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Is this Lignum Vitae?

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Forum topic by amagineer posted 09-26-2011 09:55 PM 2838 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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amagineer

1389 posts in 1284 days


09-26-2011 09:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lignum vitae question

I just purchased this piece of wood from an tag sale and was told by the guy it was “Lignum Vitae”. The piece measures 15 3/4×8 1/2×1 9/16 thk and weighs 10 lbs. I do not know what to use it for, because of it’s hardness. If anyone can help I would be appreciated. Thanks Don

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!


13 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2336 days


#1 posted 09-26-2011 10:03 PM

because of its hardness and resistance characteristics as well as the difficulties in machining it I would be prone to use it for tools (mallets/handles/etc) and smaller items more than for anything else.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15706 posts in 2906 days


#2 posted 09-26-2011 10:04 PM

It’s about three times as hard as red oak. It can be used for mallets, plane soles, or anything else where hardness is important.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View degoose's profile

degoose

7038 posts in 2042 days


#3 posted 09-26-2011 10:13 PM

It was used for bearings for shafts on ships…. drive shafts that is…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1070 posts in 1813 days


#4 posted 09-26-2011 11:34 PM

HOLY COW… how often do you see a disk of Lignum…. I would never cut that up!!! Talk about perfect for a platter.. maybe even two or three if you can re-saw them. Personally I want to make that into one of my spiraling cones with those dimensions it could be over 60 inches tall. sigh.. have fun no matter what you make :)

-- " '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 Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1756 days


#5 posted 09-26-2011 11:46 PM

The only use I know of is propeller shaft seals on navel ships. LV is incredibly durable and slightly waxy. In my eight year naval career, I don’t think I ever saw a leaky shaft seal.

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

View patcollins's profile

patcollins

1003 posts in 1553 days


#6 posted 09-26-2011 11:46 PM

See if it sinks in water, if it doesnt then its not.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3496 posts in 2648 days


#7 posted 09-27-2011 12:18 AM

Ditto EPJartsan. What a bowl that would make. It should have a bunch of wax or oil on it as it is now. It will make a beautiful art piece. I would not cut that puppy into pieces. See if you can use it as a single display form ( or send it to me.) That stuff is very hard and dense.
Great haul.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

5084 posts in 1485 days


#8 posted 09-27-2011 03:40 AM

It sure looks like it.

When I had my shipyard, the Babbitt bearings on bandsaw gave up. I had some Lignum Vitae around, left over from making deadeyes and blocks, so I had some new bearings made from it at a machine shop. They were amazing. The saw never ran so smooth.

It is also a traditional wood for ships fittings like deadeyes, blocks, belaying pins and high wear areas.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1610 days


#9 posted 09-27-2011 03:53 AM

I remember a “screw feeder” that had this for bearings. This feeder was used for limestone and the bearings worked very well.

-- Life is good.

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2122 days


#10 posted 09-27-2011 04:28 AM

I served my apprenticeship at an engineering company that had a wood shop purchased from a very old company – Dyne & Evens Ltd and was devoted to making ship’s and yacht blocks and other nautical items such as oars and rigging pins. They used a great deal of Lignum Vitae for their blocks.

-- 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.

View amagineer's profile

amagineer

1389 posts in 1284 days


#11 posted 09-27-2011 09:45 AM

Thanks for all the comments. I am still not sure what I am going to make , a bowl would be nice but a lot of waste of a unique piece. It would make a nice base for a carving, but I cannot carve due to my medical condition. Maybe I can sell it; Im not even sure what something like this would go for.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3496 posts in 2648 days


#12 posted 09-27-2011 09:55 PM

Just send it to me. I’ll work up an estimate based on waste, sanding needs, wear on tools, time in the shop (at $500.00/hr), lunch, and begging time to my bride. Sure! That’s gonna happen…....
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Rockbuster's profile

Rockbuster

329 posts in 1296 days


#13 posted 09-30-2011 09:22 PM

Hey Don! That thing looks like a petrified round steak. Just kidding. What ever you make out of it, I would try and use it as one piece. I know that you make a lot of nice cutting boards, maybe a nice cheese cutting board from this one.

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

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