How do I identify the species of a board I bought?

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Forum topic by Henry Mowry posted 191 days ago 1906 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Henry Mowry

60 posts in 1565 days

191 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: mahogany cherry

I recently bought 19x boards from a guy that was selling lumber that his Dad had bought. The seller was not a woodworker, and based on the dirt on the boards, they had been in storage for a while.

Most of the boards were labeled on their edge, but there a few boards labeled “mohogany” that are very different looks. One has great figure, and then a few are almost uniformly cherry colored, with a few sap extrusions (?) on the face of the boards.

Can you tell me which is what?

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA

24 replies so far

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 536 days

#1 posted 191 days ago

I vote cherry for the 2nd pic, only because it looks exactly like the common cherry boards I was working on today.
Edit: Is that first one kind of light-weight and stringy? The look reminds me of that mahogany they make the doorskins out of.

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View Bobmedic's profile


302 posts in 1300 days

#2 posted 191 days ago

Looks like possibly maple or Sycamore in the first pic

-- Save lives, ease suffering, reduce morbidity and mortality, stomp out pestilence and disease, postpone the inevitable, and fake compassion. The Paramedics Creed

View Chris208's profile


144 posts in 768 days

#3 posted 191 days ago

The first picture looks like a mahogany species to me. I have some “red mahogany” that looks identical.

The second pic looks like cherry.

View Drew - Rock-n H Woodshop's profile

Drew - Rock-n H Woodshop

626 posts in 1189 days

#4 posted 191 days ago

My vote is mahogany and cherry

-- Drew -- "I cut it twice and it's still too short!"- Rock-n H Woodshop - Moore, OK

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3357 posts in 878 days

#5 posted 191 days ago

#1. Sapele ?? (it’s not Honduran mahogany)

#2. Cherry

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

10733 posts in 836 days

#6 posted 190 days ago

1st board I would say is QS Sycamore. 2nd board I would say is cherry.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Danal's profile


79 posts in 724 days

#7 posted 190 days ago

The first board is indicative of mahogany and second is cherry

View Woodendeavor's profile


193 posts in 1104 days

#8 posted 190 days ago

I have worked with it a few times, the first picture is Quarter sawn Sycamore IMHO

View Don W's profile

Don W

13922 posts in 1065 days

#9 posted 190 days ago

first is possibly mahogany and second is most likely cherry

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 249 days

#10 posted 190 days ago

The top board is one of the pacific “mahogany” species. You can tell by the top of the board with its open grain structure. That also indicates that it is not sycamore.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


340 posts in 211 days

#11 posted 190 days ago

2. could also be pear

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Marcus's profile


915 posts in 517 days

#12 posted 190 days ago

1. Qsawn something, doesn’t look like mahogany to me.
2. Another vote for cherry.

View Henry Mowry's profile

Henry Mowry

60 posts in 1565 days

#13 posted 190 days ago

I should also mention that I’m in southern California. Quartersawn sycamore seems unlikely to me; I’ve never seen it for sale here. I think the 2nd picture is cherry … that’s the first thought I had when I bought it.

The first board is clearly labeled “mohogany.” The grain flecks are rectanglular … the sycamore photos I’ve seen have flecks that are more rounded than this board presents. I think.

Unfortunately, I’ve never worked with cherry or mahogany, so I’m unfamiliar with both.

I mean, FORTUNATELY, I’m getting more experience with more wood!

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA

View RogerM's profile


391 posts in 897 days

#14 posted 190 days ago

Second board cherry. First board could be soft maple.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View WDHLT15's profile


981 posts in 974 days

#15 posted 190 days ago

I am going with quartersawn sycamore and cherry, too.

-- Danny, Located in Perry, GA, Forester, Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill

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