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Forum topic by Chris Speights posted 12-17-2012 02:51 PM 737 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chris Speights

120 posts in 1012 days


12-17-2012 02:51 PM

This isn’t a great picture, but I figure I could explain this wood well enough that someone can probably answer.

So, the board on the left is some cherry. The board on the right is, well, that’s what I am asking. It has profound grain, similar to oak. It’s the color of cherry (maybe a little more orange). It has an odd sheen to it, sort of “sparkly” and when I cut it, it smells like rubbing alcohol. It’s not very dense/heavy, but it’s not “soft”. I happen to have quite a bit of this stuff, so would like to figure out what it is. As always, any help is greatly appreciated.

Chris


13 replies so far

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Dallas

2906 posts in 1142 days


#1 posted 12-17-2012 03:28 PM

It looks like Bur oak from here, but I can’t see it well enough to tell.
Bur oak often has an astringent odor depending on how it was fed when growing.

I would take a chunk to your local extension agent or down to the local university and see if they will identify it for you.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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Chris Speights

120 posts in 1012 days


#2 posted 12-17-2012 03:42 PM

I looked at some images of bur oak, but didn’t see any that really looks like this piece. The bur oak images I saw seemed to suggest a lot of curl in the grain. This is all very straight grained.

But, I didn’t know there was somewhere I could take the wood to be identified. I will look into it and see if I can find somewhere local.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1505 days


#3 posted 12-17-2012 03:55 PM

Dallas, go here and at the bottom of the page choose M and scroll down into the mahoganies and check them out. This is a wonderful site if you have questions like this.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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a1Jim

112089 posts in 2232 days


#4 posted 12-17-2012 04:05 PM

I second Lee’s guess.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Chris Speights's profile

Chris Speights

120 posts in 1012 days


#5 posted 12-17-2012 04:08 PM

It does somewhat resemble cuban mahogany. At least the physical characteristics. But, I cannot find anything about the “smell” of cuban mahogany.

This smell wouldn’t be forgotten by anyone. I made a box out of whatever this is. By the time I was done cutting the pieces, my garage smelled like a barber shop…haha.

The only thing I have found about any wood that smells like rubbing alcohol is sandalwood, but most of the pictures of the sandalwood don’t look too much like this…so, I am completely at a loss.

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1665 days


#6 posted 12-17-2012 04:48 PM

I would guess African mahogany. There are lots of different species that fall under this label, most notably Khaya. I just got a bunch that is particularly fragrant. I wouldn’t exactly call it rubbing alcohol, but I could see how another person might.

If only there was a way to transmit smell over the interweb!

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

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1813 days


#7 posted 12-17-2012 05:34 PM

Look like a mahogany variant, even similar to Spanish cedar (a cousin of mahogany). If the smell you describe smells like a cigar box, then you’ll know.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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Dallas

2906 posts in 1142 days


#8 posted 12-17-2012 05:52 PM

Thanks Lee, I’ve been there before and it’s in my favorites.

I’m basing my uninformed guess on several criteria:

He’s in East Central Texas, the home of a lot of Bur, Post, Pin and White oak.

It has that Alcohol astringent smell of oak laying for awhile before processing.

I have a pile of Bur oak here and it’s pretty similar if flat sawn.

However, I would still take it to the local extension agent or one of the local universities to get a proper ID.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3362 posts in 1468 days


#9 posted 12-17-2012 06:43 PM

Mohogany is an open grain wood like oak, but has its own color. Wipe some poly on it. Mohogany gets a warm red-brown color to it under a clear finish.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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darinS

383 posts in 1522 days


#10 posted 12-17-2012 06:59 PM

This might give you a little more information.

http://www.wood-database.com/wood-identification/

They go through a number of different characteristics.

-- If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you!

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1130 posts in 1131 days


#11 posted 12-18-2012 03:39 AM

It definitely looks tropical with that grain pattern. I know the native woods well, but I don’t mess with the tropical stuff. My first thought was a type of mahogany or related species.

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

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2343 days


#12 posted 12-18-2012 03:58 AM

First glance appears to be a Mahogany variety , but your photo doesn’t really even show the Cherry that well.

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

View Chris Speights's profile

Chris Speights

120 posts in 1012 days


#13 posted 12-18-2012 01:29 PM

I ran by the hardwood lumber store yesterday to pick up some walnut. I took a piece of this wood with me. The guy confirms it is African or Cuban Mahogany. He couldn’t explain the rubbing alcohol smell, though. I am a little embarassed for not knowing this, haha…but, at least I am learning.

What is it, “the only dumb questions are the ones you don’t ask”? haha…

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