WOOD ID POSTER:
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240 woods on a poster (24"x36")


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LIMBA

Terminalia superba


NOTE: This site previously had separate sections for white and black limba because I shared what I now know to be a common misperception among us woodworkers that those are separate (albeit related) woods. In fact, all limba comes from the same tree and the "white" and "black" designations are based on color and grain. See the color section of the "fact sheet" for full details.

I have kept the "white" and "black" sections separate below


pieces that clearly show both the white and the black --- these have sharp demarcation, but that is not always the case.


both sides of a plank and a closeup --- the "black" section is just along one edge




LIMBA, WHITE




my samples:


both sides of a sample plank of white limba / Terminalia superba --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of white limba / Terminilia superba --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of (white) limba / Terminalia superba --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This sample vendor, who is very unreliable when it comes to designating figure, has this as "bird's eye" which it definitly is not. There are some nifty swirls in the grain and an indented grain (see end grain update below) which do make for a very interesting figure, but just because it's interesting doesn't make it bird's eye. The labled side is raw but the 2nd side has been sanded to 240 grit and so shows details better and is a sligtly lighter color.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above. Note the indented grain that is at least part of the reason for the interesting figure.




NOTE: all of the pics below are from a solid piece about 2"x2"x3' most generously donated to the site by Jim Glynn, whom I thank for the gift. Both levels of enlargement are available on all of these, so you can see the markings and the grain up close.


small plank


a couple of small plank sections and the same moistened with water


end grain --- the last pic is of the same piece as the first one, but moistened with water


Jim pointed out to me that the markings, whether orange or just dark brown, seem to be accompanied in most cases by holes made by whatever sort of boring insect likes to bore in white limba. In other words, Jim is suggesting that the markings are basically bug poop. Now Jim works around boats and it is possible that he had inhaled too much fumes from an industrial strength solvent of some kind before making that suggestion. Ah, no wait ... he made that suggestion in my kitchen, and I don't have any industrial strength solvents there and he was nowhere near the amonia, so hmm ... maybe he has a point.


end grain closeups from a plank that came off the same piece as those above --- color is very accurate


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

End of Jim Glynn's samples





a section totally devoid of any character-enhancing markings. The color is a little too yellow.


fiddleback veneer --- a true fiddleback, technically, but really too weak a figure to use on the back of a fiddle. I note that the veneer is significantly different in color (much more yellow) than the solid and I have no explanation for this.



web pics: (for WHITE limba)


plank listed as limba / Terminalia superba and that has wet and dry sections


planks


bookmatched white limba planks --- this was listed as curly but most vendors would sell this as fiddleback


white limba planks listed as "waterfall figure", which I have not seen other than in this listing. It appears to just be a curly figure with wide separation between curls


quartersawn veneer


veneer --- neither specifically listed as quartersawn but both appear to be


fiddleback veneer


listed as "Africa" limba


white limba listed as korina


white limba (listed as korina) figured veneer


guitar blank of white limba listed as korina and a closeup




LIMBA, BLACK




my samples:


both sides of a sample plank of black limba / Terminalia superba --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of black limba / Terminalia superba --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The pics of this sample all have a very slight red tint but the actual wood does not.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above




Jim Glynn donated the samples shown below. Thanks Jim. All of the pics of these solid pieces that Jim gave me are a little too light.


two sides of a piece of turning stock


end grain of the sample above --- 2nd level enlargement is available


a couple of solid wedges, just showing more grain variety --- the wood actually has more of a green tint that what shows in these pics.


end grain closeup from the piece on the right directly above this --- color is a just a hair too green

End Jim Glenn's samples





plank


both sides of a plank, showing pure "white limba" on one side, "black limba" on the other. This was cut from the middle of the larger plank directly above


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


plank


plank and end grain (piece cut from the larger plank directly above)


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above --- the update is from the other end and it had a bad gouge in it that I did not get all the way out but there is plenty of area in the pic that shows the fine grain detail so I decided not to rework it.


set of small planks and a closeup of a couple of them


both sides of a small sample piece of black liimba


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


The first pic is a couple of sheets and the next two are closeups from them. Colors are quite well captured in the pics.


more veneer, also with accurate color


veneer --- curly, shiny, and beautiful; actual color has just a shade more green in it (not as extreme as the sheets directly above this set, but a touch in that direction)


two solid pieces and a closeup of one --- pictures provided by John Ming of Heirloom Woodworking. John tells me he found the red streaks in only a very few places. These pieces have been finished with blond shellac sealer and then multiple coats of lacquer, but John says that didn't change the color much, but based on other pictures it would appear that at the least, the finishing agent brought out the yellow considerably.

NOTE: I now have a piece of white limba, donated by Jim Glynn, that has an almost identical orange streak as that seen in the pic directly above, and you can see it at the top of this page.



web pics: (for black limba) --- the ones with reddish tint are probably not true color (they may have all come from the BogusColorVendor). I have never seen this wood have any orange in it at all (other that bug poop streaks which can be very orange but are very localized), but the pics DO tend to come out showing orange so if they aren't properly corrected, this is what you'll get. The pics of my veneer samples came out originally with a noticble orange tint, although nothing as strong as what is in many of these pics.


planks


bookmatched planks


an oiled plank


fiddleback black limba plank


veneer listed as black frake / Terminalia superba


veneer all from the same dealer --- none of this was listed as curly or fiddleback although it obviously is


veneer


both sides and a closeup of a plank from the BogusColorVendor so the orange color is very suspect


"striped" black limba plank and closeup


veneer with what I take to be very accurate color, although as usual this vendor has added a shine to the pics that I am sure is not present in the real wood. I've bought many lots from this vendor and her wood is NEVER shiny the way her pics are: UH ... well, I may have to take that back in this case; I bought some veneer from another vendor and it DOES have a shine similar to this vendor's pics. Still, I HAVE bought many lots from her where the shine in her pics does not exist in the wood.


match pair of thin sheets for guitar back --- orange color is suspect


guitar blank of black limba --- color probably very accurate


two black limba guitars and a closeup of the second one


bowl listed as idigbo ... it is not certain that this is limba, but it does look as though it could be white limba.


black limba bowl by Bryan Nelson (NelsonWood)


black limba turned object designated as a "vessel", which is a correct designation, but I think most turners would call it a hollow form


black limba section on a laminated bowl. The pic on the left is just off the lathe and the one on the right is after one coat of natural stain.