What kind of mystery wood is this??

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Forum topic by Alex Lane posted 08-23-2008 01:46 AM 1718 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Alex Lane

542 posts in 4129 days

08-23-2008 01:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: exotic wood mystery pallet

I walked into work today ( and laying near the door were two pallets. The piece of wood on one pallet caught this LumberJock’s eye immediately. It didn’t even have a finish on it, and that’s why I was so impressed. The “chatoyance” was amazing, and I knew I would kick myself if I did not at least ask…

One of the managers in the office where I work said that I could have BOTH pallets! I brought them home on lunch hour, and it rained heavily when I was on my way home at the end of the day. I knew that the water would potentially warp my pretty piece, so I brought it in the shop, and while it was still wet, I took these photos of it…

I think it looks likek some kind of curly cherry, but it’s almost as dark DRY as it is wet, and cherry doesn’t always look like that!!!! It must be some S. American exotic… since I can’t see pallet companies cutting down Cherry trees from N. American forests just to buzzsaw into pieces and make cheap skids.
What do y’all think???

Another trophy for the collection!! Did ya notice the quilted/birdseye/curly maple billets, california redwood blocks, stack of ash, chechen,...? Now, all I gotta do is MAKE SOMETHING…

I’ll send a video shop tour to Marc @ TheWoodWhisperer one of these days, so everybody can see what a messy deathtrap (bursting w/ fantastic figured wood from all over the world) my woodshop is!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

14 replies so far

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 4062 days

#1 posted 08-23-2008 04:48 AM

My first guest is honey locust…Blkcherry

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4145 days

#2 posted 08-23-2008 01:53 PM

I would say elm ?

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4245 days

#3 posted 08-23-2008 03:58 PM

From the looks of the rings its a very fast growing wood probably only suitable for forklift pallets. I bet it curls up like a noodle if you ripped it down the middle.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

542 posts in 4129 days

#4 posted 08-23-2008 08:22 PM

It’s really HARD and HEAVY wood. I hope it’s a little more stable than that!! I don’t really plan to rip it. It looks mostly quarter to rift-sawn, so I plan to resaw it into several guitar fingerboards or something…


-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4539 days

#5 posted 08-23-2008 10:15 PM

I’d have to take a guess that its one of the Mahogany’s.

Check out this site to see.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3927 days

#6 posted 08-23-2008 10:58 PM

definitley NOT American Cherry…those growth rings are way too far apart. I’ve had some Lyptus that had the huge growth rings and was also very dark and dense . Is that “fur” along the edges still very tough and flexible ?

I was going to inquire about those beautiful Maple blanks in the background : ) I am a collector of all types of future project woods myself : ) There are members from all over the world on this site and I’m sure someone will recognize your prize and share the correct info with all of us soon …have a great weekend : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

542 posts in 4129 days

#7 posted 08-23-2008 11:18 PM

Dusty: YES the “fur” (planer tear-out) is very tough and flexible. What do you know about this?? Is the Lyptus the same way?
Thanks Dick for the link. I have been looking to the HOBBIT’s website for over a year now, but thanks anyway. I’m sure others will benefit from this wood index!!

This page shows pictures of EVERY wood with the name.

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3912 days

#8 posted 08-24-2008 04:45 AM

I have a pallet with a similar makers mark that was mahogany and something else. 3 of the boards where great looking pieces of mahogany, the rest are soso.

One slat was quartersawn and I resawed it and bookmatched it to get a panel for a project for my wife.

the 2 other woods I don’t know what they are, I was planning on doing the same thing you are and posting a picture. I’ll have to dig up my camera now.

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 3985 days

#9 posted 08-24-2008 08:45 AM

Pretty, but I don’t think that I’d trust it for anything other that slicing up for thin veneers. And I mean the quilt figure in the background. The orange stuff, who knows?

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

542 posts in 4129 days

#10 posted 08-24-2008 06:57 PM

A friend brought me his Sawzall today so I can Cut the pallet apart…
But I don’t think that’s going to work, now that I see how it’s put together. I want the piece that has the nails driven into it, not the thin slats going across the frame. Maybe I’ll use the Makita Sawzall (sp?) to salvage the thin boards, but I still have to pull the nails out of the piece I want.

SIGH! Claw hammer and wrecking bar it is!! “And don’t forget the most important safety rule. Wear these…safety glasses.”—Norm Abram

Anyone else have some ideas on what this is??

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3829 days

#11 posted 08-24-2008 08:17 PM

figured butternut that’s been treated with something? Grain pattern resembles walnut, since butternut is white walnut I fugured why not. Let us know how light in color it is raw.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Grumpy's profile


24823 posts in 4090 days

#12 posted 08-25-2008 02:29 PM


-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View poopiekat's profile


4405 posts in 3973 days

#13 posted 08-27-2008 03:27 AM

For what it’s worth, the inked stencil has the initials “HT” on it, which indicates that the pallet was manufactured for shipping freight out of the country. Many countries around the world will not allow pallets to pass through their Customs with potentially disastrous diseases or insects embedded in the wood. “HT” means heat-treated.
A factory where I once worked as a Receiver often ordered pallets from a local mill, and often they used down-grade lumber such as black walnut, red beech and some exotics purchased on the wholesale spot market. I’d pop off the boards I wanted by propping the pallet against a vertical I-beam girder and forcing the board out, nails and all, from behind with a fork of the forklift. The pallet company’s driver explained that nobody wanted the lower grades of expensive woods and pallet manufacturers would gobble up all the stucturally sound but not pretty wood. And of course there were always nice pieces among the rejects.
The ‘stringer’, the board you photographed, sadly, is probably not saveable due to the enormous number of rugged spiral nails embedded in it. The flat boards across the top of a pallet are where I always look for usable lumber, and I have lots of awersome qtr sawn oak and other treasures culled for free.
My guess would be red Elm…

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3927 days

#14 posted 08-27-2008 05:38 AM

here’s another source…maybe you can email them some pictures of your prize for an ID ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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