Wood from Old Church Pew, but What Wood is it?

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Forum topic by Dave Rutan posted 05-14-2016 08:25 PM 1374 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dave Rutan

1732 posts in 2310 days

05-14-2016 08:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood identification identify question

I got my hands on a pair of old church pews, but I’m not sure what wood it is. Can anyone help ID it?

[Below] I scraped and sanded a piece of one of the boards to get a look at it. I have a few suspicions of what it might be, but I’m no wood specialist.

One of the reasons I got these pews is that the wood was splitting along its grain. While cleaning it up, it seemed a bit splintery, sort of like the dark walnut I have.

[EDIT] I might mention that these pews predate 1985 for sure. My feeling is that they are from the 1960’s or older.

[Below] Here’s a look at the end grain.

[EDIT] Adding two shots of the edge grain from 2 different angles.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

9 replies so far

View splatman's profile


586 posts in 1521 days

#1 posted 05-14-2016 08:41 PM

My guess is Philippine Mahogany.

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Dave Rutan

1732 posts in 2310 days

#2 posted 05-14-2016 08:48 PM

Funny you should say that. I had to cut these 12 foot long boards in half to fit them in my car. When I saw the color of the saw dust I started thinking ‘Mahogany’ (Mind, I don’t know mahogany from red cedar either)

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3036 days

#3 posted 05-14-2016 08:57 PM


-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View rwe2156's profile


3073 posts in 1602 days

#4 posted 05-14-2016 09:16 PM

Got hold of a church pew once looks just like that. Its Hickory.

But that does look like mahogany.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View CharlesNeil's profile


2434 posts in 3992 days

#5 posted 05-14-2016 09:25 PM

Mahogany, origin unknown, but looks decent, has some ribbon in it.

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1732 posts in 2310 days

#6 posted 05-14-2016 10:32 PM

I’ve just added two edge grain shots above.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Oldtool's profile


2719 posts in 2312 days

#7 posted 05-15-2016 12:01 AM

Well, I’m not expert, but I’ve found this web site helpful:

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View TheFridge's profile


10141 posts in 1608 days

#8 posted 05-15-2016 12:15 AM is awesome as well

My guess is the same as theirs. Mahogany family.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View ScottM's profile


671 posts in 2268 days

#9 posted 05-16-2016 02:25 PM

Ditto on the Mahogany.

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