Wood ID... Need some help

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Forum topic by Dan posted 04-10-2012 04:50 PM 1735 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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04-10-2012 04:50 PM

I got this wood from a pallet that I recently took apart. I am not really sure what kind of wood this is so maybe someone here does.

The wood is very light weight and is probably the lightest weight wood I have ever worked with. I tried smelling the wood but I couldn’t detect even the slightest bit of scent from it.

Judging by the grain and the workability of the wood my guess is its a type of Mahogany. However all the Mahogany that I have worked with before has been much darker in color and has had a scent to it. Its also lighter in weight then the Mahogany I have worked with before.

Any other ideas?

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

16 replies so far

View DS's profile


2916 posts in 2413 days

#1 posted 04-10-2012 04:53 PM

Sure looks like Luan Mahogany to me…
(weathered and under tungsten lighting of course.)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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117083 posts in 3570 days

#2 posted 04-10-2012 04:56 PM

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#3 posted 04-10-2012 05:25 PM

Luan would be my guess as well.

You know those little wood boxes some teas come in? That stuff.

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16274 posts in 4211 days

#4 posted 04-10-2012 05:30 PM

It’s palletwood. Comes from the pallet tree, of course.

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

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2475 posts in 3033 days

#5 posted 04-10-2012 05:32 PM


Looks similar to some I found also I believe it’s Mulberry, also looks similar to a hickory(pecan)

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

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3630 posts in 2873 days

#6 posted 04-10-2012 05:38 PM

I checked out Luan and Luan appears to be what they call plywood that is made of up different types of lower grade mahogany. I saw a list of like a dozen types of Mahogany that can be found in Luan plywood.

I do believe its a type of Mahogany. I guess its not really important exactly what type it is.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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4152 posts in 2944 days

#7 posted 04-10-2012 05:45 PM

Yeah, I often see cigar boxes made o this stuff.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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3630 posts in 2873 days

#8 posted 04-10-2012 05:55 PM

The whole pallet I took apart was made of this wood so I have a decent little stack of it. It will be perfect for small boxes.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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2 posts in 2230 days

#9 posted 04-10-2012 06:05 PM

Sure looks like Balsa to me….....where did the pallet come from?

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2422 posts in 2919 days

#10 posted 04-10-2012 06:16 PM

I have similar material that came off off Japanese pallets from Toyota headliners, beautiful to work with. Guess it’s abundant like poplar here.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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3630 posts in 2873 days

#11 posted 04-10-2012 06:18 PM

I checked into Balsa wood and this could very well be Balsa. I read that Balsa wood is very light weight so there is a good chance thats what it is.

I don’t know where the pallet originally came from but I got it here in west Michigan. It could have come from anywhere though.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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549 posts in 3133 days

#12 posted 04-10-2012 07:28 PM

You can calculate the density and compare it w/ the woods known here:

Measure the weight and length, width, and thickness in inches of one of the pieces. Then do
(weight in lbs) x 1728 / (length x width x thickness)

This gives you the density in lbs/cu ft to compare with the chart.

View deleteme's profile


141 posts in 2599 days

#13 posted 04-10-2012 07:35 PM

Does it make sawdust? Can sweet looking dovetails, dado, routed edges, etc. be cut into it? Was it free? I know now…it’s “Win Wood!” Now how do I get my hands on some of that Win Wood?

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210 posts in 2312 days

#14 posted 04-10-2012 08:59 PM

I’d say it’s definitely not balsa as it wouldn’t be strong enough for a pallet. Balsa is mainly used for model making.
Looks a lot like rubberwood to me. They do make pallets from rubberwood.

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20928 posts in 2797 days

#15 posted 04-10-2012 09:57 PM

@A1Jim: Thnx a bunch for that link. Very kool

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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