WOOD ID POSTER:
co-created by, and sponsored by, HobbitHouse


240 woods on a poster (24"x36")


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MARBLEWOOD

botanical name uncertain


There are at least 19 species that have the common name "marblewood", of which the two that seem to be most often used are

(1) Zygia racemosa (syn. Marmaroxylon racemosum, Pithecellobium racemosum) of the family Leguminosae (aka Fabacea) (subfamily Mimosoideae), the legume or pea family
(2) Diospyros marmorata of the family Ebenaceae

I find those two species to be indistinguishable. This is a very distinctive, rare, and expensive wood. It looks somewhat like zebrawood but is almost always trivially easy to distinguish from it.

When I started this site, I was only aware of Zygia racemosa as marblewood and I did not list any botanical name with the pics, so now there are numerous pics here with no botanical name that are all PROBABLY Zygia racemosa. Others are as specified with the pics.

There is a closely related wood, tiger caspi (Zygia cataractae and others, of the family Fabaceae), also of South America, that is remarkably similar in appearance and there could easily be some confusion between the two although marblewood appears to be the much more readily available of the two.

I have never encountered this wood in veneer form



my samples:


both sides of a sample plank listed as angelim rajado / Marmaroxylon racemosum


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of angelim rajado / Marmaroxylon racemosum --- 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 angelim rajado / Marmaroxylon racemosum --- 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


planks and closeup


plank and end grain --- this piece was cut from one of the larger pieces directly above and the color in these pics is more accurate than the ones above.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directely above



web pics:


planks


planks, all from the same vendor --- these pics appear to be slightly washed out; I suspect that the actual wood color is somewhat more rich than what these show


both sides of a plank


plank and closeup


both sides of a set of planks


planks listed as Diospyros marmorata


both sides of a plank and a closeup, listed as Diospyros marmorata


planks, bowl blanks, and turning stock, all listed as Marmaroxylon racemosum and many of the pieces appear to be waxed


pen blanks listed as marblewood / Marmaroxylon racemosum


pen blanks


turning stock


scales --- unlike most scales, these are not bookmatched


bookmatched scales


bowl blanks


waxed bowl blanks showing end grain and side grain


bowls by Bryan Nelson (NelsonWood). Bryan fine-polishes his bowls with 1200 or even higher grit sandpaper while they are spinning at high speed on the lathe and then finishes them there with a friction polish of his own devising, thus achieving a shine and color vibrancy that is beautiful to behold.


bowls


platter