Any guess on the species?

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Forum topic by NaptownWood posted 03-12-2014 02:59 PM 954 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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293 posts in 1838 days

03-12-2014 02:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question turning

I know its a long shot. Really wanted to show off the grain in this bowl as well. Didn’t want to post it in projects as it is not totally finished and I don’t have more pics. I’m not sure of the species, it is a very light wood, in color and weight. Seemed very brittle once it came out of the microwave. There is purple and black and the heartwood is green. That cool dark lightning shot goes all the way through to the bottom of the bowl and is very purplish in color. Any guesses? I’m in the midwest, Indiana. This was a freebie picked up after someone had downed a tree. The second coat of danish oil is soaking in and I think i’m going to keep at it and really try to build up a finish on it. Still dealing with little tool marks in the transition from the wall of the bowl to the bottom….one day I’ll get better.

-- Witty signature line still pending

7 replies so far

View BUBBATAY's profile


57 posts in 2279 days

#1 posted 03-12-2014 03:00 PM


View bondogaposis's profile


4683 posts in 2316 days

#2 posted 03-12-2014 03:07 PM

Ambrosia maple.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Greg's profile


330 posts in 2838 days

#3 posted 03-12-2014 03:07 PM

Almost guaranteed that it is poplar due to the colors you mentioned, and NOT the photo. Poplar is famous for greenish woods(light to dark) with variations going to purple & black just as you stated. The heartwood can sometimes be whitish too. I’d bet money this is what you have, as I know of no other species with these color characteristics.

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net?

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293 posts in 1838 days

#4 posted 03-12-2014 03:23 PM

yeah, the more i see what green wet poplar looks like the more I think that is what it is. Here is a pic of a milled log with the purple in it that I found on the web. thanks for taking the time to reply.

-- Witty signature line still pending

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28923 posts in 2303 days

#5 posted 03-12-2014 03:28 PM

Poplar is one of my favorites because it is unpredictable when I cut it open. It runs from boring to fabulous in colors. It could easily have everything that you mentioned.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Wildwood's profile


2299 posts in 2100 days

#6 posted 03-12-2014 08:18 PM

Also think it is Poplar, have posted pictures on project page of some Poplar bowls.

If still getting tool marks, are you using sharp tools, considered changing bevel angle, or shear scrapping to improve surface finish? I always re-sharpen my gouge for clean up cuts, learned cannot sand away those marks even with power sanding.

-- Bill

View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3281 days

#7 posted 03-12-2014 09:32 PM

Poplar tends to be both light and brittle when dry, so I’d say that’s what you’ve got. Also, those tool marks at the transition may not be from a dull edge, but rather where the wood is compressed by the bottom of your tool as you make that curve. Shear scraping can help, as can switching to a bowl gouge with a very stubby grind. Google some images of Bottom Bowl Gouge. They have a little bit of a learning curve, but will produce a far superior finish to shear scraping.


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