A Sign of Thanks

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Project by KnotCurser posted 05-03-2012 01:28 AM 2097 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There happens to be a business next door to my house that does a bunch of work with steel sheet goods. They recently received a LARGE shipment from South America on pallets that measured 4×10 feet. They stacked the four massive pallets outside and when I happened to walk by them yesterday, I noticed the very “exotic” looking woods that made up most of the runners.

I stopped in and casually asked what they planned on doing with them. “Firewood, I guess” was the response. OMG! I mentioned the nature of the wood and asked if I could harvest a few boards and they very graciously told me to take all four pallets! Sweet!

I took one of the runners and removed the nails, planed and ripped it down the center and here’s what I saw – fantastic!

In thanks to them, I created this sign for them on my scrollsaw. It measures 4×28” and is around 1/4” thick.

I’ll give this to them tomorrow – hope they like it!

If anyone can help me with what species of wood this happens to be I would be very grateful – it is very heavy/dense for it’s size as well as a bit “waxy”. Sort of like Ipe. If you look at Pic 4 you can see the wonderful striping in it.

I am thinking either teak or bocote????

Comments and Species Solution more than welcomed!



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

15 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3093 days

#1 posted 05-03-2012 01:33 AM

It is really a beautiful wood, Bob! I love that kind of sheen that it has. I will also be interested in knowing what wood it is.

It was also very kind of you to make them the sign. I am sure they will appreciate it very much. I think it is a great way of thanking them for giving you the pieces.

Everyone will be happy! Wonderful story! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2479 days

#2 posted 05-03-2012 01:49 AM

Isn’t it amazing what’s used in pallets, a lot of the pallets I get from work come from countries that use these exotic woods the way we use stuff like pine. In most cases they have so much of that wood they don’t see the beauty like a woodworker does. I would guess from the pictures it looks like teak, although I have not used teak in several years. The sign came out really nice.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2671 days

#3 posted 05-03-2012 02:51 AM

No clue on the wood but a good clue on your gift, and you inscribed it.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View degoose's profile


7243 posts in 3528 days

#4 posted 05-03-2012 04:09 AM

No Idea… but it looks good… nice sign….

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View rance's profile


4264 posts in 3334 days

#5 posted 05-03-2012 06:13 AM

I would say it is definitely NOT Bocote from the Bocote I’ve seen. Sorry I don’t have any suggestions of what it is.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Ken90712's profile


17592 posts in 3362 days

#6 posted 05-03-2012 07:48 AM

Great job, They should Love it.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2977 days

#7 posted 05-03-2012 11:52 AM

It is really nice lookin wood, whatever it is. I’m curious myself

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2684 posts in 3095 days

#8 posted 05-03-2012 11:57 AM

my guess would be teak also. I used to get lots of pallets from the sheet metal shop where I worked, They were 4×4’s 10 feet long and came from Asia. All sorts of exotic woods. That is what got me started in wood working, all that free wood. Good find and nice sign.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View Pete Jansen's profile

Pete Jansen

250 posts in 3094 days

#9 posted 05-03-2012 12:08 PM

-- Lovin' sawdust in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4055 days

#10 posted 05-03-2012 12:37 PM

My first thought was teak too. But I am really bad at this.

Wonderful gift, good for you.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Enoelf's profile


192 posts in 2437 days

#11 posted 05-03-2012 12:39 PM

Interesting, a company that provides reusable plastic shipping pallets provides evidence of possible problems with wooden shipping pallets.

-- Central Ohio, Still got 9 and 15/16 fingers!

View KnotCurser's profile


2026 posts in 3242 days

#12 posted 05-03-2012 12:46 PM

Enoelf echoed to the letter what I was about to say – I KNOW Pete is trying to look out for me (and I thank you for it my friend!), but if you read to the bottom of the article you can see the creator of it is in the business of making plastic pallets. I would guess this might be slightly prejudiced against wood. ;-)

I DO know there are risks using certain pallets for lumber. Some are treated with nasty insect sprays. Some have hidden metal in them that can ruin a planer. And some, I am sure, harbor bacteria as the article states.

These particular pallets were created to ship one thing one time – a massive amount of steel.

Oh yeah – I am pretty certain the wood is teak. Cool!

Thanks to everyone for their input and compliments!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View clieb91's profile


3521 posts in 4108 days

#13 posted 05-04-2012 12:10 AM

Really nice looking sign. I keep looking at pallets but not finding the right ones. Alas.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Pete Jansen's profile

Pete Jansen

250 posts in 3094 days

#14 posted 05-04-2012 12:35 AM

I saw that too. Wood pallets bad, my plastic pallets good. =)

I’m leaning toward teak or cypress maybe?

Great find, I’d take them for sure. I nab all the oak pallets we
get at work and make them into all sorts of stuff, especially
frames and boxes.

Have fun with that. Send me some if you want ; )

-- Lovin' sawdust in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado

View scrollingmom's profile


1188 posts in 2637 days

#15 posted 05-05-2012 03:07 PM

Cool when you can get a find like that. I often get my wood from saw mills that consider it scrap wood and can’t be used by them other than firewood.

Your sign looks great and I’ll bet they will be thrilled with it.

-- Kelly, Allen,KS

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