Help! What type of wood is this?

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Forum topic by governor posted 12-30-2013 03:18 PM 1027 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1634 days

12-30-2013 03:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question arts and crafts

Hello there,
Can anyone take a guess at what type of wood this is? last year i made this fake bar of soap as part of a larger sculpture. i now have to make another and cannot remember what type of wood i used. i have lots of scraps of wood in my studio and most likely just grabbed one because of the look of it’s grain. i can guarantee that it isn’t anything exotic, most likely a common wood from a lumber store like pine, poplar, bass or oak. however it doesn’t look like any of these to me and could be some other species. what’s confusing me is the pronounced grain mixed with it’s light, and almost neutral color. However, i am no expert and it could just be common pine.
Thanks in advance!

(wood pictured is raw, not painted or sealed)

13 replies so far

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1960 days

#1 posted 12-30-2013 04:07 PM

Can’t quite tell, but my outside guess is ash. How big are the pores in the end grain?

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2311 days

#2 posted 12-30-2013 04:11 PM

Maybe western maple.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Wolfdaddy's profile


300 posts in 1859 days

#3 posted 12-30-2013 05:08 PM

Looks like ash or poplar to me. Color doesn’t quite look right for maple.

-- "MOM! I think there's something under our house! I'm gonna need a jackhammer, a fish bowl, some air tanks, and maybe a few pipes."

View governor's profile


4 posts in 1634 days

#4 posted 12-30-2013 05:23 PM

i have made the same post on another website and the verdict between the two seems to be either pine, poplar or ash.
from what i understand maple is quite a hard wood to carve, and this was fairly easy.
i am very familiar with poplar and, of course pine, and have many pieces in my studio, so thats very likely.

as for ash, i don’t remember ever buying a piece. would it be easy to come by 2” piece of ash at a lumber store in the nyc area?

thank you all for your help. it is much appreciated. i didn’t realize how tricky it is to determine a wood species. i naively thought it would be cut and dry.

i will go to the lumber store i frequent and see what wood they have there, maybe show them this pic too.
in any case, i will find something suitable. thanks again!!

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 1754 days

#5 posted 12-30-2013 05:32 PM

Carressed wood

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 1754 days

#6 posted 12-30-2013 05:32 PM


-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View floyd1365's profile


29 posts in 1872 days

#7 posted 12-30-2013 05:35 PM

pine, definitely not ash

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2539 days

#8 posted 12-30-2013 06:01 PM

Easy to carve, big growth rings, probably white pine from a big box store.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 1752 days

#9 posted 12-30-2013 06:13 PM

My first thought was ash but something doesn’t look right. pores in the end grain are to tight, and ash is pretty hard.
I’m going to guess it’s a light colored pc of Alder.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


4205 posts in 2334 days

#10 posted 12-30-2013 07:00 PM

Looks like tree wood to me.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View MalcolmLaurel's profile


298 posts in 1648 days

#11 posted 12-30-2013 11:56 PM

Sure looks like poplar to me… I can’t think of anything else similar that’s sold in the big box stores. Only thing missing is the greenish color typical of poplar, but that’s not always present.

-- Malcolm Laurel -

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2032 days

#12 posted 12-31-2013 12:02 AM

Might be Dove, or possibly Lifebouy

Definitely not Ivory! :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View WDHLT15's profile


1747 posts in 2501 days

#13 posted 12-31-2013 03:35 AM

It is a diffuse porous hardwood. Looks like yellow poplar sapwood. You can tell by looking at the end grain with a hand lens. Yellow poplar has a distinct band of marginal parenchyma at the termination of the growth ring. Looks like a very thin solid line. This is a characteristic of the Magnolia Family, of which yellow poplar is a member.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

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