what wood is it?

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Forum topic by harum posted 05-03-2014 08:30 PM 1282 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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252 posts in 1334 days

05-03-2014 08:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question wood species walnut diffuse porous

Brought several boards of some hardwood from a garage sale, which was sold to me as oak. It is very different from red or white oak that I have though. This wood is diffuse-porous, light color, has visible sheen and of medium density. I thought that it might be a walnut, which turned blonde because of aging. Its color is too light for aged mahogany or sapele… Any hint on what it might be would be greatly appreciated. Please see the photos. Thanks and best wishes, h.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

15 replies so far

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3553 posts in 1378 days

#1 posted 05-03-2014 08:41 PM

Looks like some type of mahogany, maybe luan or Philippine.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works

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1557 posts in 2454 days

#2 posted 05-03-2014 08:47 PM


-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

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252 posts in 1334 days

#3 posted 05-03-2014 08:57 PM

Thanks. Yes, it matches the description of white meranti or Philippine mahogany from The Wood Database.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

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4305 posts in 2042 days

#4 posted 05-03-2014 09:50 PM

Looks like mahogany to me too.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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411 posts in 1943 days

#5 posted 05-03-2014 11:00 PM

I agree. It looks like a mahogany!!

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252 posts in 1334 days

#6 posted 05-03-2014 11:26 PM

Thanks! I assume, but not 100% sure, that because of the color it is related to lauan/meranti/Philippine mahogany, which, of course, are not related to “true” mahoganies. Still wondering if this wood would do well in gluing and staining… Some mahoganies don’t.

Interestingly, that whitish thin stripe along the annual rings, visible in the end grain photo, has a metal-like luster: not visible at some angles but reflects light at other. Maybe this helps …

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

View mantwi's profile


312 posts in 1587 days

#7 posted 05-04-2014 12:41 AM

I once used some Philippine Mahogany salvaged from an old church remodel to build my mother-inlaw a side table. That was about 20 years ago and it has held up quite nicely. It machines and glues up very well and staining is no problem. I’d recommend using layers of dye stains to build color because the luan has nowhere the visual appeal of real Mahogany, a little artful enhancement can make it beautiful though.

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 2816 days

#8 posted 05-04-2014 05:25 AM

I was gonna rely on the Mahogany call, I have not really worked in Mahogany, but I do find those lines of crystals in jatoba all the time. Not that the grain matches at all.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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226 posts in 1276 days

#9 posted 05-04-2014 06:35 AM

It looks like meranti/Philippine mahogany to me too. We use it in South Africa as a fairly standard wood – most hardware stores carry it as a basic range together with pine. Quality varies dramatically; it can be a very light sapwood with a nasty grey colour and no backbone, or a dense red heartwood which is significantly harder. The latter, like you have, works well, takes chisel cuts nicely with little breakout, sands smooth, and glues great. I do find I need to stain to bring it all to an even tone.

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1212 days

#10 posted 05-04-2014 06:41 AM

I don’t know .. it could be walnut. Here’s a sample picture of black walnut for comparison :

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252 posts in 1334 days

#11 posted 05-05-2014 03:06 AM

Yonak: Thanks for the photo. The pore pattern is very similar between the two—amazing! What differs is (a) the overall color; and (b) the board on your photo has top to bottom stripes of slight color variation, which, AFAIK, is typical of walnut and which are missing in my mistery wood.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

View realcowtown_eric's profile


605 posts in 1628 days

#12 posted 05-05-2014 03:23 AM

I’m gonna go along with the mahogany idea, but there is a gadzillion different varieties of that species, and sellers play fast an loose with monikers.

Bottom line is to me, some kind of mahogany or something else…

That’s my best guess. Good luck


-- Real_cowtown_eric

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1650 posts in 2167 days

#13 posted 05-05-2014 11:20 AM

It is definitely tropical.

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

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46 posts in 1228 days

#14 posted 05-05-2014 11:22 AM

Definitely mahogany.

-- Mark, Western New York, East Lake Woodcraft

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193 posts in 2883 days

#15 posted 05-05-2014 11:29 AM

Hmmm to me that looks like eucalyptus?

-- "I don't cut wood. I machine it!" G.M. The wood machinest

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