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Thread: Wood ID

  1. #1
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    Default Wood ID

    I disassembled a mahogany dresser from the 1940's. The "mahogany Association" sticker in one of the drawers guarantees that all external wood is mahogany. It's some pretty nice stuff and I'm going to use it for mandos and ukes. The wood that made up the drawers is pretty, light and rings nicely when tapped.

    I know it's a long shot, but I don't know what species it is and wonder if anyone has any educated guesses. The dresser seems to be made by Hungerford from Memphis TN, probably in the 40's. Thanks for any help

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    Oops, the attachments don't seem to have made it.Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    In the 40s I would suspect Swietenia macrophylla, but it could be Swietenia mahagoni.

    I typed that before the pictures loaded so now I'm not so sure. The grain looks a little prominent to be one of those species, but there can be so much variation that I won't guess now.

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  5. #4
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    Whatever it is , it looks nice. Good find and good luck with your builds.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Wood ID

    I always think I'm being thorough when writing a post, but reading my initial post I can see I'm not clear. The wood in the first post is interior wood from the drawers, so not necessarily a Swietenia at all. It looks like it may be, but I'm not sure. Here's a couple pics of the top of the dresser which is mahogany (of what species I don't know).Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #6
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    Any chance it's ramin? The grain and color look right.

  9. #7
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    "tonewood".....

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    "tonewood".....
    Yep, that seems about right.

  11. #9
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    The sticker mentions mahogany from west indies, south america and west africa so it can be actually anything from true (cuban) mahogany if it was still available back then, honduran mahogany to any of the african mahogany look-a-likes.
    Check the pieces with pictures and descriptions on wooddatabase.com...
    I'm not sure but isn't the genuine cuban mahogany (swietenia mahogani) on endangered species list and illegal to sell prodcts from it like ivory etc. ?
    Adrian

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  13. #10
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    I know that there are some restrictions on some of the mahoganies, but I do not know the details.
    At the rate we're going, it won't be long before instrument builders will have to make do with whatever conifers and hardwoods are still growing in their own countries.

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    Default Re: Wood ID

    I believe it is legal to re-use wood on the CITES list. I would document where it came from. particularly the age of the piece it cam from to show that it was legal at the time of harvest. Including the documentation with the sale would be a good idea.

  15. #12
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevin View Post
    I believe it is legal to re-use wood on the CITES list. I would document where it came from. particularly the age of the piece it cam from to show that it was legal at the time of harvest. Including the documentation with the sale would be a good idea.
    I'm afraid it doesn't work that way... You cannot take e.g. brazilian rosewood antique and make it into guitars. Or better said you can make the guitars but they would be seized at borders. The only way is to have original paperwork for the raw lumber that would prove it was cut or sold before the ban.
    Adrian

  16. #13
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    I know that there are some restrictions on some of the mahoganies, but I do not know the details.
    At the rate we're going, it won't be long before instrument builders will have to make do with whatever conifers and hardwoods are still growing in their own countries.
    I guess I'll be stuck using all of that damned red spruce that grows right here locally.....

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  18. #14
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    I'm afraid it doesn't work that way... You cannot take e.g. brazilian rosewood antique and make it into guitars. Or better said you can make the guitars but they would be seized at borders. The only way is to have original paperwork for the raw lumber that would prove it was cut or sold before the ban.
    I guess I was being a bit narrow minded, seeing things from a US only perspective. I am pretty sure it is legal to do so in the US but not to export.

  19. #15
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    Honduran mahogany, Brazilian mahogany and Cuban mahogany are listed on Appendix II of CITES. You can use the wood and export it, but you can only export it with no paperwork if the wood is incorporated into a finished product such as a musical instrument. If raw wood (e.g. logs, sawn planks, guitar sets) then you need CITES paperwork in order to export legally. Mahogany is not like Brazilian rosewood or Ivory which are listed on appendix I.
    Peter Coombe - mandolins, mandolas and guitars
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    Nevin 

  21. #16
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    Thanks Peter, I thought the cuban mahogany is on appendix I with Braz. RW.
    Adrian

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    Default Re: Wood ID

    It helps to remember what CITES stands for - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. That means that something that would be seized if sold internationally may still be sold within a country without onerous paperwork.

    BTW the internal wood looks like sapele to me, but identifying woods from photos is not very reliable.
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
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  23. #18
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    I love the label. "All exposed parts" are guaranteed. Is any of it veneered?
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  24. #19
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I love the label. "All exposed parts" are guaranteed. Is any of it veneered?
    The bottoms of the drawers are veneered. Everything else is solid. Sides, top, and drawer fronts a little over 3/4" thick. It was an ugly reproduction with little value, so time to repurpose.

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  26. #20
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    Default Re: Wood ID

    Repurposing furniture into musical instruments is a long and proud tradition

    Orville Gibson was known to do it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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