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Wood Identification Help Needed - Walnut, Mahogany...?

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Forum topic by D11RDozer posted 11-29-2011 08:24 PM 8585 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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D11RDozer

55 posts in 1649 days


11-29-2011 08:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut mahogany

I’m looking for some help in identifying these two boards I recently acquired. My uncle gave me the wider board and told me it is Mahogany. The other board I bought in a going-out-of-business lot from a custom cabinet maker that told me it was Walnut. I’m having a hard time telling the difference and am wondering how similar the two woods are. To me the one that is supposed to be Mahogany could just as easily be Walnut, though it does seem to be a little more dense. The boards are nice and wide rough cut 8/4 planks. I planed a bit off the face of each board (pics 3 and 4) to see what was below the rough surface, but I still can’t tell the difference. So, I’m posting some pictures here to see what others think I have here.


16 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5351 posts in 1288 days


#1 posted 11-29-2011 09:25 PM

The board on the right of pics looks to be the walnut board. Wetting a small area with water may help tell them apart as well. The walnut should be a little more of a deeper brown, while the mohagany board may have a slighy redder tone. Both boards are very nice, good score.

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1700 days


#2 posted 11-29-2011 10:16 PM

Cut and sniff?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

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D11RDozer

55 posts in 1649 days


#3 posted 11-29-2011 10:33 PM

I’ve never worked with either wood before so I don’t know what the difference in smell would be either.

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okwoodshop

442 posts in 1864 days


#4 posted 11-30-2011 12:50 AM

The right is walnut left mahogany, nice boards. what you gonna build?

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D11RDozer

55 posts in 1649 days


#5 posted 11-30-2011 01:04 AM

okwoodshop, if that’s the case, both guys were wrong.

Seems to me that both are walnut. So far that seems validated since the assumption of two post to this point say the “mahogany” board is walnut.

Not sure what to build with these yet. I’m open to suggestions there as well.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1175 posts in 1165 days


#6 posted 11-30-2011 04:18 AM

I believe that the fourth pic is mahogany. It shows the striped effect of the spiral grain that is characteristic of mahogany. The stripes are caused by the angle of the vessel elements (water conducting cells) changing each year so that they reflect the light differently and show the striped effect. I am not sure which board is featured in the fourth pic, but I believe that at least one of the boards must be mahogany.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

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D11RDozer

55 posts in 1649 days


#7 posted 11-30-2011 04:25 AM

The 4th picture is the narrower, lighter one in all the pictures, the one that is supposed to be walnut.

View okwoodshop's profile

okwoodshop

442 posts in 1864 days


#8 posted 11-30-2011 04:45 AM

Okay, after looking closer I may have to change my mind. As my monitor came over on the mayflower the color is no longer accurate. I still believe the board on the right is walnut but the one on the left may be also but with more sap wood showing.here are a couple pics of walnut and mahogany.The board on the right is mahogany

View Ripthorn's profile

Ripthorn

771 posts in 1674 days


#9 posted 12-01-2011 12:55 AM

The left is walnut (possibly steamed) and the one on the right is definitely mahogany, probably african mahogany (khaya).

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1700 days


#10 posted 12-01-2011 01:38 AM

Ripthorn – are you referring to the OP’s (D11RDozer) boards or the photo that okwoodshop posted in the thread? Because those are different boards and the difference is quite obvious in okwoodshop’s example.

Personally I’m feeling like both boards are walnut…a little cut and sniff from someone who has worked with walnut would confirm.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

1471 posts in 1204 days


#11 posted 12-01-2011 08:44 PM

In the photo posted by okwoodshop, the left is walnut, the right could be mahogany, but it would be a lesser cut, maybe towards the top of the tree.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

View lespaul123's profile

lespaul123

6 posts in 1057 days


#12 posted 12-02-2011 04:07 AM

The left is definitely walnut and the one on the right looks like some ribbon mahogany if it is pretty dense it may be something else

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1175 posts in 1165 days


#13 posted 12-02-2011 05:14 AM

After looking at the pics again, I also think that they are both walnut.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

View JamesVavra's profile

JamesVavra

286 posts in 2005 days


#14 posted 12-02-2011 09:01 PM

I also think they are both walnut. Do the shavings from the small bit you planed smell the same? Despite not having worked with it before, walnut has a distinctly different smell from mahogany.

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D11RDozer

55 posts in 1649 days


#15 posted 12-02-2011 09:10 PM

I couldn’t really detect any smell from either. Maybe my sniffer is broken. I did plane a bit more into the larger board and I’m really thinking it’s walnut.

I guess in some sense it doesn’t matter so long as whatever I build has a consistent look to the grain and color. Maybe two single board projects.

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