you could key off of to reduce the list. These would be things like closed/open grain, density (weight/volume), general color (lightest – holly – pale/maple – oak – walnut – wenge – ebony – darkest, and designation for oddballs, like bloodwood and purple heart), certain end-grain features, like large pores, stripes (zebrawood), or uniformity (poplar), and then any distinguishing stuff, like the purple mineral streaks prevalent in tulip poplar. That would be a really amazing database for the woodworker.

Thanks again, everyone!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3801 days

#8 posted 08-05-2009 10:16 AM

I’ve worked a lot of Padauk and that wood just doesn’t look like Padauk. The grain and coloring look a lot like Mahogany as several people have already mentioned. Keep in mind that for the photo on the website, they had probably already finished the wood so it looked good for the ad. The true appearance of the unfinished wood is most likely several shades lighter than in the picture. Padauk has a very intense color.

That said, Padauk does change color as it ages or with direct exposure to UV rays. It evolves from it’s almost vivid orange to a deep burnt umber color. If the piece were very light Padauk that had already been exposed to UV for a while, I could almost see it as Padauk. Almost.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View whit's profile


246 posts in 4456 days

#9 posted 08-05-2009 02:09 PM


Might be Padauk, but I doubt it. If it were, there would be orange dust EVERYWHERE – on the lathe, the Maple would take on an orange tint; there would be an orange fog in the air; your KEYBOARD would be orange from having LOOKED at the picture!! ;)


-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View Mattias's profile


13 posts in 4252 days

#10 posted 08-05-2009 04:32 PM


View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3961 days

#11 posted 08-05-2009 09:30 PM

I just doesn’t seem like Padauk to me. The Padauk I’ve used is reddish orange. The grain pattern is to distinctive to be teak to me. I’m going to say it’s something like Ipe or Mahogany.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3861 days

#12 posted 08-05-2009 10:05 PM

teenagewoodworker, jato, Durnik, and Chris – vindication for you folks!

Sam wrote me back today and followed up. Here’s what he had to say:

“Hi Gary, I did find out that the bowl is on display at the Woodcraft
Supply Corp Store here in Parkersburg, WV. It is Mahogany and Maple.
Sorry about the Paduak confusion earlier.”

I got my piece of padauk out again last night and had a deeper look. It didn’t actually look 100% like a match as I had thought in my previous, groggy, late-night state.

Whit – haha! Sounds like a good warning to me for whenever I get around to turning some padauk. I was originally considering a padauk-purple heart segmented, but I think it would look a little too “carnival.”

Mattias – Merbau is really pretty, though reading up on it today (and finding it to look kind of like this wood – good eye!), I was dismayed to see how – at least as of 2005 – it’s being clearcut in Indonesia (3rd largest rainforest remaining) with no care about renewing it as a resource.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4208 days

#13 posted 08-05-2009 10:33 PM

If you do deecide to try purpleheart and padauk, make sure to take photos AS SOON AS YOU ARE DONE and BEFORE you apply a finish. Then you can go back and look at it months/years later (with or without a finish) and I think you will be surprised at how different it looks. The whole carnival thing will be gone and I think you will end up liking it quite much.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4065 days

#14 posted 08-05-2009 10:55 PM

I can honestly say it is IMHO sometimes nigh on impossible to tell a piece of wood from another simply by photograph exactly.It is not impossible to guess most times but we all know sometimes wood can be very difficult to tell.I bought an expensive book or two and found them to be useless to help decide which wood I am working with.good luck Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3750 days

#15 posted 08-05-2009 11:14 PM

I agree with Alistair…..I have tried to identify some of the woods I see in photos….and get maybe 50%...and thats on the high side.

Photography is such an imprecise art….so many variables….that without seeing the picture of a piece of wood on the tree…it is nigh impossible to identify…especially a piece that has a finish on it.

Now, if you can feel it….slice it…smell it….you would have a significantly better chance of coming up with the right choice…

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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