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Interesting wood from Papua New Guinea

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Forum topic by SeattleD posted 07-17-2013 11:07 PM 909 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SeattleD

15 posts in 1264 days


07-17-2013 11:07 PM

A friend of mine is a scientist doing research in Papua New Guinea, working closely with the indigenous populations. She recently showed me a number of porpoise carvings made by the locals, and the wood from one of them really caught my eye. See pics below. The wood feels like a fairly dense hardwood. Any ideas what the species (of the wood, not the porpoise ;-) might be?

-- David


4 replies so far

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JustJoe

1554 posts in 1503 days


#1 posted 07-17-2013 11:14 PM

My guess was palm but you say it feels heavy.

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SeattleD

15 posts in 1264 days


#2 posted 07-17-2013 11:54 PM

Thanks for the reply. In terms of weight/apparent hardness, I’d definitely say it feels more like maple or walnut than pine or cedar. I’m not familiar with the look or feel of palm.

-- David

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JustJoe

1554 posts in 1503 days


#3 posted 07-18-2013 12:17 AM

There’s a lot of different palms, here’s one:
http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/monocots/red-palm/

According to that site, it’s a shade denser than hard maple. That surprised me because the only palm wood I’ve ever held is that ugly stuff the landscapers plant all over southern AZ and CA and it was much lighter and stringier. But the grain structure looks a lot like your carving.

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SeattleD

15 posts in 1264 days


#4 posted 07-18-2013 04:24 AM

Joe – Thanks for that great site, very interesting. If this isn’t that exact species, it must be close. Interesting how the wood is described as being “quite difficult to work with both machine and hand tools”. This piece is very well done up close, with a lot of different angles to the grain, thicknesses, etc., and I’m guessing the artist had only rudimentary hand tools.

-- David

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