What kind of wood is this?

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Forum topic by Kaleb the Swede posted 06-21-2014 06:45 PM 1806 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kaleb the Swede

1816 posts in 1902 days

06-21-2014 06:45 PM

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

20169 posts in 3038 days

#1 posted 06-21-2014 09:49 PM

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

1816 posts in 1902 days

#2 posted 06-21-2014 10:15 PM

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


1725 posts in 2409 days

#3 posted 06-22-2014 01:06 AM

Looks like black walnut to me.

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

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1816 posts in 1902 days

#4 posted 06-22-2014 01:31 AM

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


271 posts in 1539 days

#5 posted 06-22-2014 01:39 AM

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 mahdee's profile (online now)


3851 posts in 1700 days

#6 posted 06-22-2014 02:06 AM

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


1699 posts in 1888 days

#7 posted 06-22-2014 02:17 AM

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


913 posts in 1916 days

#8 posted 06-22-2014 02:44 AM

Looks like the big piece of Bubinga I have

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3115 posts in 3042 days

#9 posted 06-22-2014 03:04 AM

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.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8509 posts in 1915 days

#10 posted 06-22-2014 04:04 AM

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

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 1482 days

#11 posted 06-22-2014 04:21 AM

The grain in the first pic looks wrong for walnut.

View Ted's profile


2838 posts in 2144 days

#12 posted 06-22-2014 05:03 AM

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

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View LiveEdge's profile


574 posts in 1553 days

#13 posted 06-23-2014 05:34 PM

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


4636 posts in 2284 days

#14 posted 06-23-2014 06:49 PM

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


301 posts in 1751 days

#15 posted 06-23-2014 06:50 PM

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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