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View Millo's profile

What's this wood? Ipê? Jatobá?

by Millo
posted 05-05-2011 10:19 PM


33 replies so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7902 posts in 1673 days


#1 posted 05-05-2011 11:31 PM

I am thinking that you are correct and that it is Jatoba. It looks like it and sure sounds like it. I had some once and it was a bear to work with. I was cutting 1/8” thick pieces on the scroll saw and it was eating blades like there was no tomorrow. Before I read your description I was thinking that if it was hard and heavy and dense it would be Jatoba. The grain is similar to what I have had of it.

I may be wrong, but I would put my money there. :)

Sheila

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

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1803 days


#2 posted 05-06-2011 02:14 AM

Hey Sheila, thanks for your more educated opinion! Yeah what I have read is that stuff is very durable and rot resistant so I was thinking of making some SMALL outdoor projects (don’t have much of it). I have a couple things in mind. However it might end up moving too much with the extreme temperatures and schizo humidity changes here in central TX.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7902 posts in 1673 days


#3 posted 05-06-2011 02:21 AM

One thing that I find works well with hard and dense wood such as that is to cover it with some clear packaging tape prior to cutting it. There is something about the glue in the tape that lubricates the blade and helps keep it a bit cooler. You also need to make sure that whatever bit/blade you use, it is extremely sharp. A dull blade will make a mess of it very quickly.

Good luck and be sure to share what you make with us. :)

Sheila

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

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1822 days


#4 posted 05-06-2011 02:22 AM

Rosewood?

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View SergioC's profile

SergioC

82 posts in 1421 days


#5 posted 05-06-2011 02:32 AM

I would guess Ipe. Coincidentally we have Ipe floors in most of our house and Jatoba in one of my sons’ rooms. Jatoba is usually lighter and more red. Ipe is usually dark brown. If it’s extremely hard wood, it probably isn’t Jatoba. Ipe is one of the hardest. Ipe is also brittle. The first pic below is Ipe and second is Jatoba, both just after installation.


View majeagle1's profile

majeagle1

1419 posts in 2250 days


#6 posted 05-06-2011 02:37 AM

Looks and sounds like it could be Indian Rosewood or Bolivian Rosewood…...
What does it smell like when you cut it? kind of a sweet, maybe floral scent?????

JMHO

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks, http://majesticeagleww.etsy.com/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/majesticeagle/

View SergioC's profile

SergioC

82 posts in 1421 days


#7 posted 05-06-2011 02:45 AM

Ipe is also a common material for floors. I think solid Indian or Bolivian rosewood would be rare and extremely expensive.

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1803 days


#8 posted 05-06-2011 04:40 AM

Yeah, I don’t think it’s rosewood. I’ve handled (NOT WORKED, I’m not much of a woodworker) various species of rosewoods and I have to say in the pictures it looks more like rosewood than it does in real life. It seems a bit more coarse than that. Sorry, we lost our camera so I took pics w/ my phone. It’s definitely tongue-and-groove material and like Sergio I somewhat doubt rosewood would be used for that nowadays anyway… but who knows—not me, LOL!

Sergio, very nice floors. Thanks for the pics! Texture/color of ipe is a bit hard to tell due to finish, but I could imagine these pieces looking like the darker boards on there. Did you apply the finish to the ipê one? Do you happen to know what kind of finish it has, and how it was applied? Was it pre-applied before installation?

I have never handled anything that SEEMS this hard, and looking at hardness scale rating for both jatoba and ipe it seems ipe is ridiculously hard. Also, it does look a bit like this pic:http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/ipe/ ...3,680 lbf …yikes. Jaotba is 2,820 and mesquite 2,340. I looked up the rating for mesquite because that, hard maple (around 1,400) and white oak (around 1,300) had been the hardest woods I have cut before. I still haven’t tried cutting through this and will not yet, LOL!

I see lignum vitae is above 4,500. I have seen large carvings made out of that wood, in the Caribbean. Wow. Sounds like a ton of work.

View devann's profile

devann

1735 posts in 1446 days


#9 posted 05-06-2011 05:06 AM

Here is a picture of some ipe. It’s a picture frame that I made using ipe with redwood & ipe with black walnut stain in that order starting from the outside of the frame. Finish is satin poly. The ipe is brutal on the cutters. Have to go slow as possible and still continue to make the cut. Three picture frames, 12 miter corners melted my 1/4 sheet sander.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View SergioC's profile

SergioC

82 posts in 1421 days


#10 posted 05-06-2011 12:27 PM

Millo, thanks. The floors were pre-finished with polyurethane by the manufacturer.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4525 posts in 1828 days


#11 posted 05-06-2011 02:01 PM

I’ve done quite a bit of work with ipé and I have never seen ipé that looks like this.

It’s easy to say what it is not. It is much harder to say what it is.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View StumpyNubs's profile

StumpyNubs

6272 posts in 1554 days


#12 posted 05-06-2011 02:19 PM

It looks like Jatoba to me. It’s also called Brazilian Cherry and it’s a very heavy, dense wood. The end grain will have a lot of tiny little dots on it, but they will be difficult to see with all those burn marks. And it has a distinctive smell (which is a piece of information that will do you no good unless you’ve smelled it before). Jatoba is a light orange/red when freshly cut, but it turns a deep reddish brown with exposure to air and light.

Save it for when you get a good table saw because it is very hard to work with, but it is VERY nice stuff!

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View Ole's profile

Ole

67 posts in 1830 days


#13 posted 05-06-2011 02:35 PM

The stuff that was sold to me as Ipe produces yellow dust when sanded… Give that a shot.

View chickenguru's profile

chickenguru

45 posts in 1747 days


#14 posted 05-06-2011 02:36 PM

Its looks similar to flooring I put down for my sister years back. When cut it smells like chocolate. I believe see said its a wood from Asia grown in swampy area’s. Very dark and heavy.

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1803 days


#15 posted 05-06-2011 04:08 PM

Fantastic info here, THANKS EVERYONE!

Yeah, on the previous pics I had seen of ipê it had a bit of a greenish hue to it (even the very dark examples). But then again everywhere I hear it ‘varies wildly’ in color and texture. I’ll save it and cut it later, check what it smells like.

Common wood names are funny—if someone told me this was definitely from Brazil I’d say, “it kinda looks like walnut, not like cherry”. So, instead of ‘Brazilian cherry’, I’d call it ‘Brazilian walnut’, but then again those names don’t make much sense, so…. maybe it IS jatobá. I’ll check the end-grain for the little circles—the look very defined on the pic from wood-database.com.

If from Asia, I would have no idea what to guess there.

Toward the end of the month I will have to go to a nearby lumberyard that deals exotics, etc. to get some domestic hardwoods for Summer projects for the class I mentioned. I’ll bring a few pieces of this stuff to ask them.

From the pics it does seem that SOMEONE tried putting some of these planks through a jointer or planer and there are some cutter marks (tight ones) and definitely some nasty tear-out; I think these are easy to see in the pics?

In terms of working it: I’d be largely ruining the school’s equipment. I was thinking of doing some outdoor sconces, either for garden luminaries or for actual outdoor lighting around the house. That would require it to be cut in thinner pieces. It would be more beneficial if it were jatoba, correct? I mean, apparently species are very durable, but jatoba is easier to work with right?

View Stonekettle's profile

Stonekettle

129 posts in 1658 days


#16 posted 05-10-2011 12:43 AM

Guessing from the pictures and the descriptions you’ve given in your comment, Millo, I’d say it’s Morado, also known as Jacaranda, Iron Wood, Santos Rosewood, or sometimes Bolivian Rosewood – though Morado is not actually a true rosewood and real Bolivian Rosewood is a different species. It’s dense and heavy and a dark walnut brown in color with yellow to light brown veining. It comes from Bolivia or Brazil. It’s about midrange expensive (more than Ipe, less than true rosewood), very dense and hard. It tends to splinter a bit and if you’re not using sharp carbide highspeed blades you’re going to get tearout. You get best results on a large diameter saw, say a 14” RAS with a carbide blade for cross cutting or a 12” TS for ripping. You really need something with horsepower to cut this stuff without bogging down and burning the wood. It’s a major pain to work with, but it makes some damn fine flooring. It’s also used commonly for musical instrumentals, especially electric guitars.

I typically make high end (and expensive) pens from it, cutting the plank crossgrain to produce high-figure blanks. It turns very nicely so long as you’re using a very, very sharp spindle gouge (and not the more typical skew commonly used for pen turning) at high RPMs and making light cuts.

Something to note: dust from this wood, like most SA hardwoods, is a major irritant. Make damned sure you’re wearing good breathing protection when working it – especially when sanding. You also want to wash your hands often, unless you like red itchy rashes.

-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1803 days


#17 posted 05-10-2011 04:29 AM

Wow, Stonekettle—are you talking about PAU FERRO? Definitely not something I had considered namely because of lack of familiarity with it. I am obviously unfamiliar with the other woods as well, but at least I have seen them mentioned more, LOL! I do know pau ferro is sometimes used for guitar fretboards. To complicate things, I have heard the names “morado” and “kingwood” used for another TRUE rosewood that is denser, less porous and with a wider variety of greenish/purplish colors than Brazilian or Indian Rosewood. A friend of mine got a bit of this to make a “laminated” neck for a guitar. I have heard the name “ironwood” used for ipê.

Is this it?:

http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/pau-ferro/

I have seen the name Jacaranda—it is the name of an album for this incredible Brazilian string group I somehow got on my iTunes, from a great friend and musician I used to play bossa nova with.

After reading the description: yeah, it definitely sounds like it, as it is pretty straight-grained, and some of the saw cuts actually look like glass—it is that dense—even though on the surface it seems a bit more porous. It is also fairly straight-grained.

By the way, I love your carved bowls.

View Stonekettle's profile

Stonekettle

129 posts in 1658 days


#18 posted 05-10-2011 08:39 PM

Thanks for the compliment about the bowls. I need to get a few more pictures of some recent stuff posted.

Yep, Morado is often used as generic name for a couple of different types of wood, including pau-ferro. Iron Wood is also used to describe a wide variety of dark hardwoods sometimes spelled as two words and sometimes as a single word. Ditto Rosewood. The only way to be absolutely sure you’re talking about a specific tree is to use the scientific genus/species name: i.e. in this case when I say Morado, I’m talking about Machaerium Villosum.

-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1803 days


#19 posted 05-10-2011 11:51 PM

oh, very cool. I’ll look into that scientific name more calmly tonight. Thanks.

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1093 posts in 1879 days


#20 posted 05-11-2011 03:16 PM

I have worked Ipe a lot, also sold as Brazilian Walnut. The grain pattern screams Ipe to me, even if the color is like a Rosewood. I love Ipe, I use it for all my fences and guides, among out door items, and I made a bathroom vanity out of it. (http://lumberjocks.com/projects/34830) I have seen Ipe come in all shades of brown, green, and red (some dark, some light.. even in the same board) ... I have to have friends match most of the boards for me, due to my eyes. I would say it is Ipe … which smells like nothing else I know and the dust is very oily, almost an orangey brown, and sticks to EVERYTHING. But if it is not Ipe, I suggest Panga Panga. I carve out of Jatoba (Brazillian Cherry) and have seen all kinds, so I am not convinced it is Jatoba ~ e

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1093 posts in 1879 days


#21 posted 05-11-2011 03:24 PM

Here is the Vanity top, when I accidentally put a red-brown board on the edge of green-brown ones. At the time I could not see the difference. I know these are not as dark as your pictures, but it shows how much variance there can be in the color of Ipe. (this picture is 10 years old, before I changed all my sleds to Ipe.) ~ e

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1803 days


#22 posted 05-14-2011 04:38 PM

EPJ,

Thanks so much for your reply and pics! Your eyes doing better? I am STILL confused, LOL!!! I have definitely heard of the color variations of ipê. On my next trip to the lumberyard this Summer I’ll bring some of these boards with me and see if they can help me. Now, Panga Panga is something I’ve never heard of—I’ll look it up.

Wow, those jigs must be something, and quite heavy! HAs the ipê proven dimensionally stable in those critical functions? Have things stayed true and square? Do you have pics of your jigs done with this wood?

Thanks a mil, once again. Love you work.

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1755 posts in 1317 days


#23 posted 06-08-2011 05:53 AM

Millo were you able to figure this out yet? I found two pieces a few weeks back that look similar. They are both about 1×6-5ft and made my shoulder sore carrying them about 25 feet from my truck to house they are just that heavy. On the sides of the boards there are some grooves cut in looks like biscuits maybe, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of glue or other work done to them. I took them out of a dump pile at a renovation site so have no idea what they are and how to get more info on them. I need to pay more attention to them to see if I can get more clues regarding the grains and pores.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Moron's profile

Moron

4725 posts in 2647 days


#24 posted 06-08-2011 06:06 AM

Ipe doesnt float

Jatoba does

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1803 days


#25 posted 06-08-2011 06:29 AM

I’ve not yet been able to positively ID it, but I will bring it next week to a shop and see if I can get some opinions. Thanks for the tip, Moron. Ben, sounds like a great find.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11552 posts in 1444 days


#26 posted 06-09-2011 04:30 AM

Looks like Ipe to me. Moron-I dont agree. The Jatoba I dropped in a bucket of water sank like a rock.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Konquest's profile

Konquest

170 posts in 2197 days


#27 posted 06-09-2011 06:02 AM

Neither are easy to work, but Ipe….step away from the board. I would work with that wood under one condition: that it were someone else’s tools we were using. Still, though, a wood called “Azobe” from a reclaimed railroad tie was the nastiest thing I have ever worked.

http://reclaimedwoodmaterials.com/resourceconservationgroup_blog/tag/azobe/

-- 9 3/4 fingers remaining.

View Omegacool's profile

Omegacool

83 posts in 2384 days


#28 posted 06-09-2011 06:36 AM

i Install this floor is kurupay maybe could be.

-- Sorry I do not speak English very well, nor write, but I learn

View Omegacool's profile

Omegacool

83 posts in 2384 days


#29 posted 06-09-2011 07:01 AM

Is extremely hard
08/06/2011

08/06/2011

08/06/2011

08/06/2011

-- Sorry I do not speak English very well, nor write, but I learn

View Omegacool's profile

Omegacool

83 posts in 2384 days


#30 posted 06-09-2011 07:12 AM

I have ipe from a deck but is more light than kurupay

09/06/2011

Ipe

-- Sorry I do not speak English very well, nor write, but I learn

View Omegacool's profile

Omegacool

83 posts in 2384 days


#31 posted 06-09-2011 07:22 AM

09/06/2011

09/06/2011

-- Sorry I do not speak English very well, nor write, but I learn

View cloakie1's profile

cloakie1

204 posts in 1308 days


#32 posted 06-09-2011 11:37 AM

very old jarrah can look abit like that as well…..grows in australia but is exported into asia and probably south africa….often used as flooring but most common use is railway sleepers…can range from very pink to almost black and is hard on gear…my brother mills the stuff in western oz and he tells me that the saws have a different set on them . usually need grain fillers to bring them up to a nice finish…

-- just get stuck in and have a go!!!

View Millo's profile

Millo

543 posts in 1803 days


#33 posted 06-29-2011 02:47 AM

omegacool thanks for the reply. I did go to the lumberyard to get some maple but forgot the boards I was going to bring! Argh! I guess it could be either. Someone gave another ipe board that looks more red, definitely more surfaced. Looks awesome, awaiting future use. I could see the boards in question looking a bit more like it if planed, but they’re definitely more on the chocolatey side, in terms of color.

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