Help with identification

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Forum topic by dave_bug posted 02-29-2012 05:20 AM 969 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 2244 days

02-29-2012 05:20 AM

anyone have any thought on what type of wood this might be? It is about 3 inches thick and weighs about 25 pounds.

thanks if you can help

6 replies so far

View oldnovice's profile


6764 posts in 3333 days

#1 posted 02-29-2012 05:34 AM


Are you sure it’s wood? Although it looks like a slice of a tree but I cannot see any pores. Is it possible that it is petrified?

Just some guesses!


-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View dave_bug's profile


5 posts in 2244 days

#2 posted 02-29-2012 06:19 AM

While I am a iron worker by trade so its possible its not wood…lol. That and im also brand new to working with wood. I tried to sand a bit of it thinking that what ever varnish or what not the previous owner put on it may let you see it better but i don’t think it did. I took a exacto knife and was able to cut though and slice off a little bit of the wood on the saw marks you can see in this set of photos. To me it felt like wood and the burls went down the 1/4 inch or so I was able to get with the knife. But again I am used to working with metal. I will borrow a camera from a buddy tomorrow and use some macro lenses so I can get closer, iphone photos are only so good I guess.

View JGHunter's profile


19 posts in 2243 days

#3 posted 02-29-2012 10:44 AM

Is the darker area what is exposed beneath the varnish (or whatever it appears to be coated with)? It looks like some sort of imitation. In fact it looks sort of resinous..?

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3039 days

#4 posted 02-29-2012 03:02 PM

This is Amboyna Burl. It is often finished like this before selling.

FYI – Amboyna Burl is, IMO, misnamed. It comes from the Narra tree and should be called “Narra burl”. However, the Narra trees on Amboyna Island (East Dutch Indies) became famous for their burl wood and people started referring to the burl of the Narra tree on Amboyna Island as “Amboyna Burl”.

This is a valuable piece of wood. I have small pieces of Amboyna Burl (2” x 3” x 8”) that I paid over $25 for. While this is a much larger piece, it does not look to be real high quality. Nonetheless, it would probably sell for well over $100.

After you cut into it, you will see a much duller surface. I have never been able to finish it to look like what I originally bought (which I find frustrating and disappointing).

There is no extra charge for the trivia.

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

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2658 days

#5 posted 02-29-2012 03:03 PM

Looks like a sapele burl slab

Edit: I think Rich is right. I’ve seen this before

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View dave_bug's profile


5 posts in 2244 days

#6 posted 02-29-2012 05:03 PM

Thanks guys. JGHunter the dark brown part is near the edge where some bark comes up. I found this site last night while I was searching so once it stops raining I will go out and saw off a piece and send it to them. Sadly it looks like rain for several days here and I need to do more research before I buy a dust collector. My wife said if I break her Dyson I am dead, oh well I guess that is the cost of living in NYC you have to work where you can when you can.

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