FYI:All woods dont float

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Forum topic by gfadvm posted 04-28-2011 04:06 AM 3501 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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04-28-2011 04:06 AM

I had a discussion with a carpenter friend yesterday and he said all wood will float at least until it gets waterlogged. So today I dropped a smallJatoba [Brazilian Cherry] cut off in a bucket of water and it sank like a brick! Im curious about how many other woods dont float?

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

23 replies so far

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11237 posts in 1379 days

#1 posted 04-28-2011 04:37 AM

Brazilian cherry [jatoba] is a very common species native to the rain forest of Brazil. It is not a genetically engineered species. It is my favorite wood as it continues to darken/redden like American cherry but it is not a fruit bearing cherry tree. I did a lot of reading on this wood after I first discovered it. There are several woods refered to as “ironwood”. Is there really a tree called ironwood or is it a generic term for any very heavy/dense wood? These topics fascinate me as you can tell.

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

View DIYaholic's profile


13769 posts in 1364 days

#2 posted 04-28-2011 04:43 AM

Petrified Wood!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

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Mickey Cassiba

312 posts in 1720 days

#3 posted 04-28-2011 06:43 AM

In Tennessee we had a tree commonly called ‘musclewood’. It and ‘ironwood’ are both hornbeams, and do not float. Ironwood is another name for the ‘hop hornbeam’ so called for the flowers which resemble hops.

-- One of these hammers oughta fix that...

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Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2124 days

#4 posted 04-28-2011 07:13 AM

Lignum vitae aka ironwood. Cricket balls are made of it and British cops truncheons (night sticks) are made with it.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

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424 posts in 2442 days

#5 posted 04-28-2011 07:14 AM

Fresh cut myrtle.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

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4142 posts in 1849 days

#6 posted 04-28-2011 07:30 AM

Lignum vitae old ship propeller shaft bearings are made of it since it is naturally oily. That’s what I’ve heard anyways.

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

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10850 posts in 1804 days

#7 posted 04-28-2011 07:37 AM

the red african ironwood and you can see how it looks if you go to Karsons page
and look after a blog where he ask what wood is this .... it floods like a rock right to the bottom…LOL


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4666 posts in 2582 days

#8 posted 04-28-2011 08:19 AM


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

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18 posts in 1289 days

#9 posted 04-28-2011 01:37 PM

And not all rocks sink! Pumice will float if it has sufficient porosity. Nearly everything we are taught is just a general rule—there are exceptions to nearly everything.

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2401 posts in 1700 days

#10 posted 04-28-2011 02:36 PM

You’ll have to the the Late Show’s “Will It Float Game”, the home version.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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2499 posts in 2431 days

#11 posted 04-28-2011 03:41 PM

Natalie Wood…..

Sorry my High School Shop teacher told me that one back in 1983

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

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1156 posts in 2057 days

#12 posted 04-28-2011 03:48 PM

All wood floats till it hits bottom!

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

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216 posts in 1849 days

#13 posted 04-28-2011 04:27 PM

Any wood that has a specific gravity (density) greater than water will sink. The specific gravity of water is 1000 kg/m^3. In this table: several wood species are given with their specific gravity’s. In this table: anything more dense than 62.4 lb/ft^3 would sink. It’s a pretty simple concept.

-- Ryan -- Maple Grove, MN

View Loren's profile


7734 posts in 2337 days

#14 posted 04-28-2011 07:11 PM

Even freshly cut softwood trees will sink. There’s a big business raising
antique logs off river bottoms.


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65 posts in 1284 days

#15 posted 04-28-2011 07:27 PM

“All wood floats till it hits bottom!”

Is that kind of like, pigs can fly til they hit the ground? :)


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