What kind of wood is this?

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Forum topic by Kaleb the Swede posted 67 days ago 1043 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kaleb the Swede

1107 posts in 600 days

67 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

Got it on a craigslist find with a bunch of walnut, maple, and poplar last year. i have two boards of it about 5 inches wide and 6 feet long, one inch thick. smells like chocolate when i cut it, its heavy and hard too.

I know it isnt walnut. maybe rosewood?

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

35 replies so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11315 posts in 1737 days

#1 posted 66 days ago

Not sure. it looks like something from the mahogany family but I cannot tell form the photos. the end grain looks like the manufactured wood we used at Steelcase.It was laminated and then cut on curves to look like flat cut oak..etc. It was an island woo and hard.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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Kaleb the Swede

1107 posts in 600 days

#2 posted 66 days ago

Thanks Mr. Jakosh. No this definitely not manufactured. It was just rough cut on one end with a handsaw.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View WDHLT15's profile


1097 posts in 1107 days

#3 posted 66 days ago

Looks like black walnut to me.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1107 posts in 600 days

#4 posted 66 days ago

Thanks mr. Danny. I am new, just a little over a year, at woodworking now, but this wood does not feel, smell, cut, plane like walnut. That’s why I’m confused on what it is. I have a Brazilian rosewood guitar and the wood looks similar. So that’s why I thought rosewood. I could be wrong

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View TiggerWood's profile


197 posts in 238 days

#5 posted 66 days ago

What is the hardness like from a scale of 1 to 10, 9 being Hickory/Purpleheart and 2 being Pine?

Black walnut is the only wood I have worked with that smells like chocolate when being cut.

View mrjinx007's profile


1370 posts in 399 days

#6 posted 66 days ago

Lets see… smell like chocolate, it looks like chocolate; does it taste like chocolate??? It looks like walnut, but I must agree with you, it is not walnut unless it came from middle-east. I am gestimaing based on the rings, it is at least 80 years old. Turkish, Persian, chines, etc., walnut takes a lot longer to grow due to lack of rain and thus they are a lot more dense and 3x as expensive as American walnut. I think it is a walnut.


View richardwootton's profile


1167 posts in 586 days

#7 posted 66 days ago

It almost looks like there is some medullary ray fleck on the far right side in the first picture. I’m not aware of that being present in Walnut. Does the wood feel oily at all?

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View UpstateNYdude's profile


431 posts in 614 days

#8 posted 66 days ago

Looks like the big piece of Bubinga I have

-- Nick, “Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime's work, but it's worth the effort.” ― Fred Rogers, Be My Neighbor

View Dark_Lightning's profile


1692 posts in 1740 days

#9 posted 66 days ago

Try putting some more illumination on that end grain. I tend to agree with Nick that it looks like bubinga, but it could easily be a rosewood from someplace other than Bolivia. Mexico and other Southern American places have some nice rosewood, as well. The end grain tells the story, a lot of times. I have a piece of Bolivian rosewood in a box lid that has what looks to be minor medullary rays. It’s not really obvious, and has to be viewed carefully in the light. Truly beautiful. If I can get my camera skills out of the basement, I’ll post a pic. Even then it may not show up. I’ve seen expert pics taken of grain that are surely beautiful in person, but don’t show up in the intertubes. I’ve done a lot of woodworking over the last 50 years, but my camera skills are lacking, so I don’t post many (if any) projects.

View BigRedKnothead's profile


4734 posts in 613 days

#10 posted 66 days ago

The coloration is always tough in pics. Looked like quartersawn bubinga in my first impression….if it redder than the pics.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View freddy1962's profile


719 posts in 180 days

#11 posted 66 days ago

The grain in the first pic looks wrong for walnut.

-- JEFF Illinois (Banks of the Mississippi)

View Tedster's profile


2270 posts in 842 days

#12 posted 66 days ago

Looks like Bubinga to me, though the color is a bit dark. Whatever the case, it sure is a nice looking wood.

-- I support the 28th Amendment.

View LiveEdge's profile


211 posts in 251 days

#13 posted 65 days ago

I think pieces that look like this that people get on Craigslist are almost invariably Ipe or Cumaru and are left over from someone’s deck. The proof is always to cut a small section of the end and if it sinks in water you’ve made the ID.

View bondogaposis's profile


2489 posts in 982 days

#14 posted 65 days ago

It looks like quarter sawn walnut to me. But if it is significantly denser than the other walnut you have then it probably is tropical.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Gentile's profile


51 posts in 450 days

#15 posted 65 days ago

It looks like Walnut to me. If it’s Rosewood, you’re sitting on a small fortune…

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

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