ID this wood

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Forum topic by Don "Dances with Wood" Butler posted 919 days ago 902 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch

919 days ago

I have a customer’s rocking chair in my shop. It’s old, but I have no idea how old. It has paw feet on the front legs where they attach to the rockers. It was originally, I think, heavily upholstered.
The owner asked me if I could tell what specie the wood is. It was stained or coated in a colored varnish, colored a dark, reddish, sort of like mahogany. But I doubt it’s really mahogany.
Can enybody here ID the wood?
The photo is taken from one of the arms where most of the finish was worn off.

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

9 replies so far

View willie's profile


456 posts in 1040 days

#1 posted 919 days ago

Walnut or butternut?

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

#2 posted 919 days ago

It’s a bit too blonde for walnut. Butternut is a possibility.

-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

View Moron's profile


4666 posts in 2479 days

#3 posted 918 days ago


ash, elm, mahogany.

guessing elm as it was used extensively up until the dutch elm disease came, bends easily and rarely breaks.

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

View Alan Robertson's profile

Alan Robertson

66 posts in 2504 days

#4 posted 918 days ago

From what I can see. Possible cherry, but i’m leaning toward MAHOGANY.

-- MrAl

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1700 days

#5 posted 918 days ago

from what I can see trugh all of the old stain a little wild gess is it cuold be oak that have been
darkened a little with amonium before it was stained
but its only a gess from the small area where the stain is gone and having seen old oak that
looked like that one time years ago

I think the only way to be sure is to take out a sample from a place that will be hided when the chair
is restored … there is places that can help you identyfire the woodsample

good luck with the hunt

View richgreer's profile


4522 posts in 1660 days

#6 posted 918 days ago

Based on the grain (and not the color) my first guess is mahogany. I don’t think you should rely too much on the color because it, very likely, was stained.

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

View Alan Robertson's profile

Alan Robertson

66 posts in 2504 days

#7 posted 917 days ago


-- MrAl

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


925 posts in 940 days

#8 posted 917 days ago

There was a cheap white mahoganny that they used to use to build inexpensive furniture. They would stain it to the color of regular mahoganny, but I can’t remember teh species name.

The unfinished parts would almost look oak-esk. But it would be as light as a feather.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

#9 posted 917 days ago

Trade or Common Name: Primavera, white mahogany, prima vera
Local Name: Primavera
Botanical Name: Cybistax donnellsmithii
Family: Bignoniaceae

I looked up White Mahogany and came up with this.
I will sand off an area underneath to see how closely it resembles the color of the photo they show.


-- Will trade wife's yarn for tools.

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