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Thread: What timber is this please ?

  1. #1

    Default What timber is this please ?

    Hi Folks,

    a local friend and Luthier passed away earlier this year & I'm helping to clear the workshop, which involves identifying out what's saleable.

    What would the stripey timber be ? ( number two and three)

    Thanks, David

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    The stripes looks like cedar.

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  4. #3
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    How heavy is the wood? How stiff? What kind of 'tap tone'? What does it smell like?

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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    I was thinking the same thing as John. I'd be surprised if it was cedar, although it's possible. It looks like a side/back set for a guitar and it would be likely that it's some harder tonewood. You might try going to LMI's website and look at their photos of the tonewoods they sell. Even then, identifying most woods from just photos is a long shot.

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  8. #5

    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    Good questions, thanks.

    It's heavy, has a metallic taptone, it's very stiff and it smells of ........roses. Assuming it's Rosewood, would anyone hazard a guess what variety ?

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Davey View Post
    ...Assuming it's Rosewood, would anyone hazard a guess what variety ?
    My first guess was some-kinda rosewood, and that's about as close as I can pin it down from pictures. It doesn't look like EIR, it doesn't look like Brazilian, it doesn't look like Honduran, so... that narrows it down, lol.

    If there is any way to look for purchase records, or if there was a sellers label, or any information at all that might lead you to the seller they might be able to recognize it and ID it, but "some-kinda" rosewood is probably as close as you'll easily get otherwise.

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  11. #7
    Registered User Russ Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    Maybe Padauk?

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  13. #8

    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    Thanks for the help. No chance of paperwork turning up I'm afraid so we'll go with some kinda Rosewood. Cheers

  14. #9

    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    Look up padauk, goncalo alves, macacauba, granadillo, and bubinga. Those are all under the umbrella of "some type of rosewood", or at least legumes which can have similar coloring to what your picture looks like (except for goncalo, which is a cashew).

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    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    A few years a go I was given some timber by a friend who is a very fine woodturner. He put it through his bandsaw and thicknesser to make back and side pieces for me. The timber is very similar to that in your photos and he called it Philippine Rosewood. I used some of it to build a bouzouki and a mandolin and the final pieces I used to make a case for a friend's flute. It was of variable quality with some unusable pieces where the grain split easily or tore out when he was using his thicknesser.
    Last edited by John Kelly; Jul-24-2021 at 3:20pm.
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    How about Cocobolo?

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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    Try this
    https://www.lmii.com/machiche-backs-...eadnought.html
    Machiche
    I have a guitar right beside me that I built last year made of it. It doesn't have the sapwood stripes but it's got a lot of that same look.
    We could all just agree that it's related to some sort of rosewood mahogany type tree that grows for the most part somewhere other than northern Illinois.

  20. #13

    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    The grain looks like padouk but it washes out to a muddy brown pretty quick when not finished. Perhaps pau ferro?

  21. #14

    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyb2 View Post
    How about Cocobolo?
    I'd be surprised. Cocobolo has a lot of black in it unless it's just freshly cut.

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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
    I'd be surprised. Cocobolo has a lot of black in it unless it's just freshly cut.
    I would too, Marty. It's just that I came across a guitar on google images which had cocobolo and looked very similar with less contrast in the colouring than you might expect.

  23. #16
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    "Tonewood"

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  25. #17

    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    It’s not Paduke. Maybe Spanish Cedar

  26. #18
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    Jatoba? (aka Brazilian Cherry, Hymenaea courbaril)
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    Monte Barnett MB-Octo's Avatar
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    I’m curious as to the general locale of the OP, considering the use of the word “timber”. Australia and thereabouts seem to have several exotic species. That being said, I’ll guess Brazilian Tulipwood.
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    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    I would use a very sharp edge tool and clean up enough of the end grain to see the xylem cells clearly, then google a good technical reference on tropical wood ID. It's entirely possible your timber can be ID'd by comparing the sample to some online photos of end grain, plus the other clues you already have.
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  29. #21
    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    Here is the page on Brazilian Tulipwood from The Wood Database.
    Clark Beavans

  30. #22
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tree View Post
    I would use a very sharp edge tool and clean up enough of the end grain to see the xylem cells clearly...
    Having whittled and worked with wood and having sharpened tools since I was in about the 3rd grade (nearly 60 years! ), I can say that it is not easy to get a tool that sharp and make an end gain cut that clean. A new razor blade will sometimes do. Exacto blade? Not quite.
    I have done the end-grain slice for wood ID quite a few times and I seldom get a clean enough cut without several tries.

  31. #23
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    With most wood species you can work up to it with light passes, rather than try to do it with the first pass. A sharp chisel works for me, also a block plane, but oddly enough a drawknife or spokeshave gives me surprisingly good results right off the bat. You only need to be able to see vessels, rays, pores, etc. well enough to determine their presence or absence and the patterns in a couple of annual growth increments. You don't need to clean it up as if it were going to be a finished edge.

    In the wood ID class I took a long time ago as part of the forestry curriculum at NC State, they had us use single edge razor blades and a hand lens. Not, IMO, an acceptable way to proceed with a class full of novices, at least in terms of safety.
    Clark Beavans

  32. #24
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    When I've had the most difficulty has been trying to determine whether black, evenly colored ebony fingerboards are quartered or not. Sometimes no features of the wood can be found visually, and when slicing the end grain any streaks left by the tool look about the same as growth rings. Ebony has tiny pores and little texture... a difficult subject.

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  34. #25

    Default Re: What timber is this please ?

    Hi, I'm from West Yorkshire, UK. I've always used "timber" as we had a family Ironmonger's Shop, complete with "Timber shed" although we called the smaller stuff "wood".

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