Wood ID help

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Forum topic by childress posted 03-17-2011 06:39 PM 1062 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View childress's profile


841 posts in 3570 days

03-17-2011 06:39 PM

This was brought home by my neighbor who is a carpenter. He builds big structures like bridges and so forth and works close to harbors sometimes. He brings home cutoffs from other jobs close by to him and this was his recent findings. He always comes over and says “look what I got, you know what it is, any good for anything?” Some outdoor structure being built by the water and he knows that it’s a south american hardwood, but not sure which one. The grain is interlocked and the end grain looks identical to jatoba except for the color. It’s very hard and heavy but I’m almost positive it’s not Ipe (the last pic shows a piece of ipe with it, which he got from a different job).

Any Ideas? Thanks!

-- Childress Woodworks

6 replies so far

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2722 days

#1 posted 03-17-2011 07:37 PM

I know its not, but the endgrain looks like purpleheart. It’s not yellowheart, is it? I’ve never seen YH, but a few pics on google images looks like it

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3570 days

#2 posted 03-17-2011 08:41 PM

Would have never thought of that one super…. A lot of the description does match except for: Fine texture and a naturally high luster. Its pores are very small

I also question YH cause it’s being used for an outdoor structure, but then again, I too have never used or seen YH.

Thanks, definitely a candidate…

Anyone else???

-- Childress Woodworks

View ChrisForthofer's profile


150 posts in 3095 days

#3 posted 03-17-2011 09:15 PM

Looks like Teak, just a guess through. I havent worked with Teak specificially but I have refinished a bunch on boats we have owned over the years.


-- -Director of slipshod craftsmanship and attention deficit woodworking

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3350 days

#4 posted 03-18-2011 03:14 AM

Looks an awful lot like Canary wood. If you put a layer of finish on it the purple and pink stripes will pop like crazy. It’s a dense wood but is a lot of fun to work with.

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

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3103 days

#5 posted 03-18-2011 03:36 PM

Any guess based on these pictures is just that – a guess. I would like to hold it and feel it (maybe even smell it) to make a better guess.

If this is heavier and harder than most woods, I would guess ipe. It looks like ipe.

I will also agree that it could be canary wood. Ipe is much heavier and harder than canary wood so that is how one could narrow it down.

Note that ipe is very strong and I could envision it having some application in specialized construction where an extra strong wood is called for.

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

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3570 days

#6 posted 03-18-2011 05:39 PM

Rich, the third pic shows a piece of ipe next to the wood in question. That piece of ipe weighs just about the same as the larger piece in question. The other thing that you mentioned is smell. Ipe has a horrific (to me), extremely distinguishable smell that the piece in question does not have, in fact there is absolutely no smell whatsoever that I can detect. And I only try to smell wood after its freshly milled.

Canary wood does look like another possibility, but with a specific gravity of just .65, I’m not sure that fits the bill. I can tell by holding and milling this that it’s heavier than that. But who knows, Specific gravity charts are just overall averages and maybe this piece is heavier for some reason….

Thanks guys for the help, I was mainly curious what some Jocks thought, as my use with south america hardwood is a kind of limited.

-- Childress Woodworks

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