Name That Lumber

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Forum topic by brianinpa posted 02-17-2009 02:06 AM 1157 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1812 posts in 3141 days

02-17-2009 02:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood type question

Lets play a game: Name that lumber.

I got this lumber from a pallet at work and I have no idea what kind of wood it is. I have looked through my encyclopedia of wood and came up with Australian Blackwood or Australian Silky Oak but am still uncertain. It could also be a mahogany, but it looks too red. I am in the US, but we receive products manufactured around the world so it is really hard to narrow down a country of origin. The wood is very dense: I poked it with a pocket knife and it barely nicked it. It cuts nicely but it makes the planer work a little harder. The grain is very tight and there are a lot of red, light brown, and pink colorations and there is even some purple. When I ran it through the planer the chips looked red. Here are some photos:

I really need to get a better camera! I have no idea what this is so give me your thoughts…

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

11 replies so far

View kiwi1969's profile


609 posts in 2860 days

#1 posted 02-17-2009 03:59 AM

photos a bit blurry, but i would seriosly doubt Australian silky oak is your timber, it,s not that dense,or widely avaliable, although the top edge of the second photo does look a lot like it, your description of the colours rule it out, I think. maybe it,s a tropical relative? Most pallets I saw in Australia use treated Radiata pine or very low grade Tasmanian oak, which is just a trade name, not a species as such, and not red . I would suspect it,s a no name asian tropical that may not even show up in your book. Just my best guess.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3141 days

#2 posted 02-17-2009 05:32 AM

I certainly am not a photographer: I’m too shaky no matter what I try to do. I too was pretty sure that it isn’t the silky oak becasue of how tough it is, and all my searching shows that silky oak is somewhat soft, but it looks a lot like it. I suspect that these pallets came from China so anything is possible.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 3515 days

#3 posted 02-17-2009 05:48 AM

Mahogany? Maybe not since you stated the grain was so dense.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 3410 days

#4 posted 02-17-2009 06:23 AM

ok this is like a post from heven for me id be willing to put money on it that is good old amarican gum wood the giveaway is the reds and the purple. the funny thing with gumwood is your boards are hart wood if your going to build anything with it make sure its good and dry befor building with it or it will twist up worse then D Snyder.

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3155 days

#5 posted 02-17-2009 07:21 AM

I agree Lyptus.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View PG_Zac's profile


366 posts in 2806 days

#6 posted 02-17-2009 10:18 AM

Based on your description of the grain nature and the colours, I’d have to say it is of the Eucalyptus family. I was given a live-edge slab about 400mm wide X 70mm thick X 2.2m long a year or two ago. When I made a new cutting board in December, it looked exactly like your picture #2. Unfortunately I can’t remember which specific Eucalyptus mine is.


-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3332 days

#7 posted 02-17-2009 01:25 PM

Definitely not the blackwood ( Acacia Melanoxylon ). I grow blackwood and it’s more brown and beige.
possibly Eucalyptus Saligna ( Blue Gum or Sydney Blue Gum)- widely grown in plantations.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View motthunter's profile


2142 posts in 3217 days

#8 posted 02-17-2009 02:25 PM

looks like brazilian jatoba

-- making sawdust....

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3311 days

#9 posted 02-17-2009 02:49 PM


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3141 days

#10 posted 02-18-2009 12:45 AM

Thanks for the help. The photos and descriptions of Lyptus and Jatoba really resemble this wood, but I found some close up photos (better than mine) the draw me closer to Lyptus. The endgrain of my wood does not compare toe the end grain of the Jatoba. I stumbled over this really great website for exotic wood. This is a lot better than the book I have. These two types of wood aren’t even shown in my Encyclopedia of Wood.

Again thanks for your help and opinions.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 3141 days

#11 posted 03-01-2009 06:09 AM

I’ve used both Lyptus and Jatoba. It sure looks like Lyptus to me. It looks a little light for Jatoba.

-- Martin, Kansas

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